The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the First Week of April, 2020

154 - copia (2)

By Jorge Cirett

Amidst the Coronavirus widespread suspension of activities, including mining and exploration, decreed by the Mexican government, a record number of press releases was issued. During the 14th week of the year (March 30th to April 5th, 2020), at least 57 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, of which 20 were on how companies were dealing with the situation. ON MEXICO ISSUES, a national decree by the federal government suspended all non-essential activities, which include mining and exploration, until the end of April. The DGM (Mining Regulator) is to manage everything through electronic channels during the Coronavirus contingency (in practical terms, do not expect anything done during this period of time). Previous to the federal government decree, the Sonoran government ordered the stoppage of all work on the mines on the State. Mexico is well poised for a substantial growth in lead and zinc production in 2020 (although the work suspension on mines might prevent it).  ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Silver Viper released more drilling results on El Rubi zone of its La Virgina project. Tocvan Ventures commenced geophysical and soil survey programs at its Pilar project. In Chihuahua, Discovery Metals and Kootenay Silver announced the suspension of activities at its Cordero and Columba projects respectively. In Sinaloa, Kootenay Silver announced the suspension of activities at El Copalito. Advance Gold released drilling information on its Tabaqueña project.  ON MINING, Mag Silver, Excellon Resources and Odyssey Marine Exploration presented 2019 results. First Majestic plans to invest $46 M in capital expenditures at its Santa Elena project. GoGold completed the commissioning of a SART palnt at its Parral tailings facilities. Equinox plans to produce 170 K – 190 K Oz Au during 2020 at Los Filos, Guerrero, and invest a total of $75 M. ON FINANCING, Orla Mining closed a bought deal for C$75 M. Mithrill is to conduct a rights issue for share holders in Australia and New Zealand to raise $2.45 M. Southern Silver announced the exercise of 2015 and 2016 warrants and options, raising $1.25 M. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, First Majestic updated the mineral resource estimate on seven of its Mexican properties. Sierra Metals updated the mineral resource estimate on Bolivar, Chihuahua. Prime Mining produced a new resource estimate for its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Mag Silver has to obtain funding, or see its 44% JV participation in the Juanicipio project (Zacatecas) dwindle. Great Panther filed two technical reports on the Guanajuato mine complex. Bacanora Lithium granted a contract to GRES on the Sonora Lithium project. Golden Minerals presented a new PEA for its Velardeña properties. GR Silver Mining released underground channel results from the Plomosas project in in Sinaloa. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, GR Silver completed the acquisition of the Plomosas project in Sinaloa. Argonaut Gold and Alio Gold are merging. Orex Minerals and Pan American Silver are forming a JV on the Sandra project in Durango. Riverside is going ahead with the Peñoles project (Durango) spin-off. Mithrill Resources informed on the acquisition of Sun Minerals. Southern Silver entered into an agreement with Monarch Minerals to purchase a mineral concession adjacent to Cerro Las Minas project in Durango. Oroco Resources amended disclosures on the Santo Tomas project technical report. Odyssey Marine Exploration continues with the arbitration process for its offshore phosphate project in Baja California Sur. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Newmont GoldCorp Peñasquito donated 500 COVID-19 tests and delivered thousands of cleansing packages in the communities near the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas..

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Mining halted in Mexico. A national decree by the Mexican federal government suspended all non-essential activities for 30 days on the wake of the fight on the propagation of the coronavirus. Mining is not considered essential thus all operations are due to shut down.
  • Mexico is well positioned for increased lead and zinc production, BNamericas. Supported by expected continued work at Newmont’s Peñasquito mine, Southern Copper’s San Martin mine and Peñoles operations, the lead and zinc Mexican production is poised to grow in 2020. Lead production could increase 27.8% to 194.9 K tonnes, with the expected production of 90.7 K tonnes at Peñasquito. Zinc production could increase 27% to 633.2 K tonnes, with its expected production of 192.8 K tonnes. Both zinc and lead face extremely low prices, with zinc at US$0.85/Lb and lead close to US$0.75/Lb.
  • To reduce coronavirus contagion risks, the Dirección General de Minas (DGM) initiated a protocol to process requests and information only through electronic media, for the time that the contingency lasts (in practical terms, the already slow pace of proceedings at the DGM is coming to halt for the time being).
  • The Mining Fund served its purpose at Jiapaz, Zacatecas, where solar panels were installed to power the water system on La Martinica de Guadalupe neighborhood.
  • The Sonora government issued orders to stop all non-essential activities, including mining, as a mean to reduce the propagation speed of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
  • Mining companies that presented press releases on Coronavirus related suspension of activities: Argonaut Gold, Sierra Metals, Pan American Silver, Premier Gold Mines, Equinox Gold, GoGold Resources, Gold Resource, Excellon Resources, Endeavour Silver, Azucar Minerals, Avino Silver & Gold Mines, Agnico Eagle Mines, Almaden Minerals, Alamos Gold, Fortuna Silver, Mithrill Resources, Vizsla Resources, Torex Gold, Great Panther, and Golden Minerals.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Silver Viper Minerals Corp. released drilling results at its La Virginia project in Sonora. The Rubi zone strike length increased by 100 m, to a total of 400 m, where a total of 6,103 m in 20 holes have been collared; a further 852 m in four holes were drilled at the Macho Libre target. The results for the last nine holes are still pending. Highlighted true width intervals comprise: 1.42 m @ 156 gpt Ag, 1.79 gpt Au; 2.84 m @ 249 gpt Ag, 1.55 gpt Au (including 0.36 m @ 1,584 gpt Ag, 5.56 gpt Au); 17.04 m @ 28 gpt Ag, 0.69 gpt Au; 1.07 m @ 52 gpt Ag, 1.27 gpt Au; 1.07 m @ 124 gpt Ag, 3.32 gpt Au; 4.26 m @ 38 gpt Ag, 0.64 gpt Au; 6.04 m @ 74 gpt Ag, 0.99 gpt Au (including 1.78 m @ 187 gpt Ag, 2.48 gpt Au. The company recently completed a 4,800-hectare; 718 line-km helicopter borne magnetic-radiometric geophysical survey centered on El Rubi zone.
  • Discovery Metals Corp. announced the temporarily suspension of all exploration activities at its Mexican operations due to the COVID-19 risks. “Discovery has already completed 48 holes totaling 17,500 metres of its planned 30,000 – 35,000 metre Phase 1 drill program. The Company will provide ongoing exploration updates for the 34 drill holes not previously press released once results have been received and validated”. Discovery had a cash balance of CAD$24 M by the end of 2019 (Cordero, Chihuahua).
  • Tocvan Ventures Corp. announced the commencement of the 2020 field program at the Pilar project in Sonora. The focus is to expand the known areas of mineralization, gain a better understanding of structural controls, identify mineralization targets and define drill targets. A multiple-task (?) geophysical survey is underway concurrently with a close-spaced soil sampling program. These surveys will be followed up with structural refining, XRF survey across the property and reviewing historical drill holes.
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. temporarily suspended the current drill programs at its Columba (Chihuahua) and Copalito (Sinaloa) projects, to reduce the propagation risks of the Coronavirus.
  • Advance Gold Corp. released information on drilling at its Tabasqueña project in Zacatecas. One hole was abandoned because of challenging drilling conditions; a second hole intercepted a black slate with small sulphide lenses 0.3 cm to 1 cm in thickness, this unit explains the chargeability anomaly detected by the geophysical survey. The best intercept was 1.25 m @ 2.79% Pb; the third hole also intersected the sulphide bearing black slate unit, assays pending. Teck’ San Nicolas VMS project is 11 kilometers East of Tabasqueña.

ON MINING

  • First Majestic Silver Corp. plans to invest US$46.3 M in capital expenditures at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. Exploration, the installation of an autogenous mill, exploration and development of the Ermitaño West, mine access preparation and prefeasibility studies are among the use of the funds involved.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. reported the completion of commissioning of the SART plant at its Parral Tailings facility in Chihuahua. “The main economic drivers are the recovery of a high-grade saleable copper sulfide product, the re-generation of cyanide, which is the largest single operating cost at Parral, and improve the leaching efficiency of the heap”. GoGold reduced the need to purchase cyanide by $200 K in March.
  • Excellon Resources Inc. reports 2019 annual and Q4 financial results. At Platosa, in Durango, 19.8 K tonnes @ 435 gpt Ag, 4.84% Pb, 6.39% Zn were processed, recovering 91.7% Ag, 80.2% Pb, 76.5% Zn to produce 259.2 K Oz Ag, 1.69 M Lb Pb, 2.06 M Lb Zn during the quarter. For the full year 75.2 K tonnes @ 409 gpt Ag, 4.75% Pb, 6.82% Zn were processed , recovering 89.9% Ag, 79.2% Pb. 77.7% Zn to produce 1.05 M Oz Ag, 6.1 M Lb Pb, 8.4 M Lb Zn, or 1.93 M Oz AgEq.
  • Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. reported results for the full year 2019.
  • Equinox Gold Corp. provided production guidance for 2020, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At the Los Filos mine in Guerrero, production is set to range between 170 K to 190 K Oz Au, at an AISC of $1,000 to $1,050 per Oz Au, sustaining capital of $24 M and Non-sustaining capital of $51 M. “The Company is advancing an expansion of the Los Filos mine complex including enlarging the Los Filos open pit, developing a second underground mine (Bermejal), adding a new open pit (Guadalupe) and constructing a new carbon in leach (“CIL”) plant to process higher-grade ore…….. Equinox Gold has budgeted a total capital spend of $75 million at Los Filos during 2020. Non-sustaining capital of $51 million relates primarily to the expansion project and includes $20 million for pre-stripping of the Guadalupe open pit and $23 million allocated to Bermejal underground development”.

ON FINANCING

  • Newmont Corp. has announced expiration and final results of the tender offers for its 3.5% senior notes due 2022 and Goldcorp’s 3.7% notes due 2023. (Peñasquito, Zacatecas).
  • Mithrill Resources Ltd. will be conducting a pro-rata non-renounceable rights issue to allow shareholders, of ordinary shares with a registered address in Australia or New Zealand, to apply for one share for every ordinary share held, to raise $2.45 M (Copalquin, Durango).
  • Southern Silver Exploration Corp. informed recent warrant and option exercised during the current fiscal period. Warrants and options issued in 2015 and 2016 were exercised for $1.25 M in gross profits (Cerro La Mina, Durango).
  • Orla Mining Ltd. closed its previously announced bought deal financing with a syndicate of underwriters led by Stifel GMP and including Desjardins Capital Markets, Paradigm Capital and Cormark Securities Inc. for aggregate gross proceeds of C$75 M.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • First Majestic Silver Corp. updated mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates for the San Dimas (Durango), Santa Elena (Sonora) and La Encantada (Coahuila) producing mines, as well as from its San Martín (Jalisco), La Parrilla (Durango), Del Toro (Zacatecas) and La Guitarra (Estado de Mexico) properties.

First Majestic Reserves and Resources 2019

  • Sierra Metals Inc. updated mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates for its Bolivar mine in Chihuahua. Mineral reserves decreased by 2.5 M tonnes on mining depletion from 2017, but measured, indicated and inferred resources have significantly grown.

Bolívar Reserves and Resources to 201911

  • Mag Silver Reported 2019 annual results. Development of the Juanicipio mine (Zacatecas) and processing plant continue, with the plant expected to commence commissioning in mid-2021. Underground development is ongoing, exceeding now 26 Km. Remaining pre-operative initial capital is estimated at $305 M, although this figure can be reduced by cash in hand of the operator of the JV (Fresnillo 56%, Mag 44%) and expected cash flow from mineralized material extracted and processed at the Fresnillo’s mine facilities commencing in mid-2020. “The Company needs to raise additional capital in the future in order to meet its full share of initial capital required to develop the Juanicipio Project. Mag does not generate operating cash flow at this time to fund such obligations, and accordingly, future liquidity will depend upon its ability to arrange debt or additional equity financings. The Company is currently evaluating several proposals. The inability of MAG to fund its 44% share of cash calls would result in dilution of its ownership interest in Minera Juanicipio in accordance with the shareholders’ agreement”. At the end of the year Mag had $71.86 M including cash and cash equivalents of $72.36 M AuEq.
  • Great Panther Mining Ltd. filed two technical reports regarding the Guanajuato mine complex. “The reports are titled “NI 43- 101 Mineral Resource Update Technical Report on the Guanajuato Mine Complex, San Ignacio Mine, Guanajuato State, Mexico”, dated March 17, 2020, and “NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Update Technical Report on the Guanajuato Mine Complex, Guanajuato Mine, Guanajuato State, Mexico”, dated March 27, 2020”.
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc. released protocols to minimize exposure to coronavirus, in order to decrease the risk to employees, contractors, families and communities near Las Chispas project in Sonora.
  • Evrim Resources Corp. updated the resource on the Ermitaño project in Sonora, of which it holds a 2% NSR. Property owner First Majestic Silver Corp. announced a 15% increase in grade and a 345% increase in contained AgEq ounces in the indicated resources compared to the previous estimate. The indicated resources are 2.1 M tonnes @ 4.59 gpt Au, 70 gpt Ag, containing 311 K Oz Au and 4.73 M Oz Ag; the inferred resources stand at 3.73 M tonnes @ 3.08 gpt Au, 58 gpt Ag, containing 370 K Oz Au, 6.98 M Oz Ag.
  • Bacanora Lithium. Announced the granting of a contract to GR Engineering Services for engineering, acquisition and construction services on the Sonora lithium project.
  • Prime Mining Corp. released a new resource estimate for its Los Reyes project (formerly Guadalupe de Los Reyes) in Sinaloa. The pit constrained resources range from 19.75 M tonnes @ 1.31 gpt AuEq measured and indicated resources (M&I) containing 833.1 K Oz AuEq and 7.1 M tonnes @ 1.14 gpt AuEq in inferred resources containing 261.1 K Oz AuEq at a 0.22 gpt AuEq cutoff; to 5.91 M tonnes @ 2.72 gpt AuEq M&I resources and 1.68 M tonnes @ 2.59 gpt AuEq containing 516.2 K Oz AuEq and 140.5 K Oz AuEq respectively, at a cutoff grade of 1.0 gpt AuEq. The pit strip ratio is calculated as 4.6 to 1 waste to ore in six separate pits.
  • Golden Minerals Co. announced positive results from the updated mineral resource estimate and preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its Velardeña properties in Durango. The PEA states a pre-tax net present value of $85.9 M at an 8% discount rate, an internal rate of return of 138.6%, pre-production capital cost of $10.27 M, post production and working capital $15.93 M and a life of mine of 10 years to produce 10.2 M Oz Ag, 119 K Oz Au. The resource estimate including sulfide and oxide ore comprises 1.35 M tonnes @ 307 gpt Ag, 4.92 gpt Au, 1.54% Pb, 1.78% Zn in measured and indicated resources, containing, 13.34 M Oz Ag, 214 K Oz Au, 45.8 M Lb Pb, 53 M Lb Zn; and 1.76 M tonnes @ 354 gpt Ag, 4.73 gpt Au, 1.72% Pb, 1.86% Zn, containing 20.1 M Oz Ag, 268 K Oz Au, 67.1 M Lb Pb, 72.3 M Lb Zn.
  • GR Silver Mining Ltd. released assay results from initial underground channel sampling from the San Juan workings at the Plomosas Silver project. San Juan is one of six priority areas with underground development not yet exploited by previous owners. Some of the highlighted composites comprise 2.1 m @ 0.30 gpt Au, 552 gpt Ag, 0.7% Pb, 1.0% Zn (including 0.40 m @ 1.2 gpt Au, 3,003 gpt Ag, 2.9% Pb, 3.1% Zn); 5.0 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 816 gpt Ag, 0.9% Pb, 0.5 % Zn; 2.0 m @ 0.51 gpt Au, 1,145 gpt Ag, 0.9% Pb, 0.4% Zn; 2.8 m @ 0.42 gpt Au, 482 gpt Ag, 0.4% Pb, 0.4% Zn; 9.3 m @ 0.13 gpt Au, 346 gpt Ag, 0.7% Pb, 1.0% Zn; 3.0 m @ 0.11 gpt Au, 485 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 0.3% Zn.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • GR Silver Mining Ltd. Has completed the acquisition of the Plomosas silver project in Sinaloa, from First Majestic Silver Corp. .GR Silver paid CDN$100 K, granted First Majestic a 2% NSR, of which half could be bought for US$1 M, and issued First Majestic 17.1 M shares of GR Silver. The project comes with six areas at the drilling/resource stage, with 563 drill holes totalling over 100,000 m of core drilling and the mining infrastructure of the Plomosas mine, that produced over 2.5 M tonnes of Pb-Zn-Ag ore.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. and Alio Gold Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement for an at-market merger whereby Argonaut will acquire all of Alio shares. The transaction creates an intermediate producer with four operations rendering 235 K Oz AuEq per year from four mines and presence in Mexico, Canada and USA, and a pipeline that includes Ana Paula (Guerrero), Cerro del Gallo (Guanajuato) and Magino (Canada).
  • Orex Minerals Inc. entered into an agreement to form a JV with Pan American Silver Corp. to explore and develop the Sandra (formerly Sandra Escobar) project in Durango. Orex and Pan American will own a 40% and 60% interest in the JV.
  • Riverside Resources Inc. has received requisite shareholder approval for the spin-out of the Peñoles Project (Durango) to its shareholders. “Once the Arrangement becomes effective, Riverside shareholders will own shares in two public companies: Capitan, which will focus on the development of the Peñoles Project, and Riverside, which will continue to generate prospective mineral properties”.
  • Mithhrill Resources Ltd. Informed on the proposed acquisition of Sun Minerals Pty Ltd., which holds an option to earn up to 100% interest on the Copalquin project in Durango. Due diligence was completed, a formal share agreement for the acquisition of all issued share capital of Sun Minerals was executed and shareholder approval received. On view of recent market developments, Mithrill and Sun Minerals agreed that Mithrill is to raise a minimum of A$1.5 M.
  • Southern Silver Exploration Corp. entered into an agreement with Monarch Minerals Inc. to purchase the El Sol mineral concession in Durango, near the Sothern Silver and Electrum Global Holdings L.P. Cerro Las Minas JV project. The purchase will not form a part of the Cerro Las Minitas JV. Acquisition cost is $US300 K payable in three equal installments on signature, 12 and 18 months, with the vendor retaining a 2% NSR that can be bought by Southern Silver at any time for US$1 M.
  • Oroco Resource Corp. wishes to clarify and amend its disclosures with respect to its Santo Tomas project in Sinaloa. “The BCSC reviewed the Company’s October, 2019 and March, 2020 corporate presentations (the “Presentations”) and its current technical report dated August 22, 2019 and titled “Technical Report Geology, Mineralization, and Exploration of the Santo Tomas Cu-(Mo-Au-Ag) Porphyry Deposit Sinaloa, Mexico” authored by D. A. Bridge, P. Geol.” (the “Report”). Both the current Presentation and the Report have been removed from the Company’s website pending revision. The disclosure issues in the Presentations and the Report with respect to National Instrument 43-101 (the “Instrument”) and Form 43-101F1 are summarized in the following discussion”.
  • Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. has launched a NAFTA arbitration process on its “Exploraciones Oceánicas” phosphate project off the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur. “The Arbitral Tribunal, consisting of three international arbitrators well-versed in international investment treaties, has been constituted and the parties are now in the process of finalizing the arbitration schedule and procedures with the Tribunal……..“We intend to continue to work diligently and in good faith with Mexico’s current administration to achieve an equitable resolution of this dispute and to help Mexico provide fertilizer to its farmers, but we are prepared to proceed with the full NAFTA arbitration process if necessary, and have recently received increased litigation funding specifically to support this case”. The Exploraciones Oceánicas project contains an estimated 588 M tonnes of phosphate, at a depth of 70-90 m, lying 25 to 40 km from the coast, with almost no overburden.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Newmont Goldcorp donates 500 COVID-19 tests in Zacatecas. The donation amounts to more than $2 M pesos.
  • Newmont Peñasquito delivered 3,000 cleansing packages, in the communities near the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas, amidst the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus. The packages are to be delivered in and by local health institutions.

Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.

On the image below: Hematite-goethite stained quartz vein in an orogenic gold system, Oaxaca. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

154 - copia (2)

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Fourth Week of March, 2020.

