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

Bladed calcite in an epithermal vein system

By Miguel A Heredia

During the nineteen week of the year (May 4th to May 10th, 2020), at least 45 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with eleven communicating production and financial results, seven announcing financing rounds, seven disclosing deals and corporate issues, six reporting on resources and developments, six discussing issues on social responsibility, five commenting on Mexican issues, and three informing on exploration results.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, Americas Gold and Silver reported that its Cosalá operation in Sinaloa continue to be illegally occupied. The General Direction of Mines announced that all mining procedures were suspended until May 30, 2020. Peñoles concluded the construction of its Capela mine in Guerrero with a total investment of USD $334M, of which USD $83.9M were exercised in 2019. Gold mining companies in Mexico are preparing for a solid second semester. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Ridgestone announced that it has completed the first three holes of its ongoing 1,500m drill program at its Rebeico Au-Cu project and Aztec provided an updated 2020 strategic plan and outlook on its Cervantes project. In Chihuahua, Radius reported rock chip sampling results from its recently acquired Plata Verde project.   ON MINING, Avino, Endeavour, GoGold, Gold Resource, Golden Minerals, Great Panther, Hecla, Newmont, Pan American, Premier, and Torex reported production and financial results from their Mexican mining operations. ON FINANCING, Americas Gold and Silver entered in a bought deal public offering for net proceeds of approximately CAD $25M (Cosalá mine, Sinaloa). Fortuna Silver announced proposed amendments to financial covenants contained in its USD $150M credit facility (San Jose mine, Oaxaca). GR Silver entered firstly into a bought deal brokered private placement to raise aggregate gross proceeds of $6,021,000, and later the company upsized it to $8.1M (San Marcial and Plomosas projects, Sinaloa). Minaurum announced a private offering to raise up to CAD $5M (Alamos Silver project, Sonora).    Mithril announced that it is conducting a capital raising by way of a non-renounceable rights issue to shareholders for a minimum gross proceeds of A $1.5M and a maximum of A $2.46M (Copalquin project, Durango). Magna Gold entered into an amendment to include the closing of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of a minimum of $1.8M and a maximum of $2M (San Francisco mine, Sonora).   ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Discovery Metals released results from eight diamond drill holes collared at its Cordero project in Chihuahua. GR Silver announced historical drilling results from its Plomosas Silver project and provided an update on its ongoing exploration program at its San Marcial project, both located in Sinaloa. Golden Minerals completed PEA´s for its Rodeo and Velardeña projects in Durango. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Agnico announced election of directors during its annual and special meeting of shareholders (Pinos Altos, Chihuahua). Alio Gold completed the sale of its San Francisco mine in Sonora to Magna Gold. Argonaut and Alio received positive recommendations of its proposed merger announced on March 30, 2020 (El Castillo mine, Durango). Azucar Minerals granted stock options to certain directors, employees and consultants (El Cobre project, Veracruz). Xtierra received TSXV conditional approval for the acquisition of Minera Portree (Bilbao project, Zacatecas). Pan American Silver released its 2019 sustainability report (La Colorada mine, Zacatecas). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Chihuahua Mining Cluster donated MXP $200M to the Mexican Red Cross. Esperanza Silver de México (Alamos Gold), delivered protective overalls to doctors and nurses at the IMSS Regional hospital 1 in Cuernavaca. First Majestic delivered pantries to five Ejidos from the Municipality of Ocampo, Coahuila. Fresnillo plc joined donated medical equipment to hospitals in Sonora. Grupo Mexico, in coordination with the Torreón City Council, delivered 300 pantries and disinfectant products to residents of a neighborhood near its Met-Mex Peñoles metallurgical plant. Minera San Julian (Fresnillo plc), will provide mask to the Municipality of San Julian, Chihuahua. Aura Minerals, in coordination with the municipal authorities of Concepción Del Oro Zacatecas, has helped to implement measures designed to support the communities in this difficult time. Compañia Minera Pangea (McEwen Mining) donated cleaning kits to 109 families of seven communities near of its El Gallo mine in Sinaloa.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Americas Gold and Silver, reported that its Cosalá operation in Sinaloa continue to be illegally occupied and stated that “while the company cannot negotiate with the self-interested representatives of this illegal action, it is optimistic that a legal a legitimate labour representative for its workers will be identified, and the mine will be in a position to re-open after any COVID-19 restrictions are lifted”.
  • The General Direction of Mines, announced that all the mining procedures were suspended until May 30, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemia. “For the foregoing, the holders of mining concessions are informed that the obligation to present the report during May to verify the execution of the exploration or exploitation works, in the terms of articles 27, fraction I, 28, 29, 30 and 31 of the Mining Law, and 63 to 66 of its regulations, the term for its presentation is suspended, until May 30, 2020”. The deadline for receipt of the report will be now from June 01, 2020 to June 30, 2020. This postponement was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation and is based on article 28 of the Federal Law of Administrative Procedure.
  • Peñoles Group, finalized the construction of its Capela mine in Guerrero with a total investment of USD $334M, of which USD $83.9M were exercised in 2019. This new unit has a grinding and processing capacity of 4,500 tons of ore per day, to produce an annual average of 4.7M Oz Ag, 89.6M Lb Zn, 19.3M Lb Pb, and 15.7M Lb Cu contained in Pb, Zn, and Cu. It will also generate a total of 650 jobs.
  • Gold Mining companies in Mexico, are preparing to reactivate their activities after quarantines applied by the government to achieve profitable production amid the multi-year records that commodity prices have broken. The timing and success of reactivations will largely depend on the evolution of the pandemic. As operations could resume in May, the mines are in good shape to take advantage of healthy yellow metal prices, although social distancing measures are likely to affect productivity and costs.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Ridgestone Mining Inc., announced that it has completed 435.7m on the first three holes of the ongoing 10 holes, 1,500m diamond core drilling program at its Rebeico Au-Cu project in Sonora. The three first holes were collared at the New York Zone where high grade Au-Cu mineralization has been sampled on surface. All holes present visible sulphide mineralization. Assay results are pending and will be released when available.
  • Aztec Minerals Corp., provided an updated 2020 strategic plan and outlook on its Cervantes project in Sonora. During Q2, 2020 the company plans to finalize the JV agreement with Kootenay Silver, finalize the interpretation of 3-D geophysics conducted in 2019, and advance exploration on near surface oxide Au mineralization and deeper porphyry sulphide Au-Cu targets. In Q3, 2020, Aztec plans to extend detail mapping and sampling of the Purisima West, Estrella, Jacobo, Brazil, and other targets at its Cervantes project, and plan and obtain permits for phase 2 drilling program on its California and Purisima targets. In Q4, 2020 the plan is to commence phase 2 drilling program on these two targets.
  • Radius Gold Inc., reported results of 35 rock chip samples collected at its recently acquired Plata Verde project in Chihuahua. Highlights include 142g/t Ag over 64m at Mina Mojonera, including 350 g/t Ag over 12m. “At Plata Verde, Ag mineralization occurs as massive to crustiform banded barite calcite with Ag chlorides, sulphosalt minerals and native Ag infilling and cementing fractures and breccia within a basaltic/andesite extrusive volcanic”. At Mina Real, located 150m south of Mina Mojonera, 75 rock chip samples were collected from the walls and remaining pillars with Ag grades varying from 8 and 730 g/t Ag, with an average grade of 276 g/t Ag. Minas Mojonera and Real define a zone of Ag mineralization approximately 550m long by 200m wide, with the south portion apparently displaced by a large fault, and largely covered by post-mineral rhyolite ignimbrites. Radius is planning to run an airborne magnetic survey to help define the extension of the host rocks under cover.