 

Colloform-banded quartz vein

By Miguel A Heredia

During the thirteen week of the year (March 23th to March 29th, 2020), at least 28 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with seven commenting on Mexican issues, six disclosing deals and corporate issues, five informing on exploration results, four announcing financial rounds, four discussing issues on social responsibility, one communicating production and financial results, and one reporting on resources and developments.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, Fortuna Silver reported on March 24, 2020, an illegal road blockade on its San Jose mine in Oaxaca but fortunately on March 25, 2020 the company announced it had been lifted and the mine operations were resumed again. La Herradura mine (owned by Fresnillo plc), in the north of Sonora, is an example of how women have inserted themselves into industries historically dominated by men. Several mining companies operating in Mexico have implemented a series of measures to safeguard the health of their workers, in the face of the advance of the COVID-19 pandemic. Azure, Capstone, Evrim, and Premier Gold were some of the companies which reacted on the COVID-19 pandemic.  ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Azure reported a new Cu discovery at its Alacrán project and Ridgestone commenced a drilling program at its Rebeico project. In Chihuahua, Radius provided an update of its Amalia project. In Durango, Golden Tag announced the authorization from SEMARNAT to drill up to twenty one holes at its San Diego project.  In Jalisco, GoGold announced drilling results from eight holes collared at its Los Ricos project. ON MINING, Mexus announced operating cost lower than expected and confirmed positive cash flow obtained (Santa Elena mine, Sonora). ON FINANCING, Equinox Gold and Leagold received notice from Pacific Road Resources Fund to acquire 461,947 Equinox common shares for proceeds to the company of $2,854,832 and $9,278,209 aggregate principal amount of 5-years convertible notes (Los Filos mine, Guerrero). Orla announced bought deal financing for gross proceeds of CAD $75,030,000 (Camino Rojo project, Zacatecas).  VVC closed the first tranche of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD $951,560 (Kaity project, Chihuahua). Gold Resource declared March monthly dividend to its shareholders (El Aguila mine, Oaxaca).  ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Fortuna Silver updated mineral resource and mineral reserve as of December 31, 2019 for its San Jose mine, Oaxaca. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Alamos Gold filed its annual information form and 2019 annual report (Mulatos mine, Sonora). GoGold announced results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (Los Ricos project, Jalisco). McEwen reported that it has fallen below the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) continued listing requirement related to the price of its common stock (El Gallo mine, Sinaloa). Orla Mining announced Layback agreement with Fresnillo Plc (Camino Rojo project, Zacatecas). Evrim reported that it has terminated the option agreement with Harvest Gold on its Cerro Cascaron project in Chihuahua.   Radius entered into an option agreement to acquire, from a local concessionaire, 100% interest in the Plata Verde property in Chihuahua. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Argonaut Gold confirmed its commitment to the environment, performing and promoting good ecological practices in Sonora and Durango. Minera Autlán informed about their commitments regarding the responsible and sustainable Water Management. Grupo México reported that it will advance the delivery of a hospital in Juchitán, Oaxaca, to support efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Representatives of the mining company Media Luna (Torex Gold) expressed their solidarity with the problem that the country is suffering due to the Coronavirus pandemic and donated mouthwash and antibacterial gel to the Guerrero health system (El Limón-Guajes mine complex, Guerrero).

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., reported on March 24, 2020, an illegal road blockade on its San Jose mine in Oaxaca by a group of individuals to protest the action taken by the Electoral Tribunal of the State of Oaxaca in revoking his appointment as major. Fortunately, the company announced the next day that it has been lifted, and the mine operation was resumed.
  • La Herradura mine(owned by Fresnillo plc), in the north of Sonora, is an example of how women have inserted themselves into industries historically dominated by men. There is still a long way to go in gender equality in industries such as mining, but there are examples that this is possible. For the mining industry, women’s work has given good results in cases such as La Herradura. For their part, women workers see mining as an opportunity to earn a living wage with opportunities for job growth. It may not be the first image that comes to mind, but women miners are a reality in Mexico.
  • Several mining companies operating in Mexico, have implemented a series of measures to safeguard the health of their workers, in the face of the advance of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Azure Minerals Limited, suspended all field exploration and drilling at the company´s project, and suspended the trial processing program of high-grade ore from Oposura with the bulk concentrates bagged into bulker bags which have been stored in the Company’s warehouse, and Implemented required policies and procedures which include “no travel”, “no congregating in groups”, “social distancing” and “working from home”.
  • Capstone Mining Corp., reported that its priority is to ensure the health and safety of their people, and stated that until now, COVID-19 has not impacted production or concentrate shipments at its Cozamin mine in Zacatecas.
  • Evrim Resources Corp., took the decision to send all his employees to work remotely to keep them safe and healthy.
  • Premier Gold Mines Limited, announced that its Mercedes mine in Sonora has not been materially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is focused on protect their employees from the coronavirus outbreak. It has introduced company-wide health and safety protocols and has implemented controls and safety procedures at each site.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Azure Minerals Limited, reported, within its El Alacrán project, a new Cu discovery called Gregors by doing RC drill-testing a buried VTEM geophysical anomaly coincident with a 100m by 100m outcrop of breccia and gossan. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole GGC-02 with 0.68% Cu over 30m, including 2.3% over 6m, and hole GGC-003 with 0.96% Cu over 18m, including 7.03% Cu over 1.5m. Azure is undertaking a detailed data review and interpretation plus initial mineralogical and metallurgical studies to assess potential and assist with planning a follow-up drill program. Additionally, the company also reported a single hole collared at San Simon mine located 700m away from its Loma Bonita resource area, which returned 2 g/t Au and 64 g/t Ag over 21m, including 3.35 g/t Au over 6.0m. Further drilling to test the vuggy silica mineralized zone, which is interpreted to extend further to the east and south beneath the Cerro San Simon hill, will be undertaken in the next drill program.
  • Ridgestone Mining Inc., announced the commencement of a 1,500m drilling program in 10 holes at its newly discovered Au-Cu bearing New Year zone at its Rebeico project in Sonora. This first phase drilling program will be focused on testing at depth the high grade Au-Cu mineralization discovered in 2019 with surface sampling which returned up to 12.95 g/t Au and 0.65% Cu, testing the southern portion of the nearby Alaska Vein south of the hole 18REB10 which intersected 36.10 g/t Au over 1.5m, and also test the potential junction of the >New Year zone with the southern part of the Alaska vein.
  • Radius Gold Inc., provided an update for its Amalia project in Chihuahua. Highlights include the development of its El Cuervo target, located 3.8km southeast of the current drilled area of san Pedro, where up to 40m wide of silicification, breccias and veining with strong Au and Ag geochemistry has been mapped and sampled over a length of 750m. Radius also reported that a drill permit is in progress for a fourth phase of drilling at its Amalia project. The fourth phase of drilling will consists of 9 deep holes to test down dip and lateral extension of the high grade Au-Ag mineralization defined at san Pedro area.
  • Golden Tag Resources Ltd., announced the authorization from SEMARNAT to drill up to twenty one holes at its San Diego project in Durango. The company plans to conduct a 2,000m drilling program in eight holes to test the near-surface continuity of mineralization identified in previous drilling programs at the Trovador-MS and El Jal-Arroyo Zone target areas.
  • GoGold Resources Inc., reported drilling results from eight holes collared at its Los Ricos project in Jalisco, including three at San Juan and five in the Main Area. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole LRGG-20-115 (Main Area) with 0.61 g/t Au and 153 g/t Ag (2.65 g/t AuEq or 203 g/t AgEq) over 19.5m, including 1.17 g/t Au and 281 g/t Ag (4.93 g/t AuEq or 370 g/t AgEq) over 9.6m; and hole LrGG-20-119 (Main Area) with 0.91 g/t Au and 135 g/t Ag (2.71 g/t AuEq or 203 g/t AgEq) over 26.4m, including 1.6 g/t Au and 196 g/t Ag (4.21 g/t AuEq or 316 g/t AgEq) over 12.6m.

ON MINING

  • Mexus Gold US, announced it is producing Au at a cost of USD $376/Oz and confirmed it is operating at a positive cash flow. Mexus is planning to produce 10 Oz Au per day within 60 days (Santa Elena mine, Sonora).

ON FINANCING

  • Equinox Gold Corp. and Leagold Mining Corporation,  received notice from Pacific Road Resources Fund to acquire 461,947 Equinox common shares for proceeds to the company of $2,854,832 and $9,278,209aggregate principal amount of 5-years convertible notes. The Company intends to use the proceeds from the shares and notes for general corporate and working capital purposes (Los Filos mine, Guerrero).
  • Orla Mining Ltd., announced a bought deal for gross proceeds of CAD $75,030,000. The company also granted an over-allotment option to purchase up to an additional 5.49M common shares at the offering price. If this option is exercised in full, an additional CAD $11,254,500 in net proceeds will be raised. At the end, the total aggregate gross proceeds of the offering will be CAD $86,284,500. Net proceeds will be used for exploration and development of its Camino Rojo project in Zacatecas.
  • VVC Exploration Corporation, closed the first tranche of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD $951,560. Net proceeds will be used to develop its Katya project in Chihuahua, including costs associated with various permits, metallurgical bench testing of the copper mineralization, and investigation, evaluation and implementation of the Gloria Pilot Mining Project.
  • Gold Resource Corporation, declared March monthly dividend of one-third of a cent per common share to its shareholders (El Aguila mine, Oaxaca).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., updated mineral resource and mineral reserve as of December 31, 2019 at its San Jose mine, Oaxaca. Proven reserves are 232,000 tonnes of 2.12 g/t Au and 311 g/t to contain 16K Oz Au and 2.3M Oz Ag, and Probable reserves are 3, 704,000 tonnes of 1.58 g/t Au and 239 g/t Ag to contain 188K Oz Au and 28.5M Oz Ag. Total proven + probable reserves are 3,936,000 tonnes of 1.61 g/t Au and 243 g/t Ag to contain 204K Oz Au and 30.8M Oz Ag. It also reported that has measured resources of 17,000 tonnes of 0.8 g/t Au and 104 g/t Ag to contain 1K Oz Au and 0.1M Oz Ag, and Indicated resources of 538,000 tonnes of 0.7 g/t Au and 105 g/t Ag to contain 12K Oz Au and 1.8M Oz Ag. Measured + Inferred resources are 555,000 tonnes of 0.7 g/t Au and 105 g/t Ag to contain 13K Oz Au and 1.9M Oz Ag. In addition it reported inferred resources of 3,889,000 tonnes of 0.96 g/t Au and 131 g/t Ag to contain 120K Oz Au and 16.3M Oz Ag. (Mineral Resources are exclusive of Mineral Reserves).

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Alamos Gold Inc., filed its annual information form and 2019 annual report, including its audited financial statement for the year ended December 31, 2019 (Mulatos mine, Sonora).
  • GoGold Resources Inc., announced results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (Los Ricos project, Jalisco).
  • McEwen Mining Inc., reported that it has fallen below the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) continued listing requirement related to the price of its common stock. The NYSE requires that the average closing price of a listed company’s common stock be above US$1.00 per share, calculated over a period of 30 consecutive trading days (El Gallo mine, Sinaloa).
  • Orla Mining Ltd., announced a non-binding layback letter agreement with Fresnillo Plc., to extend its Camino Rojo oxide pit onto part of Fresnillo´s mineral concession. Under the terms of the agreement, Orla will pay Fresnillo a total cash consideration of USD $62.8M: USD $10M due upon the execution of the definitive layback agreement; USD $15M due Orla having received all funding and permits required for construction and development or July 1st, 2020; USD $15M due no later than 12 months following the commencement of commercial production or December 1st, 2022; USD $22.8M due no later than 24 months following the commencement of commercial production or December 1st, 2023; the amounts for the third and fourth payments shall bear an interest of 5% per annum from July1, 2020 until the date of payment. (Camino Rojo project, Zacatecas).
  • Evrim Resources Corp. and Harvest Gold Corporation, announced the termination of its option agreement on Cerro Cascaron project in Chihuahua. Evrim is seeking a new partner to continue the exploration of this mining property.
  • Radius Gold Inc., entered into an option agreement with a local concessionaire, to acquire 100% interest in the 300 Has Plata Verde property in Chihuahua by making staged payments totaling over four years USD $880K with the final payment equal to USD $400K at the end of year four. An USD $8K signing payment has already been paid. The owner retains a 1% NSR which Radius can buy back for USD $1M. “Plata Verde, silver mineralization occurs as massive to crustiform banded barite calcite with silver chlorides, sulphosalt minerals and native silver infilling and cementing fractures and breccia within a basaltic/andesite extrusive volcanic. The basaltic/andesite host occurs at the base of the Upper Rhyolitic Volcanics of the Northern Sierra Madre. In general the host volcanics and associated silver mineralization is covered by the overlying rhyolitic ignimbrites and is only exposed along the length of a small creek”. Initial prospecting rock chips by Radius geologists have returned silver grades between 5 and 1,070 g/t Ag.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Argonaut Gold Inc., confirmed its commitment to the environment, performing and promoting good ecological practices in Sonora and Durango, such as recycling all material used in its operations, confining all dangerous resources, increasing the use of renewable energy, preserving the flora and fauna species, taking care of air quality and generating new alternatives to help capture water in the aquifers, etc. The company offered 664 talks in its operation units in Sonora and Durango during 2019 to foster its commitment to the environment.
  • Minera Autlán SAB de CV., informed about their commitments regarding the responsible and sustainable management of Water. Autlán promotes responsible water consumption in all its mining units. This consists of reusing as much water as possible, in order to satisfy the greatest number of operations and guarantee the sustainability of the environment. The trend is to continue reducing the amounts used, making resource management much more effective through treatment processes.
  • Grupo México , reported that it will advance the delivery of a hospital in Juchitán, Oaxaca, to support efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The hospital, with a constructed area of ​​6,800 square meters and a planned capacity of more than 60 beds, was designed to meet the specific requirements of the citizens of the municipalities of Juchitán de Zaragoza, Santo Domingo de Tehuantepec, Matías Romero and Salina Cruz, who were among the most affected in the region after the 2017 earthquakes.
  • Representatives of the mining company Media Luna (Torex Gold), expressed their solidarity with the problem that the country is suffering due to the Coronavirus pandemic and donated to the health system of Guerrero state, 3,500 covers mouths and more than 1,000 liters of antibacterial gel due to the shortage of these products across the country.

 Content like what you have just read can be seen at  https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.

On the picture above, a colloform-banded quartz vein in a low-sulphidation epithermal system in Zacatecas, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Third Week of March, 2020

IMG_0770b

By Jorge Cirett

During the 12th week of the year (March 16th to March 22nd, 2020), at least 30 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Javier Corral, Chihuahua’s governor proposed the Major’s National Association they take part on the current constitutional controversy about the use of the Mining Fund. Mining companies around Mexico and the Camimex prepare for the Coronavirus by cancelling meetings, fairs and gatherings, and promote precautionary measures among its personnel, contractors and communities The AIMMGM convention in Chihuahua, the AMSAC convention in Cananea, and the Discoveries Conference in Guadalajara were to be held at the end of April, but have been re-scheduled due to the Coronavirus effects to later dates on July, August and September. ON EXPLORATION, in Baja California, One World Lithium has obtained the drilling, environmental and occupancy permits to commence drilling on the southern part of the project. In Sonora, Colibri announced the completion of phase 1 drilling at Evelyn. In Chihuahua Century Metals and Reyna Silver are to continue the exploration of the Guigui project near Santa Eulalia.  ON MINING, Starcore filed the results of the last quarter. Mexus Gold continues leaching in Sonora. Avino Silver, Torex gold, McEwen Mining, Impact Silver, Great Panther, Excellon, Argonaut Gold, GoGold Resources, Endeavour Silver, Equinox Gold and Fortuna Silver informed on the measures taken to protect their business, people and communities from the effects of the Coronavirus epidemic. ON FINANCING, Silver Spruce entered into debt settlement agreements for $350 K. First Majestic intends to repurchase up to 10 M shares. SilverCrest Metals received notice from National Bank Financial to terminate their agreement to purchase up to $9.1 M shares. Almaden Minerals amended its private placement to reflect current market conditions. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Prime Mining informed on recent work at its Guadalupe de Los Reyes project in Sinaloa, and how it might impact on the next resource estimation.  ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Century Metals provided an update on the acquisition of Reyna Silver (and its Guigui project in Chihuahua). Riverside Resources informed on its capitalization, business and current BHP strategic funding. Excellon Resources continues on the acquisition path of Otis Gold. Hecla Mining informed on current hedges to deflect the turmoil on the metals market.  ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Minera Media Luna informed on a community campaign to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on neighboring villages to its operations.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Javier Corral, Chihuahua’s governor, proposed on the Executive Committee of the Major’s National Association (Asociación Nacional de Alcaldes) that they take part on the constitutional controversy promoted by the Chihuahua government to rescue the Mining Fund from the Federal government.
  • Mining Companies across Mexico prepare for the Coronavirus, Grupo Mexico, Agnico Eagle, Alamos Gold, Fresnillo PLC and Minera El Boleo are among the companies that have installed policies aimed to reduce the chances of infection among its employees, workers and contractors, including the cancellation of fairs and meetings, as well as work from home programs and access control programs at its installations.
  • The AIMMGM convention in Chihuahua to be held on 21-24 April has been changed to 20-24 July, aiming to reduce the Coronavirus spread on the population. On the same grounds the AMSAC (Asociación de Mineros de Sonora) that was to be held on 29 April-1 has been postponed to 3-4 September.
  • The Discoveries Mining Conference to be held in Guadalajara in late April has been postponed, on the same venue, to 10-12 August 2010.
  • CAMIMEX (Cámara Minera de México) informed it is reducing all non-essential activities and avoiding in-person meetings, although maintaining the offices open to facilitate operations. The organism makes a strong plea to companies and the general population to follow all the preventive measures possible.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Colibri Resource Corp. announced the completion of the phase 1 drilling program at its Evelyn project in Sonora. Five holes were collared in the program that measured 815.6 m in total.
  • Century Metals Inc. and Reyna Silver Corp. are engaged on a merger that intends to advance the 4,554 ha Guigui project in the Santa Eulalia district in Chihuahua. Studies on the project for the last 25 years include detailed geologic mapping and sampling, gravimetrics, ground magnetics, CSAMT (Controlled Source Audio Magneto-Tellurics), NSAMT (Natural Source Audio Magneto-Tellurics), Airborne ZTEM/magnetics, satellite hyperspectral and definition of drilling targets. The planned budget for 10,000 m for compiling and re-processing all prior work and 10,000 m of diamond drilling is $2.44 M.
  • One World Lithium Inc. announced that drilling, environmental, and occupancy permits have been approved to drill two key locations at the south end of the Salar del Diablo Property in Baja California. The proposed exploration holes are located 50 km south of the previous drill holes in the north portion of the property. Mike Rosko of Montgomery Associates has recommended these locations, as “there is evidence of historic and currently active hydrothermal activity in the south and that hydrothermal activity can be a source of lithium such as in the Lithium Triangle in Chile and Argentina”.

ON MINING

  • Starcore International Mines Ltd. filed the results for the Q3 ended on 31 January, 2020. At the company’s San Martin mine in Queretaro, 58.3 K tonnes were milled @ 1.84 gpt Au, 30.1 gpt Ag, recovering 90.1% Au, 50.9% Ag, to produce 3.1 K Oz Au, 29.6 K Oz Ag during the quarter; on the year 301.9 K tonnes were milled @ 1.63 gpt Au, 39.6 gpt Ag, recovering 86.2% Au, 58.4% Ag, to produce 13.7 K Oz Au, 224.5 K Oz Ag (16.4 K Oz AuEq), at cash cost $1,061 per Oz AuEq.
  • Mexus Gold US. continues gold production at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (Not to mistake for First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora).
  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. reported that there is not been impact on day to day operations at the Avino mine in Durango. The company restricted entrance to external visitors and no-one at the mine-site has tested positive for the COVID-19. Two medical doctors are monitoring and educating the labour force and employees daily.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc. announced that to date the company had no known or suspected cases of COVID-19 infection at the El Limón – Guajes operations in Guerrero. “At the operation, we have stopped international travelers from coming to site. Social distancing efforts at site are being implemented, which includes isolating delivery drivers. Aggressive cleaning of communal areas has also been ramped up. Education initiatives on infection prevention have been extended to the surrounding communities”.
  • McEwen Mining Inc. reported fourth quarter and full year 2019 results, including figures from its Mexican operations. Production from residual leaching at El Gallo, in Sinaloa, was 2,490 Oz Au Eq for the quarter and 16,333 Oz Au for the year.
  • Impact Silver Corp. informed operations continue as the Coronavirus situation is monitored daily. “In conjunction with local authorities we are actively disseminating information on COVID-19 precautionary measures to our employees and their families. We will continue to monitor their health and for signs of early symptoms of the virus on a regular basis to ensure safety of our staff” (Zacualpan, Estado de Mexico).
  • Great Panther Mining Ltd. announced that it has been closely monitoring the latest developments of the novel Coronavirus COVID-19. “All operations and offices have implemented travel restrictions, supervision, monitoring and response plans to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and outbreak” (Topia, Durango).
  • Excellon Resources Inc. informed the company is in regular contact with local health authorities at its Platosa (Durango) and Miguel Auza (Zacatecas) operations, and continue to monitor global trends on the Coronavirus pandemia. Among other measures “we have restricted site access to essential personnel and essential suppliers. We are conducting health screening at the gate and have provided our security and health personnel with additional protective measures. We have increased the frequency of workplace cleaning and disinfection, including transport vehicles, and have also increased the number of hand sanitizer stations across the work sites. We have implemented social distancing by doubling the number of buses transporting employees to site, significantly modifying food provision services and increasing office space for administration staff, as well as preparing to adjust our existing work-from-home policies as conditions dictate”.
  • Argonaut Gold. Has implemented protocols to minimize the risks of COVID-19 virus, both to employees and business. “At each site, Argonaut is following government health protocols, has implemented additional protocols and is closely monitoring the situation with local health authorities” (La Colorada, Sonora).
  • GoGold Resources Inc. informed that “The constantly changing COVID-19 situation is unprecedented and for many is a time filled with uncertainty. We’d like to ensure our shareholders that operations at Parral and Los Ricos continue as normal as we monitor the situation” (Parral, Chihuahua; Los Ricos, Jalisco).
  • Endeavour Silver Corp. has implemented plans to minimize the risks of the COVID-19 virus both to the employees and to the business. “At each site, Endeavour is following government health protocols and is closely monitoring the situation with local health authorities. The Company has posted health advisories to educate employees about the COVID-19 symptoms, best practices to avoid catching the virus, and procedures to follow if symptoms are experienced” (El Compas, Zacatecas).
  • Fortuna Silver Mines Ltd. has been monitoring the effects of the spread of the Coronavirus, particularly in the jurisdictions that host its mining operations. The company “has placed its Health Safety Security and Environmental Committee in permanent session and is continually assessing the related health and safety risks to the Company’s personnel and contractors at its operations and offices. Preventative measures implemented at our offices and mines include: restrictions on travel, enhanced communication on prevention of contagion and viral effects, increased hygiene initiatives, monitoring personnel and visitors at our sites for symptoms of COVID-19, identification of personnel in high risk categories, reducing mine site personnel to a minimum level essential for continued operations and limiting visitors to those whose visits are considered critical” (San José, Oaxaca).
  • Equinox Gold Corp. “is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and has taken precautionary measures at its mine sites and offices to help protect the safety of the Company’s workforce and local communities” (Los Filos, Guerrero).

ON FINANCING

  • Silver Spruce Resources Inc. has entered into debt settlements with several creditors and one officer and director to settle $350 K. Under the terms of the debt settlement agreements 7 M shares were issued (Pino de Plata, Chihuahua).
  • First Majestic Silver Corp. board has approved the extension of its share repurchase program over the next year, period on which the company aims to re-purchase up to 10 M shares (San Dimas, Durango; Santa Elena, Sonora).
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc. received notice from National Bank Financial Inc. purporting to terminate its obligations pursuant to an agreement whereby NBF had asked for and agreed to purchase on a “bought deal” basis 9.1 M common shares at price of $8.25 per common share, based on the “disaster out” clause of the agreement. “SilverCrest intends to pursue its legal remedies against NBF for breach of NBF’s obligations under the terms of the Agreement” (Las Chispas, Sonora).
  • Almaden Minerals Ltd. amended its private placement in order to reflect current market conditions. The purchase price for units has been reduced from $0.41 to $0.37 and the exercise price for warrants from $0.65 to $0.50, while the offering size has been increased from 4.9 M to 5.4 M units (Ixtaca, Puebla).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Prime Mining Corp. informed recent work at its Guadalupe de Los Reyes project in Sinaloa hints to the potential of linking resources. Recent new trenches and road cuts sampling indicate mineralization linkage between the Zapote North and Zapote South orebodies. “Independent engineers are currently assessing and calculating a new resource model, which is now expected to be updated by the end of Q1 2020”. The historic resource is 530 K Oz Au, 10 M Oz Ag, established for Vista Gold in 2013.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Century Metals Inc. provided an update on the acquisition of all the shares of Reyna Silver Corp. (which owns the Guigui project in Chihuahua). Century is to consolidate to its shares to 5.35 M, both companies are to undertake private placements and Century will issue shares to Reyna Silver’s shareholders and warrants to the holders of warrants, and Century will issue shares to Mag Silver Corp., which is to hold 19.9% of the consolidated shares. Century and Reyna are raising up to $6.8 M in conjunction with the acquisition through concurrent financings. To date, Reyna has raised $5.06 M and Century $1.49 M. The Acquisition is a reverse takeover, and the definitive agreement is expected to be settled before the end of March 2020.
  • Riverside Resources Inc. provided an update on its operations. Currently the company has more than C$2 M in cash, no debt, 63 M shares outstanding and posted to receive $1 M from BHP in May, as part of a generative copper exploration strategic funding agreement. The company also holds marketable securities worth over C$1 M and has retained NSR’s on previously partnered projects. By the end of the month Riverside will have a vote to spin-out the Peñoles project in Durango.
  • Excellon Resources Inc. and Otis Gold Corp., announced that they have filed a joint circular in connection with the acquisition by Excellon of all the shares of Otis, pursuant to a plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act of British Columbia (Platosa, Durango).
  • Hecla Mining Co. provided a summary of the activities undertaken to protect its business, employees and local communities from COVID-19. Among the actions taken, contracts have been secured for $16 per Oz Ag for the second quarter, and $1,450 and $1,650 per Oz Au for the second and third quarter respectively. The company has implemented and followed recommended health and hygiene protocols, restricted mine site staff to essential personnel and contractors, stockpiled critical mining supplies (up to six months’ worth in some cases) to protect against possible future supply disruptions (San Sebastian, Durango).

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Minera Media Luna has a community campaign to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the region of the Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero. The campaign includes an informative preventive health circle inward and outward of the mining complex, into the communities of Acalmantlila, Nuevo Balsas, Real de Limón, La Fundición and Atzcala, among others.

Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.

On the image below: potassic feldspar alteration in a meta granitoid in Oaxaca, picture by Jorge Cirett.

IMG_0770b

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Second Week of March, 2020.

phreatic breccia

By Miguel A Heredia

During the eleventh week of the year (March 9th to March 15th, 2020), at least 21 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with four commenting on Mexican issues, three announcing financial rounds, three informing on exploration results, three communicating production and financial results, three disclosing deals and corporate issues, three discussing issues on social responsibility, and two reporting on resources and developments.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, A local Deputy of Durango State celebrated the investment of USD $100M in the mining sector. Michoacán State breaks the mining slowdown cycle, and Fe extraction grows 8% and climbs to second place. A series of Mexican mining projects have changed ownership in recent weeks as Au and Ag prices rise. In the last five years, the female workforce in the mining sector has grown by an average of 14-15%, according to Karen Flores, General Director of the Mining Chamber of Mexico (Camimex). ON EXPLORATION, In Sinaloa, Vizsla reported drilling results from its Panuco project. In Zacatecas, Alien announced its program development for its Mexican projects. In Jalisco, GoGold released drilling results from 11 holes collared at its Los Ricos project. ON MINING, Americas Gold and Silver reported full year 2019 production and financial results (Cosala mine, Sinaloa). Santacruz suspended milling operations at its Veta Grande mine in Zacatecas. Fortuna Silver reported full year 2019 production and financial results from its San Jose mine in Oaxaca. ON FINANCING, Almaden announced a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to $2M (Ixtaca project, Puebla). SilverCrest announced a bought deal financing for gross proceeds of CAD $75M (Las Chispas project, Sonora). Mexus sold some Au produced at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora.  ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Great Panther updated mineral resource estimate at its Guanajuato Mine Complex in Guanajuato and provided an update on its Topia mine operation in Durango. SilverCrest reported infill drilling results from its Las Chispas project in Sonora. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Equinox and Leagold completed merger to create premier Americas gold producer (Los Filos, Guerrero). Pan American filed its 2019 audited annual financial statement and annual information form (La Colorada mine, Zacatecas). Premier appointed a new member to its board of Directors (Mercedes mine, Sonora). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Almaden opened a local water reservoir in the community of Zacatepec, nearby its Ixtaca project in Puebla.  Argonaut gave scholarship number 3,000 to a student of La Colorada, Sonora. Minera San Xavier (New Gold Inc.), improves the public lighting system in Cerro de San Pedro, San Luis Potosi.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • A local Deputy of Durango State, celebrated the investment of USD $100M in the mining sector. It means greater economic development and especially the generation of a large number of well-paid jobs. For this reason, the Deputy said, it is necessary for the federal government to develop a state mining policy, as it is currently done in Durango that allows recovering the international competitiveness that characterized Mexico during the first decade of this millennium.
  • Michoacan State, breaks the mining slowdown cycle, and Fe extraction grows 8% and climbs to second place. According to the Economic Information Bank, the entity totaled 2.6M tonnes in 2019, which meant an increase of 8% with respect to the 2.4M tonnes reported during 2018.
  • A series of Mexican mining projects, have changed ownership in recent weeks as Au and Ag prices rise. For instance, Magna Gold acquired the San Francisco mine in Sonora from Alio Gold and is evaluating partnership opportunities to advance its suspended Ana Paula project in Guerrero; GR Silver Mining acquired Plomosas in Sinaloa from First Majestic; GoGold recently acquired 5 concessions around its Los Ricos project in Jalisco; and Fresnillo plc exercised an option to acquire the Naranjillo property in Guanajuato from Plata Latina. These latest agreements show that Mexico continues to generate a decent level of interest in mergers and acquisitions.
  • Karen Flores, General Director of the Mining Chamber of Mexico (Camimex), announced that In the last five years, the female workforce in the mining sector has grown by an average of 14-15%. Currently, 60 thousand women work in this industry in the country, which represents 16% of the total of its workers. In 2019, 3,153 new places were generated for them.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Vizsla Resources Corp., reported drilling results from its Panuco project in Sinaloa. Significant interception were encountered in hole AMS-20-06 with 1.25 g/t Au and 264 g/t Ag (364 g/t AgEq) over 3.55m, including 2.54 g/t Au and 474 g/t Ag (677 g/t AgEq) over a width of 1.3m; and hole AMS-20-04 with 2.45 g/t Au, 45 g/t Ag, 1.2% Pb, and 3.0% Zn (404 g/t AgEq) over 2.6m. These drilling results are the first set from an aggressive program of 14,500m that will continue throughout 2020.
  • Alien Metals Limited, announced its program development for its Mexican projects. The company has planned a detail exploration drilling program and has submitted applications for drill permits at its Los Campos and San Celso projects in Zacatecas. At its Donovan 2 Cu-Au VMS target in Zacatecas, it also is planning a ground magnetic survey to generate follow-up work and drill targets.
  • GoGold Resources Inc., released drilling results from eleven holes collared at its Los Ricos project in Jalisco: two at San Juan and nine at the Main area. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole LRGG-20-106 (San Juan Area) with 1.35 g/t Au and 118 g/t Ag (2.92 g/t AuEq or 219 g/t AgEq) over a width of 21m, including 2.83 g/t Au and 217 g/t Ag and (5.73 g/t Au or 430 g/t AgEq) over a width of 9.5m; hole LRGG-20-102 (Main Area) with 1.05 g/t Au and 156 g/t Ag (3.13 g/t AuEq or 235 g/t AgEq) over a width of 10.7m; and hole LRGG-20-101 (San Juan Area) with 0.54 g/t Au and 116 g/t Ag (2.08 g/t AuEq or 156 g/t AgEq) over a width of 33.8m, including 2.0 g/t Au and 467 g/t Ag (8.22 g/t AuEq or 617 g/t AgEq) over a width of 5m.

ON MINING

  • Americas Gold and Silver Corporation, reported full year 2019 production and financial results. Consolidated results indicate a total ore processed of 701.8K tonnes of 70 g/t Ag, 2.1% Pb, 3.4% Zn to produce 1.16M Oz Ag, 26.2M Lb Pb, and 43.3M Lb Zn, with a cash cost of $4.61 per Oz Ag and AISC of $12.71 per Oz Ag. The company reported revenues of $58.4M and a net loss of $34.2M. The Cosala mine in Sinaloa successfully executed its production plans for the year 2019, increasing mill tonnage to over 1,750 tonnes per day, and increasing production of precious and by-product metals.
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., suspended milling operations at its Veta Grande mine in Zacatecas for approximately six months to facilitate plant and new tailings storage facility upgrades.
  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., reported Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from its San Jose mine in Oaxaca. During the period Q4, 2019, it milled 273,066 tonnes of 249 g/t Ag and 1.5 g/t Au, recovering 91% for both metals to produce 2M Oz Ag and 12K Oz Au, at cash cost of $6.8 per Oz AgEq and AISC of $10.5 per Oz AgEq. For the full 2019 year, the company milled 1,068,722 tonnes of 252 g/t Ag and 1.57 g/t Au, recovering 91% for both metals, to produce 7.9M Oz Ag and 48.9K Oz Au, at cash cost of $6.70 per Oz AgEq and AISC of $9.8 per Oz AgEq.

ON FINANCING

  • Almaden Minerals Ltd., announced a proposed non-brokered private placement to raise gross proceeds of up to $2M. Net proceeds will be used for permitting activities related to its Ixtaca project in Puebla, and for general corporate purposes. Closing of the offering is anticipated to be on or about March 26, 2020.
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc., announced a bought deal financing for gross proceeds of CAD $75M. Net proceeds will be used to continue the exploration and development of its Las Chispas project in Sonora and for general working capital and administrative purposes.
  • Mexus Gold US, sold 16.5 out of 125 Oz Au produced at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora, at a price of USD $1,600 per Oz. Additional sales will be occurring shortly.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Great Panther Mining Limited, updated mineral resource estimate at its Guanajuato Mine Complex in Guanajuato. At Guanajuato mine, measured + indicated resources are 343,736 tonnes of 204 g/t Ag and 1.69 g/t Au to contain 2.25M Oz Ag and 8.7K Oz Au (3.75M Oz AgEq at a grade of 339 g/t AgEq). Inferred resources are 208,608 tonnes of 168 g/t Ag and 2.32 g/t Au to contain 1.13M Oz Ag and 15.6K Oz Au (2.37M Oz AgEq at a grade of 354 g(t AgEq). At San Ignacio mine, measured + indicated resources are 386,417 tonnes of 159 g/t A and 3.03 g/t Au to contain 1.97M Oz Ag and 37.6K Oz Au (4.98M Oz AgEq at a grade of 401 g/t AgEq). Inferred resources are 501,870 tonnes of 149 g/t Ag and 2.69 g/t Au to contain 2.4M Oz Ag and 43.4K Oz Au (5.88M Oz AgEq at a grade of 364 g/t AgEq). In addition, the company reported that it has temporarily ceased tailing deposition at its Topia mine in Durango. Great Panther is in the process of permitting a Phase III of a tailings storage facility (TSF) site. Meanwhile, it is reviewing alternatives to store tailings (permanent or transitionary) until phase III TSF is permitted. The company expects it is obtained in the within the next 3 or 6 months.
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc., reported infill drilling results from its Las Chispas project in Sonora. Highlights include hole UBV19-30 with 81.6 g/t Au and 6,619 g/t Ag (12,740 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 2.1m; hole BV20-22 with 101.45 g/t Au and 5,413 g/t Ag (13,022 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.1m; and hole BV20-18 with 45.8 g/t Au and 2,396 g/t Ag (5,831 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.6m. The drilling results have nearly doubled the size of the high-grade footprint for the Babi Vista Vein in the Babicanora Area.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Equinox Gold Corp., and Leagold Mining Corporation, completed merger to become in one of the world´s top gold producing companies. The concurrent USD $670M debt and equity financings associated with the merger have also been completed (Los Filos mine, Guerrero).
  • Pan American Silver Corp., filed its 2019 audited annual financial statement and annual information form (La Colorada mine, Zacatecas).
  • Premier Gold Mines Limited, appointed a new member to its board of Directors (Mercedes mine, Sonora).

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Almaden Minerals Ltd., along with the Federal Government Water Authority (CONAGUA), opened a local water reservoir in the community of Zacatepec, nearby its Ixtaca project in Puebla. This water reservoir will be used for irrigation to boost the current harvests of the community.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc., gave the scholarship number 3,000 to a student of la Colorada, Sonora. In this community, the company has maintained an academic scholarship program since 2011. The General Manager of the La Colorada mine assured that the company’s commitment is fulfilled in coherence with the vision of social responsibility where the education of children and young people is a priority.
  • Minera San Xavier (New Gold Inc.), has invested heavily in the infrastructure of the municipality of Cerro de San Pedro, as part of the social actions contemplated in its Comprehensive, Inclusive and Participatory Mine Closure Plan. The company is improving the public lighting system in Cerro de San Pedro, San Luis Potosi, with solar luminaries, which have a positive impact on public safety and tourist activities. These solar luminaries count with great potential for energy savings, reducing electricity consumption and maintenance costs, without compromising the quality of lighting services.

 

Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.