ON MINING

  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd., released Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its Avino mine in Durango. It processed 164,096 tonnes of 0.4 g/t Au, 57 g/t Ag, and 0.57% Cu to produce 1,531 Oz Au, 267K Oz Ag and 1.8M Lb Cu (684K Oz AgEq), with metallurgical recoveries of 73%, 89%, and 86% respectively, at cash cost of USD $9.83, and AISC of USD $14.88 per Oz AgEq payable.  The company reported revenues of USD $7.12M, mine operation income of USD $843K, cash of $6.7M, working capital of USD $1075M, an EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA of USD $372K  and USD $391K respectively.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp., presented consolidated production and financial results from its Guanacevi mine in Durango, Bolañitos mine in Guanajuato, and El Compas mine in Zacatecas. Endeavour produced 857.7K Oz Ag and 8,476 Oz Au for 1.5M Oz AgEq at an 80:1 Ag: Au ratio or 1.8M Oz AgEq at 110:1 ratio. Cash cost of $7.85 and AISC of $18.38 per Oz payable Ag, both net of Au credits. The company reported an income of $21.9M from the sale of 665.5K Oz Ag and 7,454 Oz Au at average realized prices of $15.33 per Oz Ag and $1,633 per Oz Au.
  • GoGold Resources Inc., reported Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its Parral Tailings project, Chihuahua. It processed 367K tonnes to produced 601K Oz AgEq, at cash cost of USD $12.33 and AISC of USD $15.10 per Oz AgEq. GoGold reported an income of $USD $8.6M, and cash of USD $19.1M.
  • Gold Resource Corporation, announced Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its Oaxaca mining unit, Oaxaca. The company milled 174.5K tonnes to produce 6,450 Oz Au, 402.5K Oz Ag, 1.1M Lb Cu, 5.6M Lb Pb, and 13.1M Lb Zn, at cash cost of $918 and AISC of $1,229 per Oz AuEq sold.
  • Golden Minerals Company, announced its financial results for the period Q1, 2020. The company reported revenue of USD $1.2M and net operating margin of USD $0.6M related to the lease of its oxide plant. It also reported cash and cash equivalents balance of USD $ 2.2M.
  • Great Panther Mining Limited, released Q1, 2020 consolidated production and financial results from its Topia, Durango and Guanajuato mine complex, Guanajuato. The company milled 68,965 tonnes of 318 g/t AgEq.
  • Hecla Mining Company, reported Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its San Sebastian mine in Durango. Hecla produced 346,625 Oz Ag and 2,802 Oz Au, at cash cost of $6.91 and AISC of $9.59 per Oz Ag produced.
  • Newmont Corporation, produced 87K Oz Au at AISC of $769 per Oz Au sold, or 288K Oz AuEq at AISC of $841 per Oz AuEq sold.
  • Pan American Silver Corp., presented Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its La Colorada mine in Zacatecas and Dolores mine in Chihuahua. At La Colorada, Zacatecas the company produced 1.6M Oz Ag and 1.1K Oz Au, at cash cost of USD $7.23 and AISC of USD $9.98 per Oz Ag produced. At Dolores, Chihuahua it produced 1.23M Oz Ag and 27.1K Oz Au, at AISC of USD $23.29 per Oz produced.
  • Premier Gold Mines Limited, released Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its Mercedes mine in Sonora. Premier milled 162,408 tonnes of 2.4 g/t Au and 27 g/t Ag to produce 11,587 Oz Au and 52.2K Oz Ag, with metallurgical recoveries of 93.9% and 37.1% respectively, at cash cost of USD $1,282 and AISC of 1,883 per Oz Au per Oz Au sold.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc., reported Q1, 2020 production and financial results from its El Limon Guajes mining complex in Guerrero. It produced 108.5K Oz Au at cash cost of $794 and AISC of $975 per Oz Au sold. Torex reported an EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA of $39.4M and 67.4M respectively, and cash flow from operations of $29.5M.

ON FINANCING

  • Americas Gold and Silver Corporation, announced a bought deal public offering for gross proceeds of approximately CAD $25M (Cosalá mine, Sinaloa).
  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., provided an update to amend the financial covenants contained in its USD $150M credit facility. The credit facility requires the company to maintain a total debt to EBITDA ratio of not greater than3:1. As of the financial year ended December 31, 2019, the total debt to EBITDA ratio was 1.7:1. Fortuna has entered into discussions with its senior lenders under the credit facility, and obtained agreement in principle to amend the financial covenants. The amendment to the credit facility is subject to the completion of definitive documentation between the parties (San Jose mine, Oaxaca).
  • GR Silver Mining Ltd., entered into a bought deal brokered private placement with a syndicate of underwriters for aggregate gross proceeds of $6,021,000. The company also granted the underwriters an option to purchase more stock for additional gross proceeds of $903,150. Later on, the company upsized it to $8.1M (San Marcial and Plomosas projects, Sinaloa).
  • Minaurum Gold Inc., announced a private offering to raise gross proceed up to CAD $5M. Net proceeds will be used for the exploration of its Alamos Silver project in Sonora and for working capital purposes.
  • Mithril Resources Limited, announced that it is conducting a capital raising by way of a non-renounceable rights issue to shareholders for a minimum gross proceeds of A $1.5M and a maximum of A $2.46M. Net proceeds will be used primarily to advance exploration at its Copalquin project in Durango.
  • Magna Gold Corp., entered into an amendment to include the closing of a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of a minimum of $1.8M and a maximum of $2M. Net proceeds will be used for the acquisition of, and for working capital purposes in connection with the San Francisco mine, Sonora.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Discovery Metals Corp., released results from eight diamond drill holes collared at its Cordero project in Chihuahua. Goal of these holes was to define and extend the higher-grade mineralized footprint to the NE and SW of the Pozo de Plata zone. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole C20-319 with 0.1 g/t Au, 70 g/t Ag, 1.5% Pb, and 1.9% Zn (207 g/t AgEq) over a width of 168.8m, including 0.2 g/t Au, 103 g/t Ag, 2.2% Pb, and 4.4% Zn (378 g/t AgEq) over 27.7m; and hole C20-317 with 0.22 g/t Au, 90 g/t Ag, 0.9% Pb, and 0.5% Zn (159 g/t AgEq) over 79m. 48 holes totaling 17,500 m have been completed to date at Cordero to understand the high-grade footprint. Assays from 16 holes are pending. All holes have been drilled roughly perpendicular to the main structural north-east trend of higher-grade mineralization.
  • GR Silver Mining Ltd., announced historical drilling results from its Plomosas Silver project and provided an update on its ongoing exploration program at its San Marcial project, both located in Sinaloa. At Plomosas, in San Juan Area, highlights include hole LRD-46 with 0.13 g/t Au, 198 g/t Ag, 1.7% Pb, and 0.5% Pb (261 g/t AgEq) over a true width (TW) of 6.4m, including 0.13 g/t Au, 404 g/t Ag, 0.7% Pb, and 0.3% Zn (444 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 3m; hole LRD-54 with 0.4 g/t Au, 821 g/t Ag, 7.4% Pb, and 4.5% Zn (1,304 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 2m; hole SJD-17 with 0.43 g/t Au, 521 g/t Ag, 4.6% Pb, and 1.6% Zn (705 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 1.9m; and hole SJD-10 with 0.8 g/t Au, 574 g/t Ag, 1.6% Pb, and 0.7% Zn (675 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 2.7m. “GR Silver Mining continues its review and validation of more than 500 surface and underground drill holes on all six zones, aiming to confirm additional multiple vein systems hosted in a set of regional high angle fault zones and shallow dipping younger regional faults”. At San Marcial project, it obtained positive initial Au results from channel sampling at two new targets including 28.94 g/t Au and 143 g/t Ag over 0.2m, and 6.81 g/t Au over 0.2m. It also completed the work to widen 170m an existing tunnel to reach the breccia-hosted high-grade mineralization. GR also commented that with all the accumulated data generated it has generated at least eight drill-ready targets to test.
  • Golden Minerals Company, completed PEA´s for its Rodeo and Velardeña projects in Durango. At Rodeo, the PEA shows a pre-tax NPV (8% discount rate) of USD $24.4M with a low start-up cost of USD $1.5M. Pending receipt of mining permits, mining and processing is planning for Q1, 2021. At Velardeña, the PEA shows a pre-tax NPV (8% discount rate) of USD $85.9M based on incorporating bio-oxidation processing as the key to achieving robust project economics. No development decision has been made with regard to this project.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Agnico Eagle Mines Limited, announced the election of directors during its annual and special meeting of shareholders (Pinos Altos, Chihuahua).
  • Alio Gold Inc., completed the sale of its San Francisco Mine in Sonora to Magna Gold Corp. Under the terms of the agreement, Timmins GoldCorp Mexico S.A. de C.V., a subsidiary of Alio Gold, received 9.74M of common shares of Magna and will receive USD $5M in cash (or a 1% NSR royalty in respect of the San Francisco Mine, if the cash payment is not made by Magna) within twelve months.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc., and Alio Gold Inc., received positive recommendations of its proposed merger announced on March 30, 2020. Argonaut and Alio shareholders of record at the close of business on March 30, 2020 and April 14, 2020 respectively are eligible to vote their common shares (El Castillo mine, Durango).
  • Azucar Minerals Ltd., announced it has granted stock options to certain directors, employees and consultants of the company to purchase an aggregate 425K common shares at a price of $0.11 per share (El Cobre project, Veracruz).
  • Xtierra Inc., received conditional approval for the acquisition of 87.99% interest of Minera Portree de Zacatecas S.A. de C.V. , for the amount of CAD $56K in cash less a deposit of CAD $26K previously paid, the remaining CAD $30K is payable in installments subject to certain milestones, and the issue to the vendor of 2M common shares of the company at a deemed value of CAD $0.05 per share. The TSXV has provided conditional approval of the acquisition which requires completion of legal documentation in Mexico (Bilbao project, Zacatecas).
  • Pan American Silver Corp., released its 2019 sustainability report, which includes details on Pan American’s environmental, social, governance (“ESG”), and health and safety performance.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • The Chihuahua Mining Cluster, donated MXP $200M to the Mexican Red Cross, which will be used to acquire the paramedics ´personal protection equipment to face the COVID-19 pandemic. The president of the Chihuahua Mining Cluster recognized the commitment of all mining units and suppliers belonging to the cluster for showing solidarity with its employees and with the communities, and declared that the mining industry has had to fight against the onslaught of the pandemic, since despite not having been considered an essential industry and being forced to close all its operations.
  • Esperanza Silver de México (Alamos Gold), delivered protective overalls to doctors and nurses at the IMSS Regional hospital 1 in Cuernavaca. This action was in addition to the previous delivery of KN95 masks and gloves that the mining company carried out at the Regional 1 hospitals of the IMSS, the ISSSTE Family Clinic in Cuernavaca, the Regional of Temixco and José G. Parres de Cuernavaca.
  • First Majestic Silver Corp., through its personnel of La Encantada mine in Coahuila, delivered pantries to five Ejidos from the Municipality of Ocampo. Personnel of the company prepared packages with items from the basic food basket that were delivered to the peasant families, house by house, in support of the health contingency by COVID-19. The local authorities appreciated the help of the mining company and other companies and social organizations that have brought support and health and humanitarian aid to the inhabitants of Ocampo.
  • Fresnillo plc, donated 2,000 covers, 40 gallons of disinfectant gel and 400 N95 masks to the hospitals of Zone No. 8 of the IMSS and General of the State of Sonora, in the city of Caborca, in support and recognition of the hard work carried out by the staff of these institutions.
  • Grupo Peñoles, in coordination with the Torreón City Council, donated 300 pantries and disinfectant products, for the benefit of residents of the Vicente Guerrero neighborhood, Torreón, near its Met-Mex Peñoles metallurgical plant.
  • Minera San Julián (Fresnillo plc), will provide mask to the Municipality of San Julian, Chihuahua. The production of mouth masks will be in charge of a community company in the town of Yerbitas, which was hired by Minera San Julián to contribute to the support of sanitary guidelines to face the COVID-19 pandemic. The mining company is also helping to generate employment and strengthen the local economy.
  • Aura Minerals Inc., in coordination with the Municipal Authorities of Concepción del Oro Zacatecas, has helped to implement measures designed to support the communities in this difficult time such as screening checkpoint for all those entering the city, contracting the local workforce to produce additional face masks for ongoing essential activities, providing canteens, transportation vehicles and health questionnaires, facilitating temperature scanning and the use of screening checkpoints, hiring additional medical personnel and supplying COVID-19 test kits.
  • Compañia Minera Pangea (McEwen Mining), donated cleaning kits to 109 families (354 persons) of seven communities near of its El Gallo mine in Sinaloa.