On the picture above, a phreatic breccia in an epithermal hot spring prospect in Guanajuato, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the First Week of March, 2020

IMG_4731

By Jorge Cirett

During the 10th week of the year (March 2nd to March 8th, 2020), at least 25 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, several companies are interested exploring for lithium in Zacatecas-San Luis Potosí. Grupo Mexico plans to invest 78% more in 2020. Several mining companies are to invest more than $200 M in exploration in Mexico. The year 2019 was not good for the mining industry in the country, with an overall decrease in production. Durango’s governor announced mining investments for $100 M. The Peñasquito mine is expected to produce 1.6 M Oz AuEq per year for the next five years. The Industria Nacional de Autopartes (INA) is promoting the installation of a lithium battery plant. The Future of the Mexican Mining Industry seminar was held during the PDAC convention in Toronto, Canada.  Peñoles is to switch to LP gas its diesel truck fleet at one of its mines in Sonora (Milpillas?). ON EXPLORATION, in Durango, Chesapeake Gold optioned the Duraznito project, near the San Dimas mine. In Veracruz, Azucar Minerals released more drill results from its El Cobre project.  ON MINING, US Antimony reported the successful startup of the Los Juarez production facilities in Queretaro and Guanajuato. Mexus Gold announced small scale heap leach gold production at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. Bacanora Lithium presented financial results for the last six months of 2019. Gold Resource presented production figures for 2019. Fresnillo PLC and Premier Gold Mines released financial results for 2019. ON FINANCING, One World Lithium announced the amendment of the terms on a number of  purchase warrants previously issued by the company. Consolidated Zinc entered into unsecured loan facilities with CZL major shareholders. Premier Gold closed its public offering, for gross proceeds of $38 M. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Mag Silver released results from last year’s 28-hole program with over 33,000 m of drilling, including some exciting intercepts. Gold Resource Corp. updated annual reserve estimates for the Oaxaca Mining Unit. Aura Minerals provided mineral reserve and resource estimates to the end of 2019 for the Aranzazu mine in Zacatecas. SilverCrest released metallurgical test results for its Las Chispas project in Sonora.  ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Mithril Resources is acquiring the company that controls the Copalquin project in Durango. Oroco Resource closed the acquisition of Altamura Copper, furthering its interest on the Santo Tomás project in Sinaloa. Magna Gold is acquiring Alio Gold’s San Francisco mine in Sonora. Sable Resources appointed Ruben Padilla as CEO. Equinox Gold and Leagold Mining received approval for its merger. GR Silver Mining and First Majestic signed a binding agreement on the sale to GR of the Plomosas property in Sinaloa. Prime mining signed a long-term surface agreement on its Guadalupe de Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Cheaspeake gold optioned the El Duraznito project in Durango. Fortuna Silver is involved in legal proceeding regarding a royalty on one of its mining concessions. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Peñasquito  received two awards by Infonavit for its excellent compliance on payments.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Claudia Pavlovich, Sonora’s governor, praised the work women realize in the State, while on a trip visiting mining communities, like Turicachi, Nacozari de García and Cumpas, where she realized various activities.
  • Gustavo Puentes, Secretary of Economic Development, announced several companies are interested in investing in lithium exploration in the border between San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas.
  • Camimex (Cámara Minera de México) supports women collaborators that unite on the movement #UnDíaSinNosotras (One day without us) that is trying to eradicate genre violence.
  • The inauguration of Mexican Stand on the Prospectors and Developers of Canada Convention (PDAC) in Toronto counted with the participation of Graeme Clark, Canada’s ambassador in Mexico, Juan José Gómez Camacho, Mexico’s ambassador in Canada, Francisco Quiroga, subsecretary of Mining, José rosas Aispuro, Durngo’s governor and Salvador García, president of the Asociación de Ingenieros de Minas, Metalurgistas y Geólogos de México (AIMMGM). The Mexico stand was possible due to the support of the AIMMGM, Peñoles, Minera Media Luna, Newmont, Alamos Gold, Endeaavour Silver, Asociación de Mineros de Sonora, Construplan, Detector Exploraciones, SSR Mining Pitarrilla, Santacruz Silver Mining, Starcore, International Mines, MacClean, Diesel Cargo, Accendo Banco, ROD General Contractor and Ecodrill, as the Mexican government no longer supports international promotion.
  • Grupo Mexico plans to invest 78% more in 2020. On mining the budget is US$1,217 M to produce 1.12 M tonnes Cu, further US$367 M to invest in transport and US$412 M in the infrastructure division.
  • Mining industry companies are to invest more than US$200 M in exploration in Mexico during 2020. Torex Gold plans to invest US$13 M in the Media Luna project; Fresnillo will invest over US$135 M in exploration in Chile, Peru and Mexico; First Majestic Silver will invest US$28 M in San Dimas, Durango and Santa Elena, Sonora; Pan American Silver is to invest more than US$37 M at Dolores in Chihuahua and La Colorada in Zacatecas.
  • Mining did not have a good year in Mexico in 2019. Mining is ongoing in 25 States, produces 8.1% of the industrial GNP and had a 5.1% contraction as result of the policies of the actual Federal Government. Since December of 2018 no new mineral concession titles have been granted, and the environmental regulator, SEMARNAT has delivered just one Environmental Impact Report (Manifestación de Impacto Ambiental, or MIA). In Puebla, a local court maintains a suspension of work on El Gorrión mine (Ixtaca) based on a legal complaint by a communal group (ejido) on a mineral concession the company no longer has. The Cosalá mine in Sinaloa is paralyzed by a conflict between unions masterminded by Morena’s senator Napoleon Gómez Urrutia, reminiscent of the conflict suffered by Torex Gold a few months ago under the same terms. The projected investments for US$5,343 M were not achieved, with the projected real figure likely to be around 60%, and exploration at 36% of the expected. Coming interactions of the industry with the Environmental regulator the sub secretary of mining, Francisco Quiroga and Alfonso Romo are to try to better the condition of the industry.
  • The governor of Durango, José Rosas Aispuro announced at the PDAC convention in Toronto, the investment of US$100 M in the mining sector during 2020 in the State.
  • The Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas is the biggest gold mine in Mexico, the second largest for silver and one of the biggest producers of zinc and lead. The mine is expected to produce 1.6 M Oz AuEq per year during the next five years. The company is striving to reduce costs and optimize the operation.
  • The Industria Nacional de Autopartes (INA) promotes the installation of a battery plant based on lithium, to take advantage of the natural resources and the industrial prowess of the country. Bacanora Lithium plans to invest US$420 M on the installation of a processing plant in Bacadehuachi, Sonora, in order to produce 17 K tonnes a year. About 85% of the lithium producers are in Asia, and USA produces 20% of the batteries. The nearness to the USA and sea ports are other advantages for project owned by Bacanora Lithium.
  • During December 2019 mining grew by 0.9% thanks to the push given by a raise of 19.1% in lead production. For the year, mining decreased 1.5%, while lead production grew 13.3%. Los Gatos, in Chihuahua; Minera Capela in Guerrero; San Martin and Peñasquito in Zacatecas and production by Fresnillo aided in the growth seen by the bluish gray metal. Production rates from other metals show increments and decrements to the following tenor During December: Gypsum +14.4%, zinc +8.8%, silver +7.8%, sulphur +5.2%, coke -25.8%, iron pellets -7.3%, coal -5.2%, gold -2.2%, copper -0-8%. For the year: Overall -1.5%, gold -10.2%, silver +1.1%, copper +4.8%, zinc +7.0%, lead +13.3%, iron pellets -0.5%, coke -16.0%, Sulphur -14.7%, fluorite -5.0%, coal -2.0%, gypsum -0.6%. The trend reflects years of decreasing investment in mining, although some new developments might increase the production on lead, zinc, silver and copper.
  • The Future of the Mexican Mining Industry seminar was held during the PDAC convention in Toronto, Canada. Four environmentally focused conferences opened the seminar in which a dialogue table was set with the Mining Sub Secretary Francisco Quiroga, several governors, union leaders, mining company executives, financial analysts and congressmen.
  • Lithium exploration projects in Mexico: There are more than 20 lithium exploration projects in the country, most within Sonora, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Baja California and Coahuila. The most advanced is Bacanora Lithium’s Sonora project in Bacadehuachi, but other interesting properties are comprised by OrganiMax’s Salar La Salada in Zacatecas, and Salar Santa Clara and Salar Caliguey in San Luis Potosí; Litio Infinito’s project in Sonora, adjacent to the ground held by Bacanora Lithium and One World Lithium’s Salar del Diablo project in Baja California.
  • Industrias Peñoles intends to change the fuel used by its mining trucks fleet in a mine in Sonora. The change involves modifying the trucks to run on LP gas instead of diesel (Milpillas mine?).

ON EXPLORATION

  • Chesapeake Gold Corp. announced it has an option to acquire El Duraznito project in Durango, which is 18 Km East of First Majestic’s San Dimas mine. Mineralization is represented by quartz veins and quartz bearing breccias along 1,500 m of longitude and 300 m vertically. Those structures are parallel to the San Dimas veins, and appear to be also of epithermal low sulfidation character. A series of rock chip samples on sub-parallel quartz bearing breccias have returned 45 m @ 1.6 gpt Au, 16 gpt Ag; 30 m @ 3.9 gpt Au, 48 gpt Ag; 23 m @ 1.8 gpt Au, 58 gpt Ag; 15 m @ 3.1 gpt Au, 24 gpt Ag. Channel samples on quartz veins returned 10 m @ 4.8 gpt Au, 464 gpt Ag; 2.5 m @ 3.9 gpt Au, 756 gpt Ag; 2.5 m @ 9.7 gpt Au, 343 gpt Ag; 3.0 m @ 2.8 gpt Au, 113 gpt Ag.
  • Azucar Minerals Ltd. released results from its ongoing program at El Cobre project in Veracruz. Core length intercepts released include: 158.0 m @ 0.64 gpt Au, 0.26% Cu (including 19.6 m @ 0.83 gpt Au, 0.28% Cu); 71.7 m @ 0.16 gpt Au, 0.12% Cu (including 17.7 m @ 0.04 gpt Au, 0.38% Cu); 179.5 m @ 0.20 gpt Au, 0.22% Cu (including 39.95 m @ 0.15 gpt Au, 0.63% Cu and 17.55 m @ 0.48 gpt Au, 0.32% Cu); 112.2 m @ 0.36 gpt Au, 0.26% Cu; 442.2 m @ 0.44 gpt Au, 0.23% Cu (including 158.0 m @ 0.64 gpt Au, 0.26% Cu); 197.5 m @ 0.32 gpt Au, 0.24% Cu (including 16 .0 m @ 0.25 gpt Au, 0.81% Cu); 193.5 m @ 0.27 gpt Au, 0.14% Cu.

ON MINING

  • United States Antimony Corp. reported the successful start up of the Los Juarez Au and Ag production at Los Juarez, Queretaro. Detailed mapping delineated jasperoid silica-rich mineralized pipes over an E-W strike length of three kilometres, and a maximum width of one kilometre. Highlighted individual 1.0-1.5 m assays on drill holes range from trace to 25 gpt Au, 13 to 451 gpt Ag and 0.08 to 1.19% Sb. With a mean grade of 1.09 gpt Au, 102 gpt Ag, 0.65% Sb, and recovery rates of 90% Au, 85% Ag, 70% Sb. The ore is being treated by flotation mill, flotation mill and caustic leach and flotation mill tailings and cyanide leach.
  • Mexus Gold US. Announced it is now producing gold daily at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (not to mistake with First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora). Mexus plans to produce 5 to 7 Oz Au daily, and then increase to 10 Oz Au per day by the end of the month.
  • Bacanora Lithium Plc. provided financial results for the second half of 2019. During the period Bacanora concluded an investment and offtake agreement with Ganfeng Lithium Co, Ltd., raised UK$14.4 M and retained a US$150 M conditional senior debt facility. Engineering work has continued, while full development capital for construction is being pursued.
  • Gold Resource Corp. presented production figures for last year, including figures from its Oaxaca mining unit. During the year, 29,435 Oz Au, 1.72 M Oz Ag, 1,859 tonnes Cu, 2,286 tonnes Pb, 5,734 tonnes Zn were produced. Apporting to that production, 629 .9 K tonnes were milled @ 1.73 gpt Au, 82 gpt Ag, 0.38%Cu, 1.88% Pb, 4.64% Zn at the Arista mine, part of the Oaxaca Mining Unit.
  • Fresnillo Plc. announced financial results for the year 2019. Silver and gold production diminished 11.6% and 5.1% respectively during the period. Total silver production was 47.4 M Oz, with most of such production coming from Saucito (15.9 M Oz Ag), Fresnillo (24.8 M Oz Ag), San Julián DOB (7.4 M Oz Ag), Ciénega (5.3 M Oz Ag) and San Julián veins (4.2 M Oz Ag). A total of 848 K Oz Au were produced, mostly from Herradura (496 K Oz Au), Noche Buena (105 K Oz Au), Saucito (72 K Oz Au), San Julián veins (62 K Oz Au), Ciénega (62 K Oz Au), Fresnillo (46 K Oz Au). The company also produced 49 K tonnes of lead, from Saucito (19.7 K tonnes Pb), Fresnillo (19.5 K tonnes Pb), Ciénega (4.4 K tonnes Pb ), San Julián (5.4 K tonnes Pb), and 78.6 K tonnes of zinc from Fresnillo (26.3 K tonnes Zn), Saucito (25.6 K tonnes Zn), San Julián (19 K tonnes Zn), Ciénega (7.6 K tonnes Zn). Cash cost per silver ounce varied between ($0.2) and $7 per Oz Ag on the different mining units, and gold between $818.6 and $847.8 per Oz Au.
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. released operating results for the quarter ending on December of 2019 and full year 2019 results, including figures from its Mexican operations. At the Mercedes mine in Sonora, 667.7 K tonnes were mined @ 2.91 gpt Au, 26 gpt Ag, recovering 95.8% Au, 34.0% Ag, to produce 59,901 Oz Au, 191.3 K Oz Ag. Co-product cash cost was $1,034 per Oz, and co-product AISC $1,263 per Oz Au. For the full year total capital expenditures were $18.8 M, focusing on underground mine infrastructure and development, as well as exploration and replacement of old mining equipment.

ON FINANCING

  • One World Lithium Inc. announced the amendment of the terms of 14.5 M outstanding common share purchase warrants, previously issued by the company (Salar del Diablo, Baja California).
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. entered into unsecured loan facilities with CZL major shareholders, the Copulos and Retzos Groups. The loan facilities are for A$400 K at an interest rate of 10% per annum, repayable by the end of June 2021 (Plomosas, Chihuahua).
  • Alamos Gold Inc. declared a quarterly dividend of US$0.015 per common share and introduced a dividend reinvestment and share purchase plan (Mulatos, Sonora).
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. closed its previously announced public offering for gross proceeds of $38 M, paying a 5% cash commission, with a reduced 2.5% cash commission on the Orion purchase (check note for further details) (Mercedes, Sonora).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Mag Silver Corp. announced results from the 2019 28-hole program with 33,864 m of drilling on the Juanicipio JV property in Zacatecas. The latest exploration results confirm and expand the wide, high-grade mineralization in the Valdecañas Deep zone and the Anticipada vein, as well as confirming and expanding the Venada vein, and the discovery of the NE trending Valentina and Venadas II veins through drilling and development. Exceptional true width intercepts comprise: 5.7 m @ 3,884 gpt Ag, 8.4 gpt Au, 6.5% Pb, 9.7% Zn, 0.3% Cu; 21.1 m @ 129 gpt Ag, 1.7 gpt Au, 3.5% Pb, 7.8% Zn, 0.2% Cu; 21.2 m @ 147 gpt Ag, 1.2 gpt Au, 3.9% Pb, 8.8% Zn, 0.3% Cu; 1.0 m @ 187 gpt Ag, 10.6 gpt Au, 1.3% Pb, 4.4% Zn; 2.5 M @ 918 gpt Ag, 1.8 gpt Au; 1.2 m @ 279 gpt Ag, 0.7 gpt Au; 0.7 m 1,216 gpt Ag, 3.6 gpt Au.

Gold Resource Corp. updated annual reserve estimates, including figures for its Mexican operations. At the Oaxaca Mining Unit that comprises the Arista and the Mirador mine, 2.83 M tonnes @ 1.97 gpt Au, 122 gpt Ag contain 179,300 Oz Au and 11.1 M Oz Ag in proven and probable reserves.Gold Resource Reserve table 20192Gold Resource Corp Resource table 20191

  • Aura Minerals Inc. provided mineral reserves and resources estimates to the end of 2019, including figures for its Aranzazu mine in Zacatecas.Aranzazu Reserves 20191
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc. released metallurgical test results with increased precious metals recoveries at Las Chispas property in Sonora. After nine months of intensive metallurgical tests involving all veins, the results show an increase on recoveries to 96.1% Au and 93.9% Ag. The design criteria envisages a single stage crushing, a sag mill single stage, gravity recovery of 40% to 50% precious metals, leach recovery for gravity concentrate on a 96 hours leach circuit and leach recovery for gravity tails on 96 hours leach circuit.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Mithril Resources Ltd. presented the 2019 end of year report. The most significant event is the ongoing acquisition of Sun Minerals Pty Ltd., which holds an option on the Copalquin project in Durango. The said acquisition is expected to be completed during the present quarter, with field work and drilling to be undertaken shortly after, as the statutory permits have already been obtained.
  • Oroco Resource Corp. closed the acquisition of the balance of the ownership of Altamura Copper Corp., giving the company 100% control of the Santo Tomás porphyry copper project in Sinaloa. The Company holds a 56.7% interest in 1,172.9 ha core concessions of the project, and may increase the interest up to an 81% interest with an investment of up to CAD$30 M. Oroco also holds a 77.5% interest in 7,807.9 ha of mineral concessions surrounding and adjacent to the core concessions.
  • Alio Gold Inc. entered into a definitive share purchase agreement to sell Molimentales del Noroeste S.A. de C.V., which owns 100% interest on the San Francisco mine in Sonora, with Magna Gold Corp.. Under the agreement Alio Gold will receive 9.74 M shares of Magna and an additional $5M in cash a year from the closing.
  • Sable Resources Ltd. announced the appointment of Dr Ruben Padilla to the position of company president & CEO (Margarita, Chihuahua).
  • Equinox Gold Corp. and Leagold Mining Corp. received the clearance decision “from the Comisión Federal de Competencia Económica (“COFECE”) with respect to the pending merger between Equinox Gold and Leagold. COFECE approval was the final government agency approval required before completing the merger, which is anticipated to occur in the second week of March” (Los Filos, Guerrero).
  • GR Silver Mining Ltd. announced the signing of the definitive binding share purchase agreement to acquire all the shares of Minera La Rastra S.A. de C.V. from First Majestic Silver Corp., and the ownership of the Plomosas Silver project in Sinaloa. The 8,515 ha project includes the old Plomosas mine, four targets at the drill/resource stage and 16 exploration targets and and exploration database with more than 500 historical drill holes.
  • Prime Mining Corp. signed a long-term surface access agreement on its Guadalupe de Los Reyes property in Sinaloa. The agreement signed with the Ejido Tasajera, envisions an initial 15-year term that can be extended for another 15 years. Under the terms of the agreement US$38.3 K were paid on signature, with a following payment of US$20K on year four and US$30 K on year five. If construction begins prior to the fifth year, the annual payment increases to US$30 K, and the payment under commercial production to US$200 K.
  • Chesapeake Gold Corp. announced it has an option to acquire El Duraznito project in Durango, which is 18 Km East of First Majestic’s San Dimas mine. Chesapeake is to pay US$228 K in instalments to two concession owners for three years to gain a 60% participation at El Duraznito, and US$500 K to obtain an additional 20%. At the start of commercial production Chesapeake is to make a final payment of US$550 K to the vendors.
  • Fortuna Silver Mines, Inc. Provided an update on the status of the legal proceedings related to a disputed royalty on one of its extracting mining concessions at the San Jose mine in Oaxaca. Fortuna initiated legal proceedings against the Dirección General de Minas (DGM) to contest the procedure taken by the DGM to cancel one of its mining concessions if the disputed royalty plus VAT is not paid before March 15, 2020. A permanent stay of execution (amparo) was granted, but the final ruling might take months and the company might be required to pay the disputed royalty.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • INFONAVIT executives from the Zacatecas Direction provided the Peñasquito mine with two awards for its excellent compliance with the payments of dues to the housing fund of its workers.

Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.

On the image below: Hydrothermal breccia sealed by silica in a thermal spring in Baja California, picture by Jorge Cirett.

IMG_4731

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Fourth Week of February, 2020.

Mn-Silica breccia hosted in ignimbritic rhyolites

By Miguel A Heredia

During the ninth week of the year (February 24th to March 1st, 2020), at least 33 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with seven announcing financial rounds, seven commenting on Mexican issues, five informing on exploration results, five reporting on resources and developments, four communicating production and financial results, four disclosing deals and corporate issues, and one discussing issues on social responsibility.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, Majors are called to receive the Mining Fund.  The Technical Committee of the Federal Mining Fund allocated resources for 16 projects in the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango and Guerrero.  The Municipalities of Aquiles Serdán and Ocampo in the state of Chihuahua will receive MXP $18.6M from the Mining Fund. The President of Mexico, Andres Manuel López Obrador, was requested by workers of Minera Cosalá to end the illegal strike that affects that mine site. Oaxaca’s mining potential could be profiled as one of the most important in Mexico. The official spokesperson of Esperanza Silver de Mexico stated that the company will comply 100% with Mexican standards not only with the community of Tetlama, but throughout the Municipality of Temixco, Morelos. In recent years, Mexico has registered the suspension of dozens of mining projects, whose assets have been victims of price volatility, licensing obstacles, adverse political factors, and community opposition. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Colibri announced the commencement of its initial 5-holes diamond drilling program at its Evelyn project, and Silver Viper released drilling results from its El Rubi project. In Durango, Chesapeake provided an update on the exploration program at its Crisy and San Javier prospects located in the vicinity of its Metates project. In Jalisco, GoGold released drilling results from nine holes collared at its Los Ricos project. In the State of Mexico, Impact Silver reported sampling results from its Chapanial project. ON MINING, Telson provided an update on its mine operation at Campo Morado, Guerrero. Argonaut, Avino, and Golden Minerals reported Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from their Mexican operations. ON FINANCING, Aztec announced the re-pricing of a package of stock options of the company (Cervantes project, Sonora).  GoGold closed a bought deal offering for gross proceeds of approximately CAD $25M (Los Ricos project, Jalisco). Santacruz closed the first tranche of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD $734,150 (Veta Grande, Zacatecas). Ridgestone closed the final tranche of its private placement financing for gross proceeds of $339,549.90 (Rebeico project, Sonora). Gold Resource declared its February 2020 monthly dividend to its shareholders (Arista mine, Oaxaca). Minera Alamos received approval from its shareholders for final phase of its Santana, Sonora project financing for CAD $5M. Riverside announced the spin-out of its Peñoles project in Durango.  ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, First Majestic released infill drilling results from it’s the Ermitaño project in Sonora. Prime Mining reported surface trenching, road cuts, and adits sampling results from its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Sonoro announced its plan to expand its drilling program at its Cerro Caliche project in Sonora. Fresnillo and its JV partner Mag Silver provided an update on its Juanicipio project in Zacatecas.  ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Radius Gold and pan American Silver included Palmillas property within the Amalia JV project in Chihuahua. Oroco informed that its Board of Directors has approved the Altamura Copper Corp acquisition (Santo Tomas project, Sinaloa). Silver Spruce announced management changes and appointed its new President, CEO and Director (Pino de Plata project, Chihuahua). Fresnillo plc exercised its option to purchase Plata Latina´s Naranjillo property in Guanajuato. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Grupo Peñoles and UNAM conducted a Health Day in Zacatecas.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Majors of 23 of the 38 Municipalities of Coahuila state are called to receive the Mining Fund. An urgent request was made to 23 Majors of Municipalities benefited with resources from the Mining Fund in order to make this benefit effective. To achieve this objective, the projects in which the resources will be applied must be presented.
  • The Director of the Mining Fund of the Secretariat of Economy, María del Socorro Gómez Leyja, indicated that the Technical Committee of the Federal Mining Fund allocated resources for 16 projects in the states of Chihuahua (MXP $ 18.6M), Coahuila (MXP $ 3.1M), Durango (MXP $ 7.6M) and Guerrero (MXP $ 4.6M).
  • MXP $18.6M from the Mining Fund was allocated to Chihuahua. The Municipalities of Aquiles Serdán and Ocampo in the state of Chihuahua, will have resources from the Mining Fund that will be used for paving, dome, well and water network, thanks to the approval by the Technical Committee of the Mining Fund.
  • The President of Mexico, Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) was requested by workers of Minera Cosalá to end the illegal strike that affects that mine site. The same workers, said to AMLO that the leader of its Union affiliated with the CTM, negotiated the collective work contract with the company Minera Cosalá SA de CV, and determined that the operation was normal and there were no irregularities on the part of the company. However, workers close to the senator of the Morena party and mining leader Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, asked the company for salaries higher than normal. They mentioned that the mine has been working since 2003 and they have a safe job for at least six more years, in excellent working conditions and that their only desire is to work, regardless of which Union won the collective agreement.
  • Oaxaca´s mining potential, according to specialists, government and private capital, could be profiled as one of the most important in Mexico, to generating jobs and strengthening the regional economy of indigenous communities. Currently the state has not been explored outside the mining districts and known mineralized areas, but contains promising areas for Au, Ag, Cu, Pb, Zn, Sb, and non-metallic minerals such as micas, zeolites, marble, travertine, and granite among others. Data from some civil organizations indicate that Oaxaca’s mining production represents 0.72% of the total national value, with Ag first, second Au and third Pb.
  • Ricardo Sierra Oteiza, official spokesperson of the Esperanza project in Morelos State, said that through the new model of social end environmentally responsible mining, the company Esperanza Silver de Mexico will comply 100% with Mexican standards not only with the community of Tetlama, but throughout the Municipality of Temixco, Morelos. In addition, he stressed that there will be an investment of over USD $400M in the 10 years that the company plans to carry out work in the state.
  • In recent years, Mexico has registered the suspension of dozens of mining projects, whose assets have been victims of price volatility, licensing obstacles, adverse political factors, and community opposition. BNamericas accounts for 59 Mexican projects suspended in its database, compared to 95 active projects. Of the 11 suspended projects for which financial information is available, combined capital expenditure totals USD $ 2.4B.This compares to 42 active projects whose combined capital expenditure amounts to USD $ 14.2B. The greater projections for Au and Ag, along with political changes at the state level, have improved the prospects for the resumption of some of the suspended projects. However, the depressed prices of Cu and Zn and not minor problems with obtaining permits and other legal aspects continue to put important obstacles on others. Some of the largest suspended projects are La Verde in Michoacan, Sierra Mojada in Coahuila, Angangueo in Michoacan, Ixtaca in Puebla, Ana Paula in Guerrero and Esperanza in Morelos. Other suspended projects are Monterde in Sonora, Caballo Blanco in Veracruz, San Antonio, Baja California Sur, and La Bolsa in Sonora.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Colibri Resource Corporation, announced the commencement of its maiden drill program at its Evelyn project in Sonora. The initial 5-diamond holes drilling program will be focused on two mineralized corridors named Cerro Rojo and El Sahuaro and is expected to be completed in three weeks.
  • Silver Viper Minerals Corp., provided drilling results from its El Rubi project in Sonora. All holes encountered mineralized zones, with several significant interceptions in hole LV20-217 with 4.45 g/t Au and 401 g/t Ag (10.18 g/t AuEq or 713 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 4.56m, including 15.55 g/t Au and 1,436 g/t Ag (36.06 g/t AuEq or 2,524 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.14m; 1.79 g/t Au and 91 g/t Ag (3.1 g/t AuEq or 217 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 7.41m, including 7.49 g/t Au and 586 g/t Ag (15.86 g/t AuEq or 1,110 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 0.57m; and 2.05 g/t Au and 46 g/t Ag (2.70 g/t AuEq or 189 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 6.27m, including 8.44 g/t Au and 201 g/t Ag (11.3 g/t AuEq or 791 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.14m. Hole LV20-218 also intersected several mineralized zones with 5.82 g/t Au and 530 g/t Ag (13.39 g/t AuEq or 937 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.89m, including 14.4 g/t Au and 1,253 g/t Ag (32.3 g/t AuEq or 2,261 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 0.63m; 9.15 g/t Au and 569 g/t Ag (17.28 g/t AuEq or 1,210 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 5.04m, including 22.63 g/t Au and 1,431 g/t Ag (43.08 g/t AuEq or 3,015 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.89m. The El Rubi mineralized structure has now been intercepted on seven sections for a total 300m of strike extent.
  • Chesapeake Gold Corp., provided an update on the exploration program at its Crisy and San Javier prospects, located 15Km south and 12 km southeast respectively from its Metates project in Durango. These both projects cover several zones of Au-Ag mineralization along regional, deep-seated northwest-trending fault zones, associated with intermediate intrusive rocks that have altered the enclosing sedimentary rocks over an area more than 15 km in diameter. At Crisy, Chesapeake competed 4 trenches totaling 350m in length and returned 1.1 g/t Au and 10 g/t Ag over 57m; 1 g/t Au and 10 g7t Ag over 11m; 1.1 g/t Au and 33 g/t Ag over 12m; and 2.2  g/t Au and 29 g/t Ag over 7m. In addition, an initial 15km IP survey is underway over the trenched area at Crisy and preliminary results correlate well with the Au-Ag mineralization and suggest that the outcropping quartz bx zone extend to over 200m depth. It also indicates that the anomaly is continues along strike and remains open. The IP survey also defined a large NW-SE trending high chargeability anomaly about 200m to the SW of the bulldozer trenching. The IP survey indicates a more than 500m long by 500m wide on which limited sampling has returned 1.2 g/t Au over 4m wide, and 1 g/t Au and 13 g/t Ag over 5m wide. Four Km to the NW of the area of bulldozer trenching, multiple quartz structures within a corridor over 800m long by 200ms wide and with 150m of vertical extent were identified returning 1 g/t Au over 9m wide; 0.8 g/t Au over 12m; and 3.1 g/t Au and 10 g(/t Ag over 1.3m wide. Regional exploration has now identified several distinct target areas hosting quartz veins, bx and local stockwork along the 7 kilometer long hydrothermal system at Crisy. At San Javier, the company identified a 1.2km long, high-grade Au-Ag quartz vein structures over 300m in elevation. Channel sampling on these structures  returned encouraging results as 9.6 g/t Au and 143 g/t Ag over 2.8m; 3.3 g/t Au and 391 g/t Ag over 1m; 2.3 g/t Au and 18 g/t Ag over 1.4m; and 2.1 g/t Au and 113 g/t Ag over 1m. Trenching and IP survey is being carried out on San Javier to test the potential for disseminated Au hosted in highly altered intrusive rocks.
  • GoGold Resources Inc., presented drill results from nine holes collared at its Los Ricos project in Jalisco. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole LRGG-20-100 with 1.51 g/t Au and 204 g/t Ag (4.23 g/t AuEq or 317 g/t AgEq) over 17.3m, including 6.56 g/t AuEq or 492 g/t AgEq over 6.9m; hole LRGG-20-98 with 1.78 g/t Au and 319 g/t Ag (452 g/t AgEq) over 7.5m; and hole LRGG-20-93 with 1.27 g/t Au and 113 g/t Ag (2.78 g/t AuEq or 208 g/t AgEq) over 19m. GoGold is undertaking two drilling and exploration projects at its Los Ricos property: the South Project began in March 2019 and includes the ‘Main’ area, which is focused on drilling around a number of historical mines including El Abra, El Troce, San Juan, and Rascadero. The South Project also includes the Cerro Colorado and Las Lamas targets. The North Project was launched this month and includes the Monte del Favor, Salomon, La Trini, and Mololoa targets.
  • Impact Silver Corp., reported channel sampling results from its Chapanial project, located 1.7Km to the north along the projection of the La Faly vein system. Significant sampling results include 97.5 g/t Au, 98 g/t Ag, 0.25% Pb, and 0.10% Zn over a true wide (TW) of 0.8m; 18.25 g/t Au, 75 g/t Ag, 0.3% Pb, and 0.08% Zn over a TW of 0.20m; 8.98 g/t Au, 105 g/t Ag, 5.4% Pb, and 0.1% Zn over a TW of 0.3m, and 8.53 g/t Au, 498 g/t Ag, 0.1% Pb, and 0.04% Zn over a TW of 0.4m. The vein at El Chapanial area is hosted in interbedded shales and volcanics and is associated with a major fault structure which hosts a sulphide bearing polymictic breccia up to 8m in width.

ON MINING

  • Telson Resources Corporation, provided an update on its mine operation at Campo Morado in Guerrero, which was brought back into production last January 26, 2020. Since the re-start through to February 22, 2020, the company has milled 40,839 tonnes to produce approximately 3,151 tonnes of Zn concentrate with grades of 46.3% Zn, 498 g/t Ag, and 0.90g/t Au, and 636 tonnes of Pb concentrate with grades of 21.7% Pb, 4.55% Cu, 636 g/t Ag, and 3.66 g/t Au. Average recoveries achieved are 71.7% Zn, 32.2% Pb, 45.4% Ag, and 13.1% Au.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc., reported Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from its Mexican operations. It also provided 2020 production and cost guidance. At its El Castillo mine in Durango, Argonaut mined in Q4 2019, 1,890,000 tonnes of 0.52 g/t Au to produce 13.6K Oz Au and 21K Oz Ag (13.9K Oz GEOs), at a cash cost of USD $1,264 per Oz Au sold. For the full year, it mined 8,914,000 tonnes of 0.41 g/t Au to produce 65.1K Oz Au and 102.3K Oz Ag (66.5K GEOs), at a cash cost of USD $1,030 per Oz Au sold. For the Q4, 2019, the company mined 2,460,000 tonnes of 0.35 g/t Au at its San Agustin mine in Durango to produce 19.86K Oz Au and 85.45K Oz Ag (21K GEOs) at a cash cost of USD $829 per Oz Au sold. For the full year, it mined 8,453,000 tonnes of 0.38 g/t Au to produce 61.8K Oz Au and 219.5K  Oz Ag (64.77K GEOs), at a cash cost of USD $842 per Oz Au sold. At its La Colorada mine in Sonora, during the period Q4 2019, the company produced 1,115,000 of 0.49 g/t Au to produce 12.14K Oz Au and 35.86K Oz (12.62 GEOs) at a cash cost of USD $879 per Oz Au sold. For the full year 2019, it mined 4,676,000 tonnes of 0.51 g/t Au to produce 53.8K Oz Au and 159.7K Oz Ag (55.71 GEOs) at a cash cost of USD $884 per Oz Au sold. Argonaut also provide a 2020 production and cost guidance and plans to produce at El Castillo Complex between 115-120K GEOs at a cash cost of USD $900-1,000 per Oz Au sold, and between 60-65K GEOs at a cash cost of USD $900-1,000 per Oz Au sold. Argonaut plans to invest between USD $40-$50M (USD $12-16M at El Castillo Complex, USD $17-20 at La Colorada, and the rest between  Magino & Cerro del Gallo).
  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd., reported Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from its Avino mine in Durango. In Q4 2019, the company processed 107,310 tonnes from its Avino mine of 51 g/t Ag, 0.64 g/t Au, and 0.62% Cu, recovering 87%, 76%, and 89% respectively to produce 153.6K Oz Ag, 1,676 Oz Au, and 1.29M Lb Cu, for a total of 495.5K Oz AgEq. From its San Gonzalo mine, it processed 2,908 tonnes of 53 g/t Ag and 0.38 g/t Au, recovering 78% and 72% respectively, to produce 4,106 Oz Ag and 26 Oz Au for a total of 6,964 Oz AgEq. From its Historic Above Ground Stockpile, Avino processed 78,218 tonnes of 51 g/t Ag, 0.25 g/t Au, and 0.18% Cu, recovering 50%, 53%, and 31% respectively, to produce  63K Oz Ag, 330 Oz Au, and 96K Lb Cu for a total of 106.2K Oz AgEq. For the full year 2019, the company processed from its Avino mine, 427,147 tonnes of 44 g/t Ag, 0.45 g/t Au, and 0.46% Cu, recovering 85%, 73%, and 86% respectively, to produce  3K Oz Ag, 4,473 Oz Au, and 4.56M Lb Cu for a total of 1.66M Oz AgEq. From its San Gonzalo mine, it processed 56,179 tonnes of 118 g/t Ag and 0.46 g/t Au, recovering 69% and 66%, to produce 153.4K Oz Ag and 580 Oz Au for a total of 215.1K Oz AgEq. From its Historic Above Ground Stockpile, the company processed 306,334 tonnes of 55 g/t Ag, 0.36 g/t Au, and 0.18% Cu, recovering 54%, 53%, and 35% respectively, to produce 295.2K Oz Ag, 1,859 Oz Au, and 407K Lb Cu, for a total of 525.8K Oz AgEq.
  • Golden Minerals Company, reported full year 2019 results from its Mexican operations. It reported revenue of USD $7.7M and a net operating margin of USD $5.3M in 2019. Expenditures during 2019 totalized USD $11.4M and a cash and equivalents balance of USD $4.6M. Cash inflows during 2019 totaled USD $12.7M.

ON FINANCING

  • Aztec Minerals Corp., announced the re-pricing of 200K stock options of the company from $0.25 to $0.12 per common share, and a total of 1,950,000 stock options of the company from $0.35 to $0.105 per common share (Cervantes project, Sonora).
  • GoGold Resources Inc., closed a bought deal offering for gross proceeds of approximately CAD $25M. Net proceeds will be used to fund additional exploration on its Los Ricos project, Jalisco, and particularly at the Monte del Favor target, and for corporate development, and general corporate purposes.
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., closed the first tranche of a non-brokered CAD $3M private placement to raise gross proceeds of CAD $734,150. Net proceeds will be used for general working capital and for corporate purposes (Veta Grande project, Zacatecas).
  • Ridgestone Mining Inc., closed the final tranche of a private placement financing for gross proceeds of $339,549.90. Net proceeds will be used for ongoing working capital requirements relating to its Rebeico project in Sonora. In total, the company raised gross proceeds of $1,051,801.95in the financing. Ridgestone also announced that it has entered into shares for debt settlement for the aggregate amount of $105K due to Leede for consulting services fees accrued pursuant to a consulting agreement between Ridgestone and Leede dated Nov 1, 2019.
  • Gold Resource Corporation, declared its February 2020 monthly dividend of one third of a cent per common share to its shareholders (Arista mine, Oaxaca).
  • Minera Alamos Inc., received approval from its shareholders for final phase of its Santana, Sonora project financing for CAD $5M. It is working on completing final documentation for execution no later than the end of Q1 2020.
  • Riverside Resources Inc., announced that its board of directors approved a spin-out of its Peñoles project in Durango to its shareholders by way of a share capital reorganization effected through a stationary plan of arrangement. Peñoles property is wholly owned by its subsidiary Capitan Mining Inc. Under the arrangement, Riverside will distribute the common shares of Capitan to Riverside´s shareholders.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • First Majestic Silver Corp., released infill drilling results from it’s the Ermitaño project, located 4km away from the company´s producing Santa Elena mine in Sonora. Drilling highlights include the following drill intersections: hole EW-19-67 with 12.84 g/t Au and 46 g/t Ag (1,106 g/t AgEq) over 10.8m; hole EW-19-74 with 9.46 g/t Au and 383 g/t Ag (1,164 g/t AgEq) over 6.4m; hole EW-19-85 with 31.63 g/t Au and 459 g/t Ag (3,068 g/t AgEq) over 2.4m; hole EW-19-91 with 11.61 g/t Au and 45 g/t Ag (1,003 g/t AgEq) over 13m; hole EW-19-103 with 16.37 g/t Au and 111 g/t Ag (1,462 g/t AgEq) over 7.7m; hole EW-19-111 with 17.98 g/t Au and 79 g/t Ag (1,562 g/t AgEq) over 4.5m; and hole EW-19-113 with 14.22 g/t Au and 130 g/t Ag (1,302 g/t AgEq) over 9.1m. Next month, the company expects to present an updated resource estimate for it’s the Ermitaño project. First Majestic is planning to drill 15,000m in 50 drill holes for resource expansion. It is also working on several engineering studies for detailed mine design and initial production. It expects to complete 3,800m of underground development in 2020, to reach the mineralized area and prepare five production levels.
  • Prime Mining Corporation, presented surface trenching, road cuts and adits sampling results from the El Zapote South and El Zapote North target areas within its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Significant sampling results are 6.75 g/t Au and 58 g/t Ag over 39m, including 9.88 g/t Au and 62 g/t Ag over 18m; 7.76 g/t Au and 80 g/t Ag over 12m, including 48.3 g/t Au and 117 g/t Ag over 1.5m; 6.21 g/t Au and 697 g/t Ag over 7.5m, including 14.4 g/t Au and 1,875 g/t Ag over 1.5m. This sampling is part of the initial phase of exploration designed to better map the surface expression of the mineralized structures and integrate the results into a new resource model, currently underway.
  • Sonoro Metals Corp., announced the plan to complete the assessment of 17 zones of Au mineralization identified at its Cerro Caliche project in Sonora, with the purpose of increase the current 201K Oz AuEq resource. The compnay plans to carry out a combined RC and core drill program in several phases for up to 50,000m. Phase III of this program will commence in March and will consists of 10,000m of drilling. In Phase I and II, a total of 10,328m were drilled in 96 holes.
  • Fresnillo plc and its JV partner Mag Silver, provided an update on its Juanicipio project in Zacatecas. Mine construction at Juanicipio project is well underway, detailed engineering is nearing completion, and all major process equipment has been purchased and received on site. Over 25Km of underground development has been completed to date. Pre-operative CAPEX has increased by 11.4% from USD $395M to USD $440M. Production is expected to start in mid-2020 with initial production stopes to be processed at the Fresnillo beneficiation plant from June 2020 pending completion of the Juanicipio plant. Total average annual anticipated production has been estimated in 11.7M Oz Ag, 43.5K Oz Au, with an initial life of mine (based on Indicated Resources only) of 12 years. Additional years of production expected to be supported by the current Inferred Resources, which are being converted into the Indicated category. Further exploration opportunities exist in the JV license area with potential to scale-up operations in the future.  Commissioning of the flotation plant will be underway mid-2021. Exploration is ongoing on the property with the intention to increase the deeper resources and targeting new veins.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Radius Gold Inc., declared that Pan American Silver Corp., has elected to exercise a right to include the 800 Has Palmillas property to its Amalia JV project in Chihuahua. Palmillas contains multiple exploration targets, including high grade Au-Ag mineralization, 1.8km away and along strike on the San Pedro Zone.
  • Oroco Resource Corp., informed that its Board of Directors approved the acquisition of 100% interest of Altamura Copper Corp. Closing of the acquisition is expected to occur on March 02, 2020. Oroco has to issue 39.8M shares of the company to Altamura shareholders. Oroco also confirmed the appointment of its new President effective on March 01, 2020.
  • Silver Spruce Resources Inc., announced management changes and appointed its new President, CEO, and Director, effective March 01, 2020 (Pino de Plata project, Chihuahua).
  • Fresnillo plc, exercised its option to purchase Plata Latina´s Naranjillo property in Guanajuato. The Naranjillo Project is a grassroots epithermal Ag-Au discovery made by the Company in 2012 and is located in the Mexican Silver Belt, approximately 35 km southeast of the Guanajuato mining district. The transaction and transfer of the property was closed on February 24, 2020.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Minera Madero (Grupo Peñoles) and National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), conducted a Health day in Zacatecas. At least one thousand people will benefit from the Fourth Health Day, opened this week by Grupo Peñoles and the UNAM. Minera Madero, as a host company, made its facilities available to serve the residents of the communities of Francisco I. Madero, Noria de Gringos, El Maguey, Rancho Nuevo, San Antonio de los Negros, Cieneguillas, Morelos and the Ejido Morelos in specialties such as dentistry, optometry and psychology.

Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.

On the picture above, a Mn-silica Bx in an epithermal system prospect in Chihuahua, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Second Week of February, 2020.

Phreatic breccia

By Miguel A Heredia

During the seventh week of the year (February 10th to February 16th, 2020), at least 29 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with seven commenting on Mexican issues, five disclosing deals and corporate issues, five announcing financial rounds, four informing on exploration results, three discussing issues on social responsibility, three reporting on resources and development of their mining projects, and two communicating production results.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, Americas Gold and Silver announced that a group of individuals has illegally blockaded the access to the facilities at its Cosala mine in Sinaloa. Javier Corral, Governor of Chihuahua and Francisco Quiroja, Undersecretary of Mining, installed the Regional Development Committee for Mining Zones in the State of Chihuahua 2020.  Luiz Camargo, Director of Compañía Minera Cuzcatlán (Fortuna Silver) stated that the main challenge of mining is to break the paradigms of old and rudimentary industry, showing that modern mining generates shared growth and benefits in the communities.  Fernando Alanis, President of the Mining Chamber of México declared that the mining industry is lever of social and economic development.  Francisco Quiroga, Undersecretary of Mining, reported that the Mexican Federal Government applied for four Li mining concessions. The Directorate of the Mining Fund, attached to the Ministry of Economy, has organized a workshop in Mexico City to train the presentation of infrastructure projects for mining states and municipalities. BNamericas analyzes the most important studies that will move the threads of key mining projects in Mexico. ON EXPLORATION, In Baja California Norte, One World Lithium applied for a drilling permit to continue the exploration of its Salar del Diablo project.  In Sonora, Silver Viper released drilling results from its El Rubi project, and Tamino Minerals provided an overview on acquisitions and its 2020-2021 exploration expenditure guidance (Amalia project, Sonora).In Zacatecas, Alien commissioned TMC (geophysical company) to carry out a ground IP survey at its Donovan 2 Cu-Au project. ON MINING, Avino reported annual 2019 production results from its Avino mine in Durango and provided an outlook for 2020. Capstone reported Q4, 2019 production and financial results from its Cozamine mine in Zacatecas. ON FINANCING, Hecla announced its intention to offer $475M aggregate of its senior notes due 2028. (San Sebastian mine, Durango). Millrock closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $1.5M (Batamote project, Sonora). Premier Gold announced its intention to increase its previously announced offer for gross proceeds of up to $38M (Mercedes mine, Sonora). Santacruz revealed its intention to conduct a non-brokered private placement to raise gross proceeds of up to CAD $3M (Veta Grande mine, Zacatecas). Telson closed a first tranche of its non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $1.94M (Campo Morado mine, Guerrero). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Discovery Metals reported drill results from its Cordero project in Chihuahua. Pan American announced step-out drilling results from its La Colorada project in Zacatecas. Newmont Corporation reported mineral reserves and resources as of December 31, 2019 for its Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas.  ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Mexican Gold announced completion of continuance and name change (Las Minas, Veracruz). Mithril reported results of its general meeting of shareholders (Copalquin project, Durango). Oroco announced its option agreement with Altamura Copper Corp., and the Altamura shareholders (Santo Tomás project, Sinaloa). One World Lithium announced the appointment of its VP, Corporate Development. The company granted to its VP, Corporate Development and a consultant, incentive stock option to acquire up to 500K and 200K common shares respectively at a price of $0.10 per share (Salar del Diablo project, Baja California Norte). Endeavour Silver announced the appointment of its Director and Project Development to oversee the development of its Terronera, Jalisco and Parral, Chihuahua mine projects. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Minera Peñasquito and the Cedros community, in Zacatecas, reached an agreement to ensure the water supply for the entire community for a period of 30 years. Minera Penmont (Fresnillo plc) and the Metallurgical Mining Trade Union “FRENTE” inaugurated the sports facilities in Caborca, Sonora. The Institute for Training for Work (Icatson) will train workers in the mining sector in Sonora to raise the productivity of the mining companies in the state.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • American Gold and Silver Corporation, announced that a group of individuals, including a small minority of the Company’s unionized workers have illegally blockaded the access to the facilities at its Cosala mine in Sinaloa. After weeks of interruptions of the mining activities, the company is evaluating the total and indefinite closure of the mine and its processing plant.
  • Javier Corral, Governor of Chihuahua, and the Undersecretary of Mining, Francisco Quiroga, installed the Regional Development Committee for Mining Zones in the State of Chihuahua 2020. Javier Corral indicated that with the new federal administration the operation of the Mining Fund changed, however, the Committee was installed because there are pending projects of 2017 and 2018, even with resources payable to municipalities. He also informed that from the proceeds of the Mining Fund from 2014 to 2017, MXP $1,281M was allocated to Chihuahua, but he still has not received another MXP $49M.
  • Luiz Camargo, Director of Compañía Minera Cuzcatlán (Fortuna Silver), stated that the main challenge of mining is to break the paradigms of old and rudimentary industry, showing that modern mining generates shared growth and benefits in the communities. He considered that mining should be understood as a sector with various actors, such as government, community and company, with common objectives.
  • Fernando Alanis, President of the Mining Chamber of Mexico, declared that the mining industry is lever of social and economic development.
  • Francisco Quiroga, Undersecretary of Mining, reported that the Mexican Federal Government applied for four Li mining concessions for the Geological Survey of Mexico (SGM). Two of the concessions are in Sonora, one in Jalisco and one in Puebla.
  • The Directorate of the Mining Fund, attached to the Ministry of Economy, has organized a workshop in Mexico City to train the presentation of infrastructure projects for mining states and municipalities. The aims of the workshop are to support federal entities and mining municipalities, sharing with state government officials the experience and lessons learned from the Mining Fund’s work team, in order to expedite the process of integrating files and required documentation to present the projects to the regional committees for approval and then submit the requests of ministers to the technical committee of the Mining Fund trust.
  • BNamericas, analyzes the most important PFS studies that will move the threads of key mining projects in Mexico, whose combined capital expenditure will be around USD $1.3B. It reviews the PFS studies of Media Luna, Guerrero (Torex Gold); the Sonora Li project (Bacanora Lithium-Ganfeng Li); the San Nicolas project, Zacatecas (Teck  Resources); the Las Chispas, Sonora (SilverCrest); and the Terroneras, Jalisco (Endeavour).

ON EXPLORATION

  • One World Lithium Inc., applied for a drilling permit to continue the exploration of its Salar del Diablo project in Baja California Norte. The company expects to receive the approval in the next days and move a skid mounted 4X4 all-terrain rig to drill a third hole 50Km south of the DDH-2. One World Lithium is working with a technology development company to test a new process to extract Li from a brine stream at near zero greenhouse gasses emission.
  • Silver Viper Minerals Corp., announced drilling results from four holes collared at its El Rubi project, and expanded the mineralized structure 250m along strike. Drilling results indicate the presence of adjacent parallel mineralized structures. The El Rubi target is open to the north, south, and at depth. Significant interceptions were encountered in hole LV19-212 with 0.68 g/ton Au and 40.3 g/t Ag (1.25 g/t AuEq) over 4m of true width, and 1.85 g/t Au, 20 g/t Ag (2.14 g/t AuEq) over a true width of 3.6m, including 7.03 g/t Au and 45 g/t Ag (7.67 g/t AuEq) over a true width of 0.8m, and a final interval of 3.47 g/t Au and 5 g/t Ag (3.54 g/t AuEq) over a true width of 0.8m; hole LV20-213 with 0.84 g/t Au and 36 g/t Ag (1.37 g/t AuEq) over a true width of 8.6m, including 2.52 g/t Au and 71 g/t Ag (3.53 g/t AuEq) over a true width of 0.6m; hole LV20-214 with 1.8 g/t Au and 107 g/t Ag (3.34 g/t AuEq) over a true width of 3m, including 3.9 g/t Au and 187 g/t Ag (6.57 g/t AuEq) over a true width of 0.8m; and hole LV20-215 with 2.18 g/t Au and 147 g/t Ag (4.27 g/t AuEq) over a true width of 1.8m, and 14.4 g/t Au and 86 g/t Ag (15.6 g/t AuEq) over a true width of 6.3m, including 196.3 g/t Au and 984 g/t Ag (210.4 g/t AuEq) over a true width of 0.45m.
  • Tamino Minerals Inc., provided an overview on acquisitions and 2020-2021 exploration expenditure guidance. Its strategy is to identify and acquire high-quality, advanced-stage exploration projects and discover early-stage opportunities that can be strategically tested and quickly progressed to key decision points. Tamino plans to spend in exploration $5M in the period 2020-2021: $2M in the Amalia project, Sonora, $1.2M in El Volcan project, Sonora, and $1.8M on acquisitions and small exploration projects.
  • Alien Metals Ltd., commissioned TMC  Exploración S de RL de CV de México to carry out a ground IP survey at its Donovan 2 Cu-Au project in Zacatecas. Aim of this IP survey is to generate high-priority drill targets.

ON MINING

  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd., announced annual 2019 production results from its Avino mine in Durango and provided an outlook for 2020. It produced 958.8K Oz Ag, 6,912 Oz Au, and 4.97M Lb Cu (2.39M Oz AgEq) from its Avino mine, San Gonzalo mine, and the Historic Above Ground Stockpiles. The company also provided an outlook for 2020 and expects to spend a total of USD $7-8M. It plans to drill 11,500m at its Avino mine to explore Avino, Avino West, the Santiago Vein, and La Potosina targets, and make some plant improvements.
  • Capstone Mining Corp., reported Q4, 2019 production and financial results from its Cozamine mine in Zacatecas. It milled 294,000 tonnes of 1.53% Cu, 1.52% Zn, and 48 g/t Ag, recovering 94.6%, 70.2%, and 78.7% respectively to produce 9.4M Lb Cu, 4.5M Lb Zn, and 365K Oz Ag, at a cash cost of USD $0.91 per Lb of payable Cu produced. Capstone reported USD $29.5M of revenues and an EBIDTA of USDS $11M. Annual 2019 production was 1,146,000 tonnes of 1.50% Cu, 1.07% Zn, and 47 g/t Ag, recovering 94.4%, 68.2%, and 77.7% respectively, to produce 35.8M Lb Cu, 18.5M Lb Zn, and 1.34M Oz Ag at a cash cost of USD $0.90 per Lb of payable Cu produced. Capstone reported USD $118.4M of revenues and an EBIDTA of USD $52M for the full year 2019.

ON FINANCING

  • Hecla Mining Company, announced its intention to offer $475M aggregate of its senior notes due 2028. The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering, together with cash on hand, to redeem all of its outstanding 6.875% senior notes due 2021 and to pay fees and expenses in connection with the offering and the redemption (San Sebastian mine, Durango).
  • Millrock Resources Inc., closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $1.5M. Net proceeds will be used to advance exploration of its projects, for generation of new projects, for marketing of its projects, and for general corporate purposes (Batamote project, Sonora).
  • Premier Gold Mines Limited, announced its plan to increase the size of its previously announced offer to raise gross proceeds of up to $38M. Part of the gross proceeds will be used for the development, expansion, and working capital requirements of its Mercedes mine in Sonora.
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., revealed its intention to conduct, in one or more tranches, a non-brokered private placement to raise gross proceeds of up to CAD $3M.Net proceeds will be used for general working capital and corporate purposes (Veta Grande mine, Zacatecas).
  • Telson Mining Corporation, closed a first tranche of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $1.94M

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  •  Discovery Metals Corp., reported drilling results from its Cordero project in Chihuahua. These results are part of the phase 1 of 30,000-35,000m programmed to define and delineate areas of higher grade mineralization within the existing mineral resource estimate. Significant results were encountered in hole C19-304 with 0.38 g/t Au, 74 g/t Ag, 1.1% Pb, and 1.1% Zn (188 g/t AgEq) over 105.90m, including 0.41 g/t Au, 104 g/t Ag, 1.5% Pb, and 1.4% Zn (250 g/t AgEq) over 26m; including 0.42 g/t Au, 78 g/t Ag, 1.1% Pb, and 0.9% Zn over 30.6m; and including 0.52 g/t Au, 110 g/t Ag, 1.8% Pb, and 2.1% Zn over 21.1m; hole C19-305 with 0.05 g/t Au, 74 g/t Ag, 0.5% Pb, and 0.5% Zn (113 g/t AgEq) over 65.0m, including 0.12 g/t Au, 122 g/t Ag, 1.6% Pb, and 1.5% Zn (249 g/t AgEq) over 16m; and hole C19-297 with 0.21 g/t Au, 522 g/t Ag, 6.6% Pb, and 18.3% Zn (1,533 g/t AgEq) over 1.1m and 0.09 g/t Au, 931 g/t Ag, 6.0% Pb, and 10.1% Zn (1,569 g/t AgEq) over 0.6m. To date, 23 holes totaling 8,214m have been collared at Cordero project, with pending results of 15 holes yet.
  • Pan American Silver Corp., announced results from 14 step-out drilling holes collared at its la Colorada Skarn deposit in Zacatecas. Drill highlights include hole U-88-19 with 60 g/t Ag, 0.17% Cu, 2.7% Pb, and 4.5% Zn over 270.9m, including 85 g/t Ag, 0.18% Cu, 3.9% Pb, and 6.4% Zn; hole U-105-19 with 30 g/t Ag, 0.15% Cu, 2.4% Pb, and 3.5% Zn over 192.5m, including 29 g/t Ag, 0.14% Cu, 3% Pb, and 4.5% Zn over 105.6m; hole D-30-03-19 with 35 g/t Ag, 0.2% Cu, 2% Pb, and 3.3% Zn over 76.1m; hole D-30-05-19 with 51 g/t Ag, 0.28% Cu, 1.8% Pb, and 4.6% Zn over 62.5m; hole D-81-01-19 with 54 g/t Ag, 1.15% Cu, 0.4% Pb, and 2.5% Zn over 32.9m, and 78 g/t Ag, 0.5% Cu, 0.3% Pb, and 3.8% Zn over 75.9m, and 133 g/t Ag, 0.88% Cu, 0.25% Pb, and 3.4% Zn over 19.2m; hole U-87-19 with 33 g/t Ag, 0.09% Cu, 2.1% Pb, and 4.95% Zn over 47.2m; and hole S-81-19 with 54 g/t Ag, 0.05% Cu, 2% Pb, and 10.3% Zn over 24.5m, including 43 g/t Ag, 0.16% Cu, 1% Pb, and 3.5% Zn over 28.8m. Since the discovery of the La Colorada Skarn Deposit in 2018, Pan American has drilled approximately 60,000m. In 2020, the company plans to invest USD $16-18M on 44,000m of infill and expansion drilling of the current resource estimate and early stage engineering and metallurgical testing.
  • Newmont Corporation, reported mineral reserves and resources as of December 31, 2019 for its Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas. Proven reserves are 109.7M of tonnes of 0.63 g/t Au and 38 g/t Ag for a total of 2.22M Oz Au and 134.4M Oz Ag contained. Probable reserves are 331.8M tonnes of 0.56 g/t Au and 32 g/t Ag for a total of 5.86M Oz Au and 337M Oz Ag contained. Proven + Probable reserves are 441.5M tonnes of 0.57 g/t Au and 33 g/t Ag for a total of 8.08M Oz Au and 471.36M Oz Ag contained. Newmont also reported measured resources of 37.3M tonnes of 0.25 g/t Ag and 27 g/t Ag for a total of 300K Oz Au and 32M Oz Ag contained. Indicated resources are 304M tonnes of 0.25 g/t Au and 25 g/t Ag for a total of 2.44M Oz Au and 240.17M Oz Ag contained. Measured + Indicated resources are 341.3M tonnes of 0.25 g/t Au and 25 g/t Ag for a total of 2.74M Oz Au and 272.17M Oz Ag contained. Inferred resources are 193.6M tonnes of 0.34 g/t Au and 26 g/t Ag for a total of 2.09M Oz Au and 161.6M Oz Ag contained. For base metals, Newmont reported proven reserves of 108.1M tonnes of 0.93% Zn and 0.39% Pb for a total of 2.24B Lb Zn and 896M Lb Pb contained. Probable reserves are 330.5M tonnes of 0.71% Zn and 0.32% Pb for a total of 5.29B Lb Zn and 2.17B Lb Pb contained. Proven + probable reserves are 438.6M tonnes of 0.77% Zn and 0.34% Pb for a total of 7.53B Lb Zn and 3.07B Lb Pb contained. It also reported measured resources of 36M tonnes of 0.64% Zn and 0.28% Pb for a total of 515.2M Lb Zn and 224M Lb Pb contained. Indicated resources are 293.1M tonnes of 0.55% Zn and 0.24% Pb for a total of 3.63B Lb Zn and 1.57B Lb Pb. Measured + Indicated resources are 438.1M tonnes of 0.77% Zn and 0.34% Pb for a total of 7.53B Lb Zn and 3.07B Lb Pb. Inferred resources are 188.6M tonnes of 0.5% Zn and 0.27% Pb for a total of 2.13B Lb Zn and 1.14B Lb Pb. (Resources are reported exclusive of reserves.)

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Mexican Gold Corp., reported that it has completed its announced continuation of its incorporation from Ontario to British Columbia and its name change to Mexican Gold Mining Corporation (Las Minas project, Veracruz).
  • Mithril Resources Limited, reported results of its general meeting of shareholders. All resolutions were put to vote and were passed (Copalquin project, Durango).
  • Oroco Resource Corp., announced its option agreement with Altamura Copper Corp., and Altamura shareholders. The exercise of this option will give Oroco a controlling interest in the Santo Tomás project in Sinaloa. Oroco is moving to the next phase of its development plan to progress the property to a NI 43-101 resource.
  • Bacanora Lithium plc, announced results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (Bacanora project, Sonora).
  • One World Lithium, announced the appointment of its VP, Corporate Development. The company granted to its VP, Corporate Development and a consultant, incentive stock option to acquire up to 500K and 200K common shares respectively at a price of $0.10 per share (Salar del Diablo project, Baja California Norte).
  • Endeavour Silver , announced the appointment of its Director and Project Development to oversee the development of its Terronera, Jalisco and Parral, Chihuahua mine projects. It also announced the resignation of its VP New Projects.

 ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Minera Peñasquito and the Cedros community in Zacatecas, reached an agreement to ensure the water supply for the entire community for a period of 30 years. The plan includes wells, drinking water and the commitment by the municipality to the operation, since both the public system and the infrastructure and distribution networks belong to it. The plan had been recognized by the authority, accepted and valued as a contribution to sustainable development for the benefit of the community.
  • Minera Penmont (Fresnillo plc) and the Metallurgical Mining Trade Union “FRENTE” inaugurated the sports facilities in Caborca, Sonora, which will benefit more than 2,000 people, because they provide spaces for family life and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.
  • The Institute for Training for Work (Ictason), will train workers in the mining sector and their families to raise the productivity of the mining companies in the state.

Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.

On the picture above, a phreatic breccia in an epithermal hot spring prospect in Guanajuato, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the First Week of February, 2020

225aBy Jorge Cirett

During the 6th week of the year (February 3rd to January 9th, 2020), at least 28 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, CAMIMEX urged the Mining Fund to be used on the grounds it was meant to (infrastructure on Mining localities), as this year these funds will flow to the Education Secretariat for use in school’s remodelling. Mexico’s mining production decreased year on year during November 2019 by 1.9%. UNAM offers an Earth Science’s degree at its Juriquilla facilities, in Queretaro. The Sonora Mining Cluster presented its annual report and 2020 program. The San Martin mine (Zacatecas) legal duel between two Unions continues with a recent ruling by the Supreme Court. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Minera Alamos released drill results which confirm long intervals of significant mineralization at its Santana property; Canuc Resources surface rock sample results confirm the extension of mineralization within its concessions in San Javier. Minaurum Gold released historical drill intercepts that confirm extensions of wide, high-grade mineralization on the veins that were mined in the past on its Alamos Silver project. Colibri Resource prepares to drill two mineralized corridors on the Evelyn project. In Zacatecas Advance Gold completed the third phase geophysical survey at the Tabasqueña project. ON MINING, GoGold, Consolidated Zinc and Hecla Mining presented Q4 and full year 2019 results. Americas Gold and Silver installations on the Copalá complex in Sinaloa have seen its access blocked. Mexus Gold continues leaching operations at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. US Antimony initiated pilot plant production at its Los Juarez property in Queretaro. ON FINANCING, Sonoro Metals is discussing financing options with Chinese companies. Ridgestone Mining ($1.05 M), San Marco Resources (C$500 K), Advance Gold ($250 K), First Mining ($5 M) and GoGold (C$5 M) released information on its planned or undergoing financing rounds. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Argonaut Gold filed the PFS report on the Cerro del Gallo in Guanajuato. Azure Minerals released good drilling results from the Loma Bonita deposit at its Alacrán property in Sonora. Prime Mining released good results of road cuts and trenches at its Guadalupe de Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Premier Gold Mines reported on the development of the Lupita Extension ore body at its Mercedes mine in Sonora. Starcore International is drilling the Santa Elena target at its San Martin mine in Queretaro.    ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Consolidated Zinc is dealing with a legal issue regarding claims for compensation from a former mining contractor. Sierra Metals announced the settlement on an outstanding litigation regarding mining concessions within its Bolivar mine in Chihuahua. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Minera San Xavier donated two water concessions to the Cerro San Pedro municipality in San Luis Potosí. Minera Peñasquito donated agriculture equipment to farmers in Mazapil, Zacatecas, valued at over $9 M pesos ($480 K).

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Fernando Alanís Ortega, Camimex president, urged that the use of the Mining Fund should stick for its creation purpose, like helping municipalities on infrastructure. In 2019 a change was approved by Congress, by which in March 2020 the funds are to be delivered to the Secretaría de Educación Pública (Education Secretariat) for school remodelling. Camimex is to stay working in keeping the mining sector united, better the industry public perception and to find the way to develop a public policy that incentives mining.
  • Mexico’s Mining production decreased during November 2019. Mining production decreased 1.9% from November 2018 to November 2019, gold decreased 5.2%, silver 1.7%, lead 3.8%, zinc 3.4%, fluorite 11.4%, coke 19.2%, coal 9%, while copper production increased by 1.8%.
  • UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) has a new major at its Juriquilla unit in Queretaro. This Earth Sciences studies at this facilities are focused on two themes: The Solid Earth and Environmental Geology.
  • The Cluster Minero de Sonora presented its annual report and guidelines for 2020, in Hermosillo. The event counted with the participation of members, industry leaders and state and federal level officials, which were exposed to the different objectives the Sonora Mining Cluster has planned for the year.
  • The Supreme Court discarded the amparo review that acknowledges the strike in Sombrerete, Zacatecas. According to the publication, the ruling obliges Grupo Mexico to recognize the strike that started on the San Martin mine in July 2007.
  • The Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Exploración, Explotación y Beneficio de Minas en la República Mexicana posted a letter on the San Martin mine in Zacatecas. In this letter the union states that the Supreme Court ruling that debunks its representativeness is not final, and can be appealed. Furthermore, the ownership procedure is independent of the termination of the strike dated august 2018, and that it is false that the mine facilities have to be surrendered. The Union has the solid commitment to fight all the legal battles needed to make the voice of hundreds of miners to be heard.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Advance Gold Corp. completed the third phase of a geophysical study campaign at its Tabasqueña property in Zacatecas. The survey expanded the length of a chargeability anomaly to 3,200 x 500 m. “The second hole currently being drilled on the chargeability anomaly has intersected 24 metres of quartz vein above the anomaly”.
  • Minera Alamos Inc. provided confirmation of significant disseminated mineralization at the Divisadero discovery at its Santana project in Sonora. Significant drill intersections from 2018-2019 comprise: 95.7 m @ 0.85 gpt Au, 10 gpt Ag, 0.33% Cu; 96.4 m @ 0.42 gpt Au, 4 gpt Ag, 0.12% Cu; 133.6 m @ 0.56 gpt Au, 6 gpt Ag, 0.16% Cu.
  • Canuc Resources Corp. released results from surface rock samples at its San Javier property in Sonora. Highlighted results comprise: 0.6 m @ 1.8 gpt Au, 11 gpt Ag; 0.6 m @ 0.33 gpt Au, 114 gpt Ag; 0.8 m @ 17.9 gpt Au, 11 gpt Ag; 1.1 m @ 11.6 gpt Au, 99 gpt Ag; 0.4 m @ 3.1 gpt Au, 138 gpt Ag; 1.1 m @ 4.13 gpt Au, 197 gpt Ag; 0.6 m @ 0.65 gpt Au, 170 gpt Ag; 0.5 m @ 0.02 gpt Au, 182 gpt Ag; 0.4 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 262 gpt Ag; 0.9 m @ 0.02 gpt Au, 192 gpt Ag; 0.3 m @ 0.19 gpt Au, 399 gpt Ag; 1.5 m @ 0.13 gpt Au, 239 gpt Ag; 1.4 m @ 0.02 gpt Au, 705 gpt Ag; 1.6 m @ 0.02 gpt Au, 578 gpt Ag. These results confirm the extension of the mineralized structures over the three kilometers of strike length of the mining concessions held by Canuc.
  • Minaurum Gold Inc. acquired historical data including mine maps, sections and results of 40 holes (6,099 m) drilled at its Alamos Silver project in Sonora. The holes were drilled between the 1960’s and 1980’s, and focused on the Promontorio and Minas Nuevas underground mines. The results indicate that the deposits included multiple veins and continue at depth and along strike. It is estimated that 200 M Oz Ag were mined from the Quintera, Promontorio and Minas Nuevas mines. Highlighted results from the Promontorio mine comprise 1.2 m @ 5,588 gpt Ag; 1.2 m @ 1,008 gpt Ag; 4.6 m @ 2,838 gpt Ag; 4.6 m @ 305 gpt Ag; 1.4 m @ 377 gpt Ag; 12.2 m @ 710 gpt Ag; 7.6 m @ 747 gpt Ag; 11.3 m @ 785 gpt Ag; 1 m @ 2,177 gpt Ag; 1.2 m @ 854 gpt Ag, 23 gpt Au. Highlighted results from the Promontorio mine include 1.7 m @ 452 gpt Ag, 2 m @ 367 gpt Ag, 1.8 m @ 839 gpt Ag. The results indicate that the deposits included multiple veins and continue at depth and along strike. It is estimated that 200 M Oz Ag were mined from the Quintera, Promontorio and Minas Nuevas mines.
  • Colibri Resource Corp. has contracted Major drilling for the maiden drilling program at Evelyn, in Sonora. Drilling is to test to main corridors, Cerro Rojo and El Sahuaro. Activities are to start as soon as the relevant permit is received.

ON MINING

  • GoGold Resources Inc. released financial results for Q4 2019. During the period the company had revenue of $9.3 M, net income of $535 K, producing 585 K Oz Ag at cash cost $12.54 and AISC $14.59 per AgEq Oz. By the end of the period the company had $5 M in cash.
  • Americas Gold and Silver Corp. announced that a group of individuals, including a small minority of the company’s unionized workers, illegally blockaded access to facilities at its Cosalá operations in Sinaloa. “The Company has already filed the legal motions with the Government of Mexico at the state and federal levels but remains receptive to having good‐faith discussions with the proper representatives of the certified union”. Mining and processing operations have been temporarily halted.
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. presented its quarterly activities report for Q4 2019. During the period 9,062 tonnes @ 16.1% Zn, 8.4% Pb were mined, 11,712 tonnes @ 16.1% Zn, 8.4% Pb were processed. Cash cost per Lb Zn was $1.48. The cash balance at the end of the period was US$556 K plus concentrate receivables of US$617 K.
  • Hecla Mining Co. presented fourth quarter and full year 2019 financial and operating results, including figures from its Mexican operations. At San Sebastian, in Durango, 422.4 K Oz Ag, 3,897 Oz Au were produced at cash cost $8.89 and AISC $11.78 per Oz Ag in Q4, 2019; while 1.87 M Oz Ag, 15,673 Oz Au were produced at cash cost $8.02 and AISC $12.10 per Oz Ag during the full year 2019. Operations in San Sebastian have transitioned from higher grade open pit to underground production, with the mill operating at a daily rate of 425 tpd for the quarter and 479 tpd for the year. “The Company is completing its study on the Hugh Zone sulfide ore and expects a decision on development in the first quarter, which would allow production to begin by the end of the year”.
  • Mexus Gold US. announced that gold production is continuing at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (not to mistake by First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora).
  • United States Antimony Corp. initiated pilot phase precious metal production at its Los Juarez property in Queretaro. The procedure involves crushing, flotation and cyanide leach of the ore.

ON FINANCING

  • Sonoro Metals Corp. announced “discussions regarding project debt finance and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts with China-based EPC companies continue to advance”. (Cerro Caliche, Sonora).
  • Ridgestone Mining Inc. intends to complete a non-brokered private placement for up to $1.05 M in gross proceeds (Rebeico, Sonora).
  • San Marco Resources Inc. announced that its non-brokered private placement intended to raise C$500 K has been over-subscribed, and now is to total C$717 K in gross proceeds (project 1068, Sonora).
  • Advance Gold Corp. is to undertake a non-brokered private placement, aiming to raise gross proceeds of $250 K (Tabasqueña, Zacatecas).
  • First Mining Gold Corp. intends to complete a non-brokered placement for aggregate gross proceeds of up to $5M, with some insiders of the company participating. (Miranda, Sonora; Lachatao, Oaxaca).
  • GoGold Resources Inc. entered into an agreement with Sprott Capital Partners LP and PI Financial Corp. as co-lead underwriters, along with BMO Capital Markets, pursuant to which they agreed to purchase on a bought deal basis units of the company for gross proceeds of C$5 M (Los Ricos, Jalisco).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Argonaut Gold Inc. filed the technical report for the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) on the Cerro del Gallo project in Guanajuato.
  • Azure Minerals Ltd. released good results from infill and extension drilling on the Loma Bonita deposit at its Alacrán project in Sonora. Highlighted intervals include 126 m @ 1.96 gpt Au, 26 gpt Ag (including 64.5 m @ 2.8 gpt Au, which includes 34.5 m @ 3.94 gpt Au, 60 gpt Ag) in an infill hole; 36 m @ 1.0 gpt Au, 13 gpt Ag on an expansion drill hole.
  • Prime Mining Corp. released results from new trenches and road cuts on the Zapote North and South deposits at its Guadalupe de Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Highlighted Road cuts results comprise 30 m @ 2.87 gpt Au, 42 gpt Ag; 43.5 m @ 1.24 gpt Au, 13 gpt Ag; 22.5 m @ 0.87 gpt Au, 14 gpt Ag; 37.5 m @ 3.9 gpt Au, 36 gpt Ag; 16.5 m @ 0.66 gpt Au, 8 gpt Ag; 12 m @ 1.56 gpt Au, 14 gpt Ag; 6 m @ 11.72 gpt Au, 26 gpt Ag. Underground adit sampling returned 10.5 m @ 0.58 gpt Au, 18 gpt Ag; 10.5 m @ 1.32 gpt Au, 26 gpt Ag; 22.5 m @ 3.23 gpt Au, 68 gpt Ag.
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. reported progress ahead of schedule on the “development of the Lupita Extension underground development” at its Mercedes mine in Sonora…. During 2019, a successful delineation program of 87 drill holes extended the known Lupita mineralization along a strike length of 300 m. A clear difference between the two Lupita areas are the noticeable higher grade and width in Lupita Extension versus Lupita as well as the steeper dipping geometry of about 50 degrees. The delineation drilling program returned an average true width of 2.9 m of 5.56 g/t Au length-weighted average grade“.
  • Starcore International Mines Ltd. has started drilling the Santa Elena target at its San Martin mine in Queretaro. “The Company is conducting an exploration program that will consist of 10 holes between 200 to 400 meters each targeting the Santa Elena vein, which is thought to be a mirror of the San Martin vein(s), a typical epithermal gold-silver deposit characterized by low sulfation (sic)”.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • First Majestic Silver Corp. announced the appointment of Mr. Steve Holmes to the role of Chief Operating Officer (San Dimas, Durango; Santa Elena, Sonora).
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. informed on legal proceedings by its former mining contractor at the Plomosas mine in Chihuahua. Caminos y Construcciones Ganti S.A. de C.V. is suing CZL for final outstanding costs MXN$23.63 M, including VAT. CZL has presented counterclaims totaling MXN$89.15 M. On January 31, 2020, Ganti representatives seized control of the physical inventory at the third party Aldama plant. (Plomosas mine, Chihuahua).
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. stated that it has succeeded in legal action to end the intimidation and excessive actions of Caminos and Construcciones Ganti S.A. de C.V.. Ganti was CZL’s mining contractor “until they were terminated on the 25 November 2019, in accordance with their contract”. Ignoring the contracted conflict resolution procedures, Ganti submitted legal proceedings in the Federal District Court of Chihuahua. On 4 February the Court rescinded the orders given to Ganti (Plomosas mine, Chihuahua).
  • Tamino Minerals Inc. informed the company has plans to make acquisitions (El Volcán, Sonora).
  • Sierra Metals Inc. announced the settlement of the outstanding litigation with Polo y Ron pertaining mining concessions where mine operations and mineral reserves estimates are located on its Bolivar mine in Chihuahua. “The impact of the settlement amount paid on Sierra Metals’ financial condition and operating results is not significant”.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Minera San Xavier is donating two water concessions to the Cerro San Pedro municipality, in San Luis Potosi. The concessions add up to 480 thousand cubic meters of water per year. The use of the resource is exclusively for the communities of Cerro de San Pedro, La Zapatilla, Divisadero, Planta del Carmen, Granjas de San Francisco, Monte Caldera, Cuesta de Campa, Calderón y Jesús Maria, all within the Cerro San Pedro Municipality.
  • Minera Peñasquito supports farmers in Zacatecas. The Newmont GoldCorp subsidiary delivered agriculture machinery to El Vergel producers. In collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales Agrícolas y Pecuarias (INIFAP), the equipment valued at more than nine million pesos (US$480 K) is to benefit more than 400 inhabitants of Mazapil, Zacatecas.

Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.

On the image below: Twentieth Century tauna on a stream in Oaxaca, picture by Jorge Cirett.

225a

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Fifth Week of January, 2020.

Sulphur crystals in an epithermal hot spring system

By Miguel A Heredia

During the fifth week of the year (January 27th to February 2nd, 2020), at least 33 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with nine discussing issues on social responsibility, eight disclosing deals and corporate issues, five communicating production results, four announcing financial rounds, three reporting on resources and developments, three informing on exploration results, and one commenting on Mexican issues.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, Jorge Vidal Ahumada, Minister of Economy of Sonora State, announced that more of USD $500M will be invested in Sonora in 2020.  ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Ridgestone reported high-grade rock sampling from its Rebeico project, and Azure provided a report of the activities carried out during the period Q4, 2019 at its Sara Alicia project. In Chihuahua, Consolidated Zinc identified a high-grade Au system nearby its Plomosas mine.  ON MINING, Excellon, and Santacruz announced Q4 and annual 2019 production results from their Mexican operations. Telson resumed full scale mining and milling operation at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero. Mexus reported that additional material has been crushed and placed on the leach pad at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora.  Endeavour provided 2020 production and cost guidance for their Mexican mining operations.  ON FINANCING, Azure completed a $4M placement to conduct an aggressive exploration program on its Alacrán project in Sonora, and also announced that it received payments for MXP $16.5M from the Mexican Tax Office for the recovery of IVA (GST). Millrock announced its plan to conduct a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to $1M (Batamote project, Sonora). Gold Resource declared January 2020 monthly dividend for its shareholders (Arista mine, Oaxaca).  Telson has been marketing a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds for up to CAD $3M (Campo Morado mine, Guerrero).  ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Azure announced results from the activities performed at its Alacrán and Oposura project in Sonora in the period Q4, 2019. Great Panther announced 2019 exploration results and 2020 plans for its Mexican operations. Minera Alamos entered into a purchase agreement to acquire a crushing system for its Santana mine in Sonora. Endeavour updated 2019 mineral reserve and resource estimate for its three Au-Ag Mexican mines. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Bacanora Lithium announced results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (Bacanora project, Sonora). Plata Latina entered into an agreement with Electrum for its three Mexican properties (Vaquerias, Palo Alto, and La Joya). Minaurum signed an option to acquire 100% of the Aurifero Gold project in Sonora, expanding its land control in the Alamos mining district. Mexican Gold announced that it entered into a binding letter agreement to complete business combination with New Found Gold (Las Minas, Veracruz). Equinox Gold and Leagold shareholders approved merger to create a premier Americas Au producer (Los Filos mine, Guerrero). Minera Alamos entered into a purchase agreement to acquire a crushing system for its Santana mine in Sonora. Mithril announced results from their 2019 activities, which consisted mainly on the Sun Minerals acquisition and the exclusive option to acquire 100% of the Copalquin project in Durango. Fortuna provided an update on the status of disputed royalty in one of its extractive mining concessions in its San Jose mine in Oaxaca. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, The Mexican President, Luis Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) thanked Peñoles for joining the program “Youth Building the Future”. Governor of Sonora, Claudia Pavlovich Arellano, opened the Community House of Argonaut Gold Inc in La Colorada, Sonora. A labor agreement between the municipality of Guadalupe and Calvo, Chihuahua and Fresnillo plc (San Julian mining company) was signed to hire personnel to work at the mine. Fresnillo plc demonstrates Social Responsibility since it works on four strategic axes including education, health, capacity development, and environmental care. Grupo Mexico delivered seed capital in Nueva Rosita, Coahuila, and presented a large urban development project for San Luis Potosi. Minera Media Luna (Torex Gold) supported local communities nearby its Mexican mining operation in Guerrero with medical equipment. Minera Peñasquito (Newmont Goldcorp) delivered tractors and agricultural equipment to the inhabitants of the Ejido El Vergel in the municipality of Mazapil, Zacatecas. Newmont Goldcorp was recognized for its high social, environmental and corporate governance performance, which places it as a leader in the mining sector worldwide.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • The Minister of Economy of Sonora, Jorge Vidal Ahumada announced that more than USD $500M will be invested in Sonora in the mining sector in 2020.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Ridgestone Mining Inc., reported high-grade rock sampling results of 188 samples collected at its Rebeico project in Sonora in an area of 200m by 100m with widths between 1-3m. Highlights include up to 12.95 g/t Au, with 8 samples returning > 4 g/t Au, 30 samples returning > 1 g/t Au, and 33 samples returning between 0.1-1.0 g/t Au. It also reported that 73 samples returned >0.1% Cu, with 14 samples returning >0.4% Cu with a peak of 0.65% Cu. High Bi values associated with Au and Cu suggests a proximal intrusion-related mineralized system. Mineralization is hosted by brecciated andesite with variable amounts of gossan ± magnetite ± quartz, as well as chloritized and fractured andesites peripheral to the brecciated zones.
  • Azure Minerals Limited, provided a report of the activities carried out during the period Q4, 2019 at its Sara Alicia project in Sonora. It acquired 100% of the Sara Alicia II mining concession. Azure had acquired the original Sara Alicia mining concession in 2017 but also it was recognized that a second, adjoining mining concession named Sara Alicia II had been cancelled by the mining registry. After almost 2 years later, the Federal Appeal Court ruled the cancellation was invalid and title of the concession was restored to a local Mexican family who had owned both Sara Alicia mining concessions since the 1930s. For a consideration of USD $80K, a purchase agreement between the owners and Azure was executed and 100% ownership of the Sara Alicia II concession was transferred to Azure. With the control of the ground now confirmed, the company plans to conduct geological mapping, sampling and a geophysical survey in H1, 2020.
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd, identified with regional exploration, a high-grade Au system located 3 -5Km NW of its Plomosas mine. Rock chip sampling at La Chona-Enrique and Potrero targets returned encouraging results with grades of 2.55 g/t Au; 4.77 g/t Au; 7.42 g/t Au; 27.5 g/t Au, and 61 g/t Au, and 2.19% Cu; 2.88% Cu, 2.91% Cu, and 4.06% Cu. La Chona-Enrique areas consist of narrow quartz-calcite-hematite veins with malachite from 0.3-1.2m wide, which have been interpreted to be mesothermal in origin. Potrero target consists of a dominant felsic intrusive that appears to be responsible of the brecciation and alteration of the host rock. Mapping and sampling of these target areas is ongoing in order to define drill targets.