 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, bladed calcite in a low sulphidation epithermal vein system in a prospect in Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

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

Quartz-alunite

By Miguel A Heredia

During the fifteen week of the year (April 06th to April 12th, 2020), at least 30 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with seven communicating production and financial results, six commenting on Mexican issues, five announcing financial rounds, five discussing issues on social responsibility, four disclosing deals and corporate issues, two informing on exploration results, and one reporting on resources and development.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, Mining companies operating in Mexico such as First Majestic, Telson, Torex, Capstone, Coeur, Endeavour, Impact, Hecla, Minera del Norte, and Equinox, have temporarily suspended mining activities at their Mexican operations in accordance with Mexico´s Ministry of Health´s decree to mitigate the spread and transmission of COVID-19. They also have withdrew their 2020 production and cost guidance until further notice due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Ridgestone announced that the three first holes of the 1st phase, 10-drill holes program were recently completed at its Rebeico project.  In Chihuahua, Discovery Metals released drilling results from 10 holes collared at its Cordero property. ON MINING, Impact reported full year 2019 production and financial results from its Zacualpan Mining District in Mexico State. GoGold reported Q1 2020 production results from its Parral tailings operation in Chihuahua. US Antimony reported its March 2020 production results. Hecla provided Q1 2020 production and financial results from its San Sebastian mine in Durango. Endeavour reported Q1 2020 production results from its Mexican operations. ON FINANCING, Santacruz raised gross proceeds of CAD $734,150 and reported that it won´t be completing any additional tranches of its previously announced non-brokered private placement (Veta Grande, Zacatecas). Consolidated Zinc advised that the underwriting agreement for the rights Issue announced on 9 March 2020 has been terminated, in accordance with the terms of the agreement, due to market conditions (Plomosas mine, Chihuahua). Candelaria closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $1,059,261 (Caballo Blanco project, Veracruz). Aloro announced its plan to raise gross proceeds of up to $400K (Los Venados project, Sonora). Minera Alamos received CAD $5M from Osisko Gold Royalties (Santana project, Sonora). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Prime Mining filed a technical report on its Los Reyes deposit in Sinaloa, and provided a new mineral resource estimate. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Avino announced that it has deferred its annual general meeting of shareholders until August 27, 2020 (Avino mine, Durango). Sable announced management changes and it also granted stock options to certain officers, directors and consultants (Vinata project, Chihuahua). Equinox reported that it will hold its annual general meeting for shareholders on May 15, 2020 (Los Filos mine, Guerrero). Orla announced the appointment of its new CFO (Camino Rojo project, Zacatecas). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Minera Fresnillo (Fresnillo plc) donated a state-of-the art ventilator to the General Hospital of IMSS at Fresnillo, Zacatecas.  Minera San Xavier (New Gold) delivered protective medical supplies to medical and nursing personnel of the local hospital at its Cerro de San Pedro mine in San Luis Potosi.   Newmont announced the establishment of a USD $20M fund to help host communities, governments and employees combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Minera Peñasquito made a donation of 500 Pro Shield suites to medical personnel who will attend cases of COVID-19. Grupo Mexico delivered a hospital to the government of Oaxaca to attend cases of COVID-19 at Juchitán city in the Istmo of Tehuantepec region.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Mining Companies operating in Mexico, such as such as First Majestic, Telson, Torex, Capstone, Coeur, Endeavour, Impact, Hecla, Minera del Norte, and Equinox, have temporarily suspended mining activities until April 30, 2020 at their Mexican operations in accordance with Mexico´s Ministry of Health´s decree to mitigate the spread and transmission of COVID-19. They also have withdrew their 2020 production and cost guidance until further notice due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Ridgestone Mining Inc., announced that three out of 1o holes planed for 1st phase drilling program have been completed at its Rebeico project in Sonora for a total of 435.7m. Visible sulphide mineralization is observed in all three holes collared but assays are pending.
  • Discovery Metals Corp., released drilling results from 10 holes collared at its Cordero project in Chihuahua. These holes are part of the 30,000-35,000m planned for the first phase program focused on defining a high-margin project with scale that retains excellent leverage to rising metal prices. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole C19-309 with 0.26 g/t Au, 673 g/t Ag, 10.1% Pb, and 3.7% Zn (1,205 g/t AgEq) over 1.3m; hole C20-310 with 0.08 g/t Au, 904 g/t Ag, 5.4% Pb, and 8% Zn (1,436 g/t AgEq) over 1.2m; hole C20-312 with 0.16 g/t Au, 273 g/t Ag, 0.8% Pb, and 5.5% Zn (546 g/t AgEq) over 5.3m, including 0.87 g/t Au, 1,500 g/t Ag, 3.2% Pb, and 30% Zn (2,929 g/t AgEq) over 0.6m; hole C20-314 with 0.37 g/t Au, 51 g/t Ag, 1% Pb, and 0.6% Zn (139 g/t AgEq) over 106.1m, including 2.08 g/t Au, 355 g/t Ag, 6.6% Pb, and 4.5% Zn (946 g/t AgEq) over 4.8m; and hole C20-316 with 0.55 g/t Au, 119 g/t Ag, 2% Pb, and 0.3% Zn (247 g/t AgEq) over 27.7m, including 1.1 g/t Au, 1,255 g/t Ag, 20% Pb, and 2.5% Zn (2,153 g/t AgEq) over 1m, and including 2.3 g/t Au, 721 g/t Ag, 12.7% Pb, and 1.9% Zn (1,435 g/t AgEq) over 1.5m; and other deeper interval of 0.58 g/t Au, 79 g/t Ag, 1.2% Pb, and 1.15% Zn (217 g/t AgEq) over 62.8m, including 1.14 g/t Au, 212 g/t Ag, 3.5% Pb, and 2.3% Zn (522 g/t AgEq) over 10m, and including 0.75 g/t Au, 151 g/t Ag, 2.3% Pb, and 3% Zn (422 g/t AgEq) over 11.9m. Until March 31, 2020, 48 holes totaling 17,500 m have been collared and assays from 24 holes are pending.