ON MINING

  • Excellon Resources Inc., announced Q4 and annual 2019 production results from its Platosa mine in Durango. The company mined 19,622 tonnes and processed 19,828 tonnes of 435 g/t Ag, 4.8% Pb, and 6.4% Zn, recovering 91.7%, 80.2%, and 76.5% respectively to produce 259.3K Oz Ag, 1.7M Lb Pb, and 2M Lb Zn. During the full year, the company mined 74,876 tonnes and processed 75,247 tonnes of 497 g/t Ag, 4.8% Pb, and 6.9% Zn, recovering 89.9%, 79.4%, and 80.8% respectively, to produce 1.05M Oz Ag, 6.1M Lb Pb, and 8.4M Lb Zn.
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., reported Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from their Zimapan, Veta Grande and Rosario mining operations. During Q4, 2019, the company processed from its Zimapan mine in Hidalgo State, 161,071 tonnes of 72 g/t Ag, recovering 66.4%, to produce 248.6K Oz Ag, 1.56M Lb Pb, 5.8M Lb Zn, and 1.1M Lb Cu (996K Oz AgEq at a grade of 282 g/t AgEq). During the full year 2019, the company processed 243, 313 tonnes of 73 g/t Ag, recovering 69.9%, to produce 400K Oz Ag, 2.6M Lb Pb, 9.1M Lb Zn, and 1.8M Lb Cu (1.6M Oz AgEq at a grade of 284 g/t AgEq). From its Veta Grande mine in Zacatecas, it processed 36,111 tonnes of 102 g/t Ag, recovering 45%, to produce 53.6K Oz Ag, 116 Oz Au, 620K Lb Pb, and 1.2M Lb Zn (193.7K Oz AgEq at a grade of 297 g/t AgEq). During the full year 2019, it processed 149.9K tonnes of 105 g/t Ag, recovering 47.1%, to produce 237.7K Oz Ag, 457 Oz Au, 2.4M Lb Pb, and 4.4M Lb Zn (761K Oz AgEq at a grade of 286 g/t AgEq). During Q4,2019 Santacruz processed from its Rosario mine in San Luis Potosi, 22,972 tonnes of 64 g/t Ag, recovering 90.6%, to produce 43.1K Oz Ag, 163 Oz Au, 195K Lb Pb, and 849K Lb Zn (134.5K Oz AgEq at a grade of 214 g/t AgEq). During the full year 2019, it processed 76,088 tonnes of 65 g/t Ag, recovering 93.4%, to produce 149.7K Oz Ag, 642.9K Lb Pb, and 3M Lb Zn (465.6K Oz AgEq at a grade of 218 g/t AgEq).
  • Telson Mining Corporation, resumed full scale mining and milling operation at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero. The initial production after resuming operations is for 1,750 tonnes per day but intending to increase it to 2,000 tonnes per day or more in the coming weeks.
  • Mexus Gold US, crushed and placed additional material from Don Julio vein on the heap leaching pad of its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. The Julio and Lucky Strike open pit keep expanding with 1.2-9 g/t Au and an overall average of 4 g/t Au.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp., provided 2020 production and cost guidance for its Mexican mining operations. The table below shows figures for each of its three Au-Ag mines in Mexico:

Endeavour also announced that it plans to spend $5.4M drilling 18,500m of core on brownfield projects, greenfield exploration and development of its mines and projects.

ON FINANCING

  • Azure Minerals Limited, completed a $4M placement to conduct an aggressive exploration program on its Alacrán project in Sonora. Gross proceeds will be used to perform drilling to increase mineral resources at its Bonita deposit, conduct greenfield exploration and target definition at its Alacrán project, and to restart metallurgical testwork on its Mesa de Plata and Loma Bonita deposits. The company also mentioned that it received payments for MXP $ 16.5M from the Mexican Tax Office for the recovery of IVA (GST).
  • Millrock Resources Inc., announced its plan to raise gross proceeds from a non-brokered private placement for up to $1M (Batamote project, Sonora). Gross proceeds will be used to advance exploration on their current projects as well as to generate new ones.
  • Gold Resource Corporation, declared January 2020 monthly dividend of one-third of a cent per common share for its shareholders (Arista mine, Oaxaca).
  • Telson Mining Corporation, has been marketing a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds for up to CAD $3M. It has completed subscription agreements for total proceeds of approximately CAD $1.89M and is planning to conduct a first tranche initial closing on proceeds ones the TSX approve it (Campo Morado mine, Guerrero).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  •  Azure Minerals Limited, announced results from the activities performed at its Alacran and Oposura project in Sonora in the period Q4, 2019. At Alacrán, the company commenced an RC infill and expansion drilling program at its Loma Bonita deposit which is open for expansion in several directions. The goal is to increase the current Au and Ag resources which count for 32.2M Oz Ag and 150K Oz Au. To date, 10 RC holes have been collared and the most significant drill intersects are in hole MDPD-025 with 0.56 g/t Au and 27 g/t Ag over 29.6m: hole MDPD-035 with 0.37 g/t Au and 8 g/t Ag over 12.6m; and hole ALA-17-004 with 0.47 g/t Au and 27 g/t Ag over 63.0m. The company also reported channel sampling results of a road cutting in Loma Bonita which returned 3.6 g/t Au over continuous 35.5m wide, and several high grades results from the sampling of historical mine dumps located 11.5-2km S and SE of the Cerro El Alacrán porphyry hosted Cu-Au-Mo ore body. 21 samples were collected with 10 samples returning > 1 Kg Ag (average of 1.07Kg Ag/t), 17 samples with >1 g/t Au (average of 4.43 g/t Au), 10 samples returning over 1% Cu (average of 0.95% Cu), 12 samples returning > 10% Pb (average of 14.9% Pb), and 10 samples returning  over 10% Zn(average of 9.3% Zn). At Oposura, Azure continued to trial, asses and advance several processing for producing saleable bulk concentrate of 35% Zn, 20% Pb, and 140 g/t Ag, as well as to produce separate high grade Zn and Pb concentrates. It also is considering off-take options for direct shipping ore and bulk concentrates.
  • Great Panther Mining Limited, announced 2019 exploration results and provided 2020 plans for its Mexican mining operations. At San Ignacio mine, Guanajuato, the company drilled 7,535 m in 30 in-fill holes. Most significant drill intersections were encountered in hole ESI19-253 with 2.84 g/t Au and 125 g/t Ag (352 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.15m; hole ESI19-254 with 5.78 g/t Au and 6 g/t Ag (469 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.20m; hole ESI19-267 with 3.69 g/t Au and 191 g/t Ag (486 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.09m; hole ESI19-276 with 1.63 g/t Au and 292 g/t Ag (422 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 1.38m; and hole ESI19-277 with 20.53 g/t Au and 816 g/t Ag (2,458 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 0.59m. 2020 plans for San Ignacio will comprise up to 8,500m of in-fill drilling as well as to test additional exploration targets. An update of the mineral resource estimate will be presented in Q1, 2020. At its Guanajuato mine, the company took the decision to put on hold the production in 2019 in order to focus on finding higher grade resources. Great Panther drilled 126 in-fill holes for a total of 8,832 m., mainly underground. Additionally, the company geologists have re-mapped and sampled most accessible areas to develop multiple targets. Significant drill intersection were encountered in hole UGPM19-017 with 1.3 g/t Au and 364 g/t Ag (468 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 3.52m; hole UGPM19-020 with 3.93 g/t Au and 77 g/t Ag (398 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 5.63m: hole UGP-028 with 2.58 g/t Au and 1,042 g/t Ag (1,249 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 2.51m; hole UGDP19-002 with 3.16 g/t Au and 457 g/t Ag (710 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 5.89m; hole UGDP19-013 with 4.32 g/t Au and 863 g/t Ag (1,209 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 4.96m; hole SP19-003 with 3.97 g/t Au and 1,436 g/t Ag (1,754 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 3.53m; and hole UGV19-010 with 2.45 g/t Au and 472 g/t Ag (668 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 2.30m. The 2020 in-fill drilling program will consists of 14,400m focused on building mineral resources along the Veta Madre structure. An update of the Guanajuato mineral resource estimate will be released in Q1, 2020. At its Topia mine in Durango, the company drilled 25 in-fill holes for a total of 5,344 m to build mineral resources. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole ST19-238 with 0.28 g/t Au, 5,507 g/t Ag, 25.2% Pb, and 6% Zn (6,966 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 0.31m; hole ST19-246 with 0.31 g/t Au, 2,768 g/t Ag, 5.2% Pb, and 1.6% Zn (3,112 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 0.33m; hole ST19-249 with 0.2 g/t Au, 4,840 g/t Ag, 26.8% Pb, and 9.9% Zn (6,582 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 0.1m; and hole ST19-251 with 0.25 g/t Au, 2,099 g/t Ag, 14.2% Pb, and 12% Zn (3,411 g/t AgEq) over a true width 0.17m. The 2020 drilling program will consists of 2,500m focus on building mineral resources. Great Panther plans to release an updated mineral resource estimate in July, 2020.
  • Minera Alamos Inc., entered into a purchase agreement with Mako Mining Corp, Marlin Gold Mining Ltd., and Oro Gold de México S.A. de C.V., to acquire a complete crushing, screening, and agglomeration system to facilitate future production growth at its Santana mine in Sonora.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp., updated 2019 mineral reserve and resource estimate for its three Au-Ag Mexican mines. Mineral reserves at December 31, 2019 are shown in the below table:

Mineral resources at December 31, 2019 are shown in the below tables:

Mineral resources are exclusive of and in addition to mineral reserves.

 ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Bacanora Lithium plc, announced results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (Bacanora project, Sonora).
  • Plata Latina Minerals Corporation, entered into an agreement of assignment of mining concessions of its three Mexican properties with The Electrum Group. The three mining properties are Vaquerias, in Jalisco State which consists of two mining concessions totaling 4,411 Ha; Palo Alto, in Aguascalientes State, which comprises three mining concessions totaling 4,722 Ha; and La Joya, in Hidalgo State, which consists of one mining concession of 924 Ha. Electrum will pay USD $100K for each property, and will have exclusive rights for a period of four months to evaluate the three properties, commencing on January 20, 2020 and ending on May 20, 2020. Electrum has agreed to reimburse Plata Latina the remaining 2019 semi-semester mining duties on the three properties up to a maximum amount of USD $50K. It also will pay mining duties to cover the mining duties of the first semester 2020. Electrum has already commenced their due diligence on the properties, and will have the right to exercise its option to acquire any or all of the three properties.
  • Minaurum Gold Inc., signed a five-years option agreement to acquire 100% of the Aurifero Gold project in Sonora and expanding its land control in the Alamos mining district where its Alamos Silver project is located. “Aurifero contains a swarm of Au &-Ag-bearing epithermal veins within a NW/SE-trending zone measuring 3 km long and more than 400 m wide. Satellite imagery and ground reconnaissance geology indicate that the alteration signature is similarly widespread”. Several campaigns of shallow RC and core drilling have been conducted since the 1980s totaling over 8,000 metres, all of them averaging less than 100 m deep; the deepest reaching a vertical depth of 135 m from surface.  “There are currently a number of operators conducting small-scale mining on the project.  Under the option agreement, the miners are restricted to a maximum mining depth of 100 m”. Significant drill intercepts from historic drilling were encountered in hole DMDDH-01 with 18.37 g/t Au over 3.1m; hole 07-MN-10, with 3.12 g/t Au over 24.5m; hole CI-35 with 1.47 g/t Au over 48m; hole CI-09 with 3.65 g/t Au over 58m; and hole CI-34 with 2.42 g/t Au over 24m. The option agreement signed by Minaurum is in exchange for USD $2.7M for the 100% of a block of mining concessions which cover 1,198 Ha. The option does not include royalty.
  • Mexican Gold Corp., entered into a binding letter agreement to complete business combination with New Found Gold Corp. The resulting company will be very well capitalized and be focused on exploring and conduct multiple drilling campaigns on their properties and advance Las Minas project in Veracruz. Under the terms of the agreement, New Found is required to complete a minimum of CAD $10Mfinancing, and post-transaction, the company will have approximately CAD $19M in working capital.
  • Equinox Gold Corp., and Leagold Mining Corporation, shareholders approved merger to create a premier Americas Au producer. On closing of the transaction, Leagold will receive 0.331 of an Equinox Gold share for each Leagold share held. Current Equinox Gold and Leagold shareholders will own approximately 55% and 45% respectively of the merged company. Transaction is expected to close in February 2020, subject to approval of TSX and NYSE (Los Filos mine, Guerrero).
  • Minera Alamos Inc., entered into a purchase agreement with Mako Mining Corp, Marlin Gold Mining Ltd., and Oro Gold de México S.A. de C.V., to acquire a complete crushing, screening, and agglomeration system to facilitate future production growth at its Santana mine in Sonora. The purchase price of this agreement is for CAD $1.2M in staged payments. CAD $300K upon execution of the agreement, CAD $700K on the closing date (April 30, 2020 or such other date on or before September 30, 2020), and CAD $200K on the earlier date of the shipment of the equipment.
  • Mithril Resources Ltd., announced results from its 2019 activities, which consisted mostly on the Sun Minerals Pty Ltd acquisition and the exclusive option to acquire 100% interest in the Copalquin project in Durango. Due diligence has been completed and Mithril expects to complete the acquisition of Sun Minerals for the March 2020 quarter.
  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., provided an update on the status of a dispute royalty of 3% that a former owner of one of its extracting concessions in its San Jose mine in Oaxaca granted to the Mexican Geological Service (SGM). In 2018, the company, supported by legal opinions of three independent law firms, concluded that none royalty should be paid and commenced administrative and legal proceedings against the General Direction of Mines (GDM) in order to remove reference to the royalty on the title register. “Fortuna Silver has recently received notice from the GDM seeking to cancel the mining concession if the royalty, in the Mexican pesos equivalent of US$30 million plus VAT (being the amount of the claimed royalty from 2011 to 2019), is not paid before March 15, 2020. The company will be initiating legal proceedings to contest the cancellation procedure and also to stay the cancellation process. In the event that the company is unsuccessful in cancelling the action taken by the GDM or in obtaining a stay of execution, it may be required to pay, or post a bond or other security, up to the amount claimed, in order to preserve the mining concession. In that case the company would immediately thereafter proceed with dispute proceedings. If the company is required to pay the royalty or post security it will do so from available working capital”.

 ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • The Mexican President, Luis Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) thanked Peñoles, for joining the program “Youth Building the Future”, which guarantee the right to young people to study , work and be trained as good citizens. AMLO, along with the General Director of Peñoles, the Governor of Coahuila, and the Secretary of Labor gathered in Laguna Del Rey, Coahuila with 61 scholars in the frame of the celebration of the first anniversary of this program. Scholars thanked the support and the opportunity to receive training and after which they hope to get a job in Peñoles. Fernando Alaniz, General Director of Peñoles commented that this program is not only seen in the financial result sheet but also in the responsibility and commitment towards the community.
  • Governor of Sonora, Claudia Pavlovich Arellano, opened the Community House of Argonaut Gold Inc in la Colorada, where it will offer arts, music, drawing, painting, handicraft and confectionery workshops, as well as workshops of values, school for parents, addiction prevention and emotion management, all totally free for the population.
  • The municipality of Guadalupe y Calvo Chihuahua, Chihuahua and Fresnillo plc (San Julian mining company), signed a labour agreement to hire local personnel to work at the mine, based on their knowledge and qualifications. Local authorities commented that this is already a second stage of hiring, being 45 people placed in the previous one, so it is expected to place a good number of elements in this new stage.
  • Fresnillo plc, demonstrates Social Responsibility since it works on four strategic axes including education, health, capacity development, and environmental care. It has sustainability as its policy, as it is a company dedicated to the exploration, exploitation and benefit of minerals, and is committed to guaranteeing a safe and healthy place for its staff and its environment, establishing good relations with neighboring communities. In Education, 36 young people who study robotics have received support and advice, and approximately 2,600 children are being beneficiated with a program that foster the reading culture. In Health, more than 3,000 people from several communities were attended in 2019 without any cost. This social program will continue in 2020. In Capacity Development, in sports, Fresnillo has organized since 9 years ago, the 5Km race which started with 200 runners and now participate more than 2,000; it has a soccer academy, and a year ago, an agreement was signed with a professional soccer team (Santos Laguna) to grant 300 children and young people to be in the academy. The company also support in other sports such as baseball, basketball, etc.  In addition, more than 200 women from different communities are trained, who are taught courses in crafts, pastry, beauty culture, and sewing and are given the material. In addition, more than 40 people who have small businesses are trained. In Environment, Fresnillo plc takes care of the water and operates two waste water treatment plants. It also has two tree nurseries that give the year more than 70,000 trees of which a large part of them are planted in all the mines and others are donated to the community.
  • Grupo Mexico, delivered Seed Capital to inhabitants of Nueva Rosita, Coahuila, to learn a trade and improve the quality of life of people. Seed Capital is an initial financing method that aims to develop a business idea with growth possibilities and is delivered in kind. The company is providing seeds in projects that seek the growth of the communities where it has mining operations. Grupo Mexico also presented a large urban development project for San Luis Potosi. This project will generate 20,000 jobs and build 7,500 houses in an area of 470 Ha. It was also announced that the urbanization of the site where Industrial Minera Mexico operated will be a new development hub for 30,000 people and will have wind power road electricity supply and also includes the reforestation of 20,000 trees in the area. It will have shopping centers, universities, research centers and hospitals. This is the most ambitious urban project for San Luis Potosi in recent years and will start in this same 2020.
  • Minera Media Luna (Torex Gold), supported Nuevo Balsas and surrounding communities nearby its Mexican mining operations in Guerrero with high-tech medical equipment delivered to the NGO “Curando Mexico”.   This social program “Curando México” aims to offer the most vulnerable population an accessible high quality health service.
  • Minera Peñasquito (Newmont Goldcorp), invested MXP $9M and delivered tractors and agricultural equipment to the inhabitants of the El Vergel Ejido, located in the municipality of Mazapil, Zacatecas. This project began three years ago, however, with the delivery of seven tractors and agricultural equipment, such as threshing machines and harvesters, among others, a new stage will begin in the cultivation fields of the region. Other actions that were carried out were preparing farmland, operating wells, technifying the irrigation system, as well as providing the inhabitants of El Vergel with seeds to cultivate.
  • Newmont Goldcorp, was recognized for its high social, environmental and corporate governance performance, which places it as a leader in the mining sector worldwide. Newmont was recognized by 3 independent entities for their high managerial performance, social responsibility, and coordinated actions to combat climate change and the promotion of women in the workplace. Newmont scored high in a variety of dimensions, including quality management, social responsibility, long-term investment, personnel management and innovation.

Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.

On the picture above, sulphur crystals in an epithermal hot spring prospect in Guanajuato, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.