ON MINING

  • Impact Silver Corp., reported full year 2019 production and financial results from its Zacualpan Mining District in Mexico State. It produced 664K Oz Ag with an average mill feed grade of 182 g/t Ag, to report adjusted mining earnings of $1.3M on $13.3M revenue for the full year 2019.
  • GoGold Resources Inc., announced Q1 2020 production results from its Parral tailings operation in Chihuahua. The company produced 365.8K Oz Ag, 2,355 Oz Au, and 62.7K Lb Cu (600.7K Oz AgEq)
  • US Antimony Corporation, reported its March 2020 production. It sold 101,326 Lb Sb at an average price of $2.67 per Lb and 2.35M Lb zeolites.
  • Hecla Mining Company, released Q1 2020 production results from its San Sebastian mine in Durango. It produced 0.35M Oz Ag and 2.8K Oz Au.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp., reported Q1 2020 production results from its Mexican operations. A summary of the quarterly production by mine is shown in the next table:

  • Great Panther Mining Limited, announced Q1 2020 production and financial results from its Mexican operations. At its Topia mine in Durango, it processed 19,353 tonnes of 0.82 g/t Au and 357 g/t Ag, with metallurgical recoveries of 55.2% and 92.3% respectively to produce 282 Oz Au, 205.2K Oz Ag, 898.2K Lb Pb, and 1.4M Lb Zn (376.3K Oz AgEq). At its Guanajuato Mining Complex in Guanajuato, the company processed 49,607 tonnes of 1.85 g/t Au and 125 g/t Ag, with metallurgical recoveries of 84.1% and 85.4% respectively, to produce 2,482 Oz Au and 169.7K Oz Ag (393.1K Oz AgEq).

ON FINANCING

  • Santacruz Silver Mining Inc., raised gross proceeds for CAD $734,150 and reported that it won´t be completing any additional tranches of its previously announced non-brokered private placement (Veta Grande, Zacatecas). Gross proceeds will be used for general working capital and corporate purposes (Veta Grande, Zacatecas).
  • Consolidated Zinc Limited, advised that the underwriting agreement for the rights Issue announced on 9 March 2020 has been terminated, in accordance with the terms of the agreement, due to market conditions (Plomosas mine, Chihuahua).
  • Candelaria Mining Corp., closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $1,059,261 (Caballo Blanco project, Veracruz).
  • Aloro Mining Corp., announced its plan to raise of up to $400K. Part of the gross proceeds will be used for property payments (Los Venados project, Sonora).
  • Minera Alamos Inc., closed the royalty agreement with Osisko Gold Royalties and received CAD $5M. In combination with the CAD $6M equity placement completed by Osisko in January of this year, the company, has now received gross proceeds of CAD $11M and retains an option to further drawdown an optional royalty facility of up to CAD $3M.  Overall, the package provided access to CAD $14M which exceeded the Company’s current development plans for its Santana project in Sonora.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Prime Mining Corp., filed a NI 43-101 technical report on its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa, and provided a new mineral resource estimate as of April 2, 2020. At a cut-off grade of 0.7 g/t Au, the measured and indicated resources are 8,697,000 tonnes of 2.21 g/t Au to contain 618,123 Oz Au, and the inferred resources are 2,603,000 tonnes of 2.09 g/t Au to contain 175,232 Oz Au. Total resources (M+I+I) are 11.3M tonnes of 2.18 g/t Au to contain 793,355 g/t Au. At a cut-off grade of 0.22 g/t Au, measured + indicated resources are 19,752,000 tonnes of 1.31 g/t Au to contain 833,032 Oz Au, and inferred resources of 7,094,000 tonnes to contain 261,132 Oz Au. Total resources (M+I+I) are 26,846,000 tonnes of 1.27 g/t Au to contain 1.1M Oz Au.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd., deferred its annual general meeting for shareholders until August 27, 2020 (Avino mine, Durango).
  • Sable Resources Inc., announced the resignation of one of its directors and reported that Rubén Padilla has joined to the board of directors. The company also announced that it has granted stock options to certain officers, directors, and consultants (Vinata project, Chihuahua).
  • Equinox Gold Corp., reported that it will hold its annual general meeting of shareholders on May 15, 2020 (Los Filos mine, Guerrero).
  • Orla Mining Ltd., announced the appointment of its new CFO (Camino Rojo project, Zacatecas).

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Minera Fresnillo (Fresnillo plc), donated a state-of-the art ventilator to the General Hospital of IMSS at Fresnillo, Zacatecas to attend cases of COVID-19 that may arise. The Mindray SV600 mechanical ventilator is an essential medical device at this time, as it provides patients with more oxygen so they can breathe. Currently, Fresnillo plc has redoubled efforts to serve all of its workforce, implementing measures that reinforce the health actions recommended by the Secretaries of Health and Labor and Social Welfare, as well as international organizations.
  • Minera San Xavier (New Gold Inc.), announced the suspension of the mining activities at its Cerro de san Pedro mine in San Luis Potosi due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and donated protective medical supplies to the local hospital at Soledad town, such as tyvek type overalls, N95 respirators, masks with the level of filtration recommended, etc., with the aim that they are destined for the medical and nursing personnel who work and who will attend COVID-189 cases an its hospital.
  • Newmont Corporation, announced the establishment of a USD $20M fund to help host communities, governments and employees combat the COVID-19 pandemic. “Newmont will partner with local governments, medical institutions, charities and non-governmental organizations to target funds towards addressing the greatest needs with a view to serving as a catalyst for long-term resiliency and future community development” (Peñasquito mine, Zacatecas).
  • Minera Peñasquito, made a donation of 500 Pro Shield suits to medical personnel who are in the first line of care for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. The donation was delivered to the Zacatecas Health Secretariat (SSZ), an instance that will be in charge of administering and distributing this protective equipment to the hospitals where it is most needed. In this way, Peñasquito is in solidarity with Zacatecas.
  • Grupo Mexico, delivered a hospital in the city of Juchitán to the government of Oaxaca. The Hospital, with a constructed area of ​​6,800 square meters, will be equipped and used by the Ministry of National Defense to face the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the needs of the population of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region. Grupo México will continue to monitor the support required in the region in the context of the contingency and reiterates its support for Oaxaca and the Federal Government’s strategy in the face of this difficult challenge

 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, quartz-alunite in an epithermal vein system in Zacatecas, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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By Jorge Cirett

During the 8th week of the year (February 17th to February 23rd, 2020), at least 35 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, the Sonora Economy Secretariat remarked that several investments are to strengthen the mining industry in 2020. Camimex pointed that mining companies are to invest more than US$200 M in exploration during 2020. Grupo Mexico is to return to the government the mining concession on which the disaster struck Pasta de Conchos mine is located. Camimex is to pursue its “zero accidents” goal. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Colibri Resources has received the permit to drill at the Evelyn project; Riverside Resources reported on field work and sampling at Los Cuarentas; Aloro received a new drilling permit for its Los Venados project. In Chihuahua, Kootenay Silver commenced the phase II drilling program at its Columba project. In Durango, Commander Resources reported on a geophysical survey at Pedro’s project. In Zacatecas, Excellon Resources informed on the exploration status of its Evolución project. In Guanajuato, Vangold secured land access and land use permits on its El Pinguico project. In Jalisco, GoGold Resources launched a second exploration project at Los Ricos District in Jalisco: Monte El Favor.  ON MINING, Starcore International, Americas Gold and Silver,  Torex Gold, First Majestic Silver, Pan American Silver and Fortuna Silver reported Q4 and full year 2019 financial and/or production results. ON FINANCING, Hecla Mining is to redeem $475 M of 7.25% senior notes. Canuc Resources, San Marco Resources and Ridgestone Mining closed various stages of non-brokered private placements for $850 K, C$784.8 K and $715.2 K, respectively. Kootenay Silver is now on the 2020 TSX Venture 50tm. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Golden Minerals announced promising results from metallurgical test work on concentrates from its Velardeña property. Excellon informed on exploration results on its Platosa mine in Durango. SilverCrest Metals announced a new discovery of a high-grade zone on another vein of the Babicanora area of its Las Chispas property in Sonora. Coeur Mining and Alamos Gold reported mineral reserves and resources to the end of 2019, including figures from Palmarejo (Chihuahua) and the Mulatos District (Sonora), respectively. Goldplay Exploration provided an update on drilling at San Marcial, Sinaloa. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Tamino Minerals filed a law suit against an individual, in Sonora. Telson informed on the resignation of its CEO, Jose Antonio Berlanga, and the appointment of Ralph Shearing as interim CEO. Sonoro financing discussions were interrupted by the Coronavirus outbreak in China. Mexican Gold and New Found Gold terminated their binding agreement for the acquisition of New Found Gold. GoGold entered into an agreement to acquire The Monte del Favor project in the Los Ricos District in Jalisco. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Fresnillo PLC supports three teams in a robotic regional fair. Grupo Mexico supports social and infrastructure projects in Sombrerete, Zacatecas, with over 300 activities that benefit 3,00 inhabitants. Fresnillo PLC and Frisco are among the companies that integrate the Environmental Protection Club in Zacatecas.).

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Jorge Vidal, head of Sonora’s Secretaría de Economía (Economy Secretariat), stated that several investments are to strengthen the mining industry during 2020 in Sonora. He pointed that the investment by Bacanora minerals in the lithium project in Bacadehuachi is one of these, and another one is the investment of the Buenavista zinc project in Cananea, which is to generate 500 jobs with the investment of MXN$350 M pesos (US$18.8 M).
  • Mining companies are to invest more than US$200 M in exploration in 2020. Fresnillo is to reduce its exploration budget to US$135.1 M, from US$150 M on 2019, with about half of those funds to be used in the conversion of resources to reserves. Pan American Silver focuses on brownfield exploration with a budget of US$20 M for the year, on which La Colorada Skarn is to see a 44,000 m drilling program. First Majestic has an exploration budget of US$28.2 M, to be spent in San Dimas (Durango), Santa Elena (Sonora), La Encantada(Coahuila), La Parrilla (Durango) and Del Toro (Zacatecas). Torex Gold is to conduct an infill drilling program that will cost US$13 M on its Media Luna project (Guerrero). Agnico Eagle is to spend US$33.9 M in exploration during 2020, highlighting the funding of the Santa Gertrudis project in Sonora with US$10.4 M and a 42,000 m drilling program at its Pinos Altos mine in Chihuahua.
  • Grupo Mexico is to return to the government the mining concession on which the Pasta de Conchos mine is located. The move is in response to the presidential request to facilitate the retrieval of the remains of over 65 miners deceased in 2006 on the mine located in Coahuila.
  • The Cámara Minera de México (Camimex) vowed to pursue the “zero accidents” goal, pointing that in 2018 the associated companies reported an accident rate of 1.63, which is 3.7% lower than in 2017, and below the national average of 2.04 registered by the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS).

ON EXPLORATION

  • Excellon Resources Inc. informed on exploration of its 45,000 hectares Evolución property in Zacatecas. Highlights include the expansion of the Lechuzas zone along strike and down dip, and broad intersections of Ag-Pb-Zn, like: 18.7 m @ 27 gpt Ag, 0.8% Pb, 1.1% Zn, 0.1 gpt Au (103 gpt AgEq), including 2.0 m @ 105 gpt Ag, 3.5% Pb, 4.2% Zn, 0.3 gpt Au (416 gpt AgEq); 1.5 m @ 290 gpt Ag, 6.9% Pb, 5.9% Zn, 0.2 gpt Au (779 gpt AgEq); 4.5 m @ 51 gpt Ag, 1.9% Pb, 2.9% Zn, 0.1 gpt Au (244 gpt AgEq); 3.3 m @ 55 gpt Ag, 1.1% Pb, 1.9% Zn (172 gpt Ag). Excellon plans to incorporate all recent work into an updated mineral resource estimate for the project.
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. has commenced a 7,000 m phase II core drilling program at its Columba project in Chihuahua. The follow up drilling will focus on the results of last year’s 41-hole, 6,853 m program which targeted six different veins on the property. Highlighted results from that program comprise: 1.15 m @ 775 gpt Ag; 4.83 m @ 230 gpt Ag; 2.90 m @ 519 gpt Ag; 11.0 m @ 133 gpt Ag (including 5.0 m @ 245 gpt Ag); 2.1 m @ 699 gpt Ag; 1.75 m @ 755 gpt Ag, 1.16 gpt Au; 6.25 m @ 244 gpt Ag; 11.5 m @ 415 gpt Ag (including 4.0 m @ 721 gpt Ag); 4.63 m @ 301 gpt Ag; 39.9 m @ 159 gpt Ag (including 7.45 m @ 650 gpt Ag).
  • Colibri Resource Corp. informed it has received the required drilling permits for its Evelyn project in Sonora. Drill pad construction and other required infrastructure are to commence immediately, followed by drilling.
  • Commander Resources Ltd. reported results from a 70 line-km induced polarization survey (IP) at the Pedro’s project in Durango. The 1,750 ha project was acquired in 2006 from Bearing Resources Ltd. Hematite stained silica rich ridges of angular chalcedony fragments and silicified sedimentary rocks within an angular coarse breccia comprise the outcrops within the Ahuichila conglomerate, within a soil anomaly 4 Km by 1 km and rock chip samples of up to 2.3 gpt Au. Past drilling focused on a Carlin target intercepted up to 10.5 m @ 0.51 gpt Au in oxidized silicified conglomerate.
  • Vangold Mining Corp. has secured a surface land access agreement, and a surface land use agreement for its El Pinguico mine in Guanajuato. The 15-year land access agreement was signed with the Ejido Calderones, providing a short access route to the project, whereas the land use permit was signed with a local land owner for 89.6 hectares.
  • Riverside Resources Inc. reported on field work and sampling at its Los Cuarentas project in Sonora. Selective rock sampling from dumps, float, channel and rock chips returned five of sixteen samples with more than 5 gpt Au: 25.7 gpt Au, 4 gpt Ag; 10.2 gpt Au, 9 gpt Ag; 6.8 gpt Au, 65.1 gpt Ag, 6.27 gpt Au, 120 gpt Ag; 5.3 gpt Au, 6 gpt Ag; 5.1 gpt Au, 75 gpt Ag. Three primary targets have been identified for a prospective drill program in 2020: Santa Rosalia, Santa Rosalia Sur and El Sombrero.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. launched a second exploration project located on the Los Ricos District, called Monte del Favor, in Jalisco. Gogold now owns 35 concessions covering 22,493 hectares in a 35 km trend. The new concessions come with a legacy database of 50 drill holes with highlighted intercepts of: 24.4 m @ 6.4 gpt Au, 1,629 gpt Ag; 28.3 m @ 3.1 gpt Au, 150 gpt Ag; 6.1 m @ 1.1 gpt Au, 201 gpt Ag; 6.1 m @ 2.8 gpt Au, 174 gpt Ag; 20.3 m @ 0.4 gpt Au, 225 gpt Ag.
  • Aloro Mining Corp. informed a new drilling permit has been granted by SEMARANT (The Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources) for its Los Venados project in Sonora. The permit granted the drilling of 15 holes and the construction of up to 3.38 Km of drill roads. Drilling is to focus in the south area of the project, where a hole cut 32 m of blind strong silicic alteration with brecciated vuggy silica an sulfides, with 7.6 m @ 1.13 gpt Au, 32 gpt Ag.

ON MINING

  • Starcore International Mines Ltd. released production results for the quarter ending on January 31, 2020. In its San Martin mine in Queretaro, 58.3 K tonnes were milled @ 1.84 gpt Au, 30 gpt Ag, recovering 90.1% Au, 50.9% Ag, to produce 3,425 Oz AuEq.
  • Americas Gold and Silver Corp. presented production figures from 2019 and guidance for 2020 of its mining operations, including figures from its Cosalá property in Sinaloa. At Cosalá, 613.8 K tonnes were processed @ 50 gpt Ag, to produce 572 K Oz Ag, 43.3 M Lb Zn and 16.4 M Lb Pb, or 4.68 M Oz AgEq, at cash cost ($18.31) and AISC ($10.90) per Oz Ag produced. Improved access to the Upper Zone at the San Rafael mine will tap higher silver grades in 2020.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc. reported fourth quarter and fill year 2019 financial and operating results. For the last quarter of 2019, Torex Gold produced 121,151 Oz Au at its El Limón-Guajes mine in Guerrero, at cash cost $617 per Oz and all-in sustaining cost of $767 per Oz, generating EBITDA of $102.2 M and repaying $82.5 M of debt during the period. For the year, Torex produced 454,811 Oz Au at cash cost of $619 per Oz and an AISC of $805 per Oz Au, generating EBITDA of $330.3 M and repaying $164.4 M of debt. Total debt now stands at $174.9 M, while cash at hand is $161.8 M. The Media Luna project resource estimate was updated to 2.24 M Oz AuEq at a grade of 5.5 gpt Au in the indicated category and 4.23 M Oz AuEq at 4.23 gpt Au in the inferred category.
  • First Majestic Silver Corp. announced financial results for the Q4 and year 2019. During the quarter 626.6 K tonnes were processed to produce 3.35 M Oz Ag, 33,176 Oz Au, 0.9 M Lb Pb, or 6.23 M Oz AgEq at cash cost $3.37 per Oz and an AISC of $12.25 per Oz. The production figures for the year are in the table below. The company ended 2019 with cash and cash equivalents of $169 M. First Majestic production 20191
  • Pan American Silver Corp. reported financial results for the year 2019, including figures from its Mexican operations. At La Colorada mine in Zacatecas 768.7 K tonnes were milled @ 361 gpt Ag, 3.10% Zn, 1.65% Pb to produce 8.2 M Oz Ag, 4.61 K Oz Au, 20.97 K tonnes Zn, 11.15 K tonnes Pb, at cash cost $4.30 and AISC of $5.00 (net of by-products). At Dolores, in Chihuahua, 6.78 M tonnes were place on the heaps @ 38 gpt Ag, 0.60 gpt Au, to produce 5.1 M Oz Ag, 117.6 K Oz Au at a cash cost of $3.09 and an AISC of $15.45.
  • Fortuna Silver Mines, Inc. provided 2020 production, cost and capital expenditure guidance for 2020, including figures for its Mexican operations. At San Jose, in Oaxaca, the company aims to produce between 6.6 and 7.3 M Oz Ag, and between 41 and 45 K Oz Au, at a cash cost of US$65.6 to US$72.5 per tonne, and an AISC between US$9.6 to US$11,7 per Oz AgEq. The plan is to process 1.06 M tonnes @ 223 gpt Ag, 1.39 gpt Au, with a capital investment of US$17.1 M, including US$12.2 M for sustaining capital expenditures and US$4.9 M for brownfields exploration programs which include 17,600 m of drilling.

ON FINANCING

  • Hecla Mining Co. announced its agreement to sell $475 M aggregate principal amount of 7.25% senior notes. The notes will mature in February 2028, with the company intending to use the net proceeds together with cash on hand to redeem all of its outstanding 6.875% senior notes due 2021. (San Sebastián, Durango).
  • Canuc Resources Corp. closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $850 K, with three officers of the company participating (San Javier, Sonora).
  • San Marco Resources Inc. closed its over-subscribed non-brokered placement, raising C$784.8 K (Espiritu, Sonora).
  • Ridgestone Mining Inc. closed the first tranche of the non-brokered private placement to raise $715.2 K on gross proceeds (Rebeico, Sonora).
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. has been recognized in the 2020 TSX Venture 50tm as one of the top 50 performing companies on the TSX Venture Exchange (Columba, Chihuahua).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Golden Minerals Co. announced promising results of metallurgical test work on pyrite-arsenopyrite flotation concentrates from its Velardeña properties in Durango. “Gold and silver recoveries of 91% and 92%, respectively, were obtained from cyanide leaching of the bio-oxidized concentrate samples. BIOX* achieved 93% oxidation on the concentrate sample in batch tests, which the Company believes should translate to a 5 to 6-day retention time in a commercial bio-oxidation plant”.
  • Excellon Resources Inc. informed on exploration results at its Platosa mine in Durango. Surface drilling of the NE-1S manto returned high-grade intersections, like 6.6 m @ 1,178 gpt Ag, 6.7% Pb, 8.4% Zn, 0.2 gpt Au. A large hydrothermal system was discovered 11 km from the Platosa mine at the Jaboncillo target, where drilling is aimed to start in the first half of 2020.
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc. announced a new discovery and additional drill results from the Babicanora Norte vein at its Las Chispas property in Sonora. The discovery drill hole intercepted 2.0 m (tw) @ 6,418 gpt AgEq on a faulted extension that received the name of Area 200, on the Babicanora Norte vein, which is now the highest-grade vein in the project. The initial high-grade footprint of this zone is 500 long by 125 m in height, on the vein that is now known for more than 2.0 km. The area 200 shows an average estimated true width (tw) of 1.5 m @ 16.11 gpt Au, 2,166 gpt Ag (3,375 gpt AgEq). Highlighted results for this press release comprise 1.4 m @ 90.22 gpt Au, 9,422 gpt Ag (16,189 gpt AgEq); 2.4 m @ 45.71 gpt Au, 5,577 gpt Ag (9,006 gpt AgEq); 1.6 m @ 75.78 gpt Au, 7,662 gpt Ag (13,345 gpt AgEq).
  • Coeur Mining Inc. reported 2019 mineral reserves and resources, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Palmarejo, in Chihuahua, infill drilling helped replace mining depletion. Proven and probable reserves stand at 11.67 M short tonnes (st) @ 1.83 gpt Au, 135 gpt Ag; measured and indicated resources stand at 8.76 M st @ 1.49 gpt Au, 122 gpt Ag and inferred resources of 6.47 M st @ 1.77 gpt Au, 127 gpt Ag. These amount to 693 K Oz Au, 5.6 M Oz Ag as reserves, 425 K Oz Au, 34.5 M Oz Ag as measured and indicated resources and 367 K Oz Au, 26.3 M Oz Ag as inferred resources.
  • Minera Peña Colorada informed that the Peña Colorada mine in Colima received the visit of PROFEPA (Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente) and SEMARNAT (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales) personnel to review the compliance of the company on the different permits it has received.
  • Alamos Gold Inc. Reported mineral reserves and resources to year end 2019, including figures from its Mexican Operations. Mineral reserves at Mulatos decreased by 154 K Oz to 1.56 M Oz, with mining depletion partially offset by an 81 K Oz increase at La Yaqui Grande. The exploration budget was increased to $7 M with 14,000 m of drilling planned around near mine targets as well as at La Yaqui Grande and El Carricito. A number of regional exploration targets were identified with the aid of a VTEM survey carried out in 2018.Alamos Gold Mineral Resources to 201911
  • Goldplay Exploration Ltd. provided an update on exploration and drilling of its San Marcial project in Sinaloa. The last holes of 2019 returned 28.7 m @ 92 gpt Ag, including 13.75 m @ 154 gpt Ag in the Faisanes target. At the Guacamayo target 0.60 m @ 138 gpt Ag, 0.56 gpt Au, confirm mineralization 30 m east of the current resource area. Due diligence has commenced on the potential acquisitions of the Plomosas (First Majestic Silver Corp.) and La Trinidad (Mako Mining Corp.).

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Tamino Minerals Inc. has filed a law suit against an individual in Sonora. (El Volcán, Sonora).
  • Newmont Corp. appointed Jim Cooper as General Manager of the Peñasquito unit in Zacatecas.
  • Telson Mining Corp. informed its Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors, Jose Antonio Berlanga, has resigned due to personal reasons. Mr. Ralph Shearing has been appointed as Interim Chief Executive Officer for the company (Campo Morado, Guerrero).
  • Sonoro Metals Corp. informed discussions regarding debt finance and engineering, procurement and construction contracts with China-based EPC companies has been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak (Cerro Caliche, Sonora).
  • Mexican Gold Mining Corp. announced, along New Found Gold Corp., that they have mutually terminated the binding agreement to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of NFGC (Las Minas, Veracruz).
  • GoGold Resources Inc. entered into an agreement to acquire a second project located on the Los Ricos District, called Monte del Favor, in Jalisco. The agreement is to acquire 49% of 5 concessions in consideration for US$225 K, and an option to acquire the remaining 51% by paying US$210 K on the second anniversary. The seller will retain 1% NSR on the property, which the company may repurchase by paying US$1 M.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Fresnillo PLC supports science, technology and youthful innovation. As part of the regional robotic fair “FIRST” on the La Laguna region, Fresnillo is to support three teams. The sponsored teams are from Turuachi, Chihuahua, Ciénega de Nuestra Señora, Durango and Fresnillo, Zacatecas. One other team from Caborca, Sonora, is to participates in an international competition in Arizona.
  • Grupo Mexico supports social and infrastructure projects in Sombrerete, Zacatecas. Every year the company performs 300 activities that benefit 3,000 inhabitants. The social programs and productive activities take place in Sombrerete, San Martin, Villa Insurgentes, Ojo de Agua, Charco Blanco, Santa Rita and José de Félix communities. Also, a seed-capital program has financed 29 projects to benefit 20 schools.
  • Peñoles, Fresnillo PLC, and Grupo Frisco among the companies to integrate the Environment Protection Club in Zacatecas. More than 25 companies are to be members of this club, promoted by the State governor, and that will also have universities (Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas and Instituto Politécnico Nacional), the Secretaría de Agua y Medio Ambiente and federal authorities as its memebers.

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: The old train bridge between Nacozari and the Pilares mine, in Sonora, picture by Jorge Cirett

IMG_1740 (2)

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.

 

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

Mn-Fe/calcite fault-bx in rhyolitic tuffs.

By Miguel A Heredia

During the first week of the year (December 31st to January 05th, 2020), at least 19 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with six announcing financial rounds, three disclosing deals and corporate issues, three commenting on Mexican issues, two communicating production results, two reporting on resources and development of their projects, two discussing issues on social responsibility, and one informing on exploration results.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, La Caridad mine in Sonora, one of the most precious jewels of the Mexican mining. Lithium can turn Mexico into the planet´s rechargeable battery. Mexico announced USD $4.65B in capital expenditure for new mining projects in 2020-2021.  ON EXPLORATION, In Jalisco, GoGold filed a NI 43-101 Technical Report on its Los Ricos project. ON MINING, Telson reported some of the reactivation activities carried out at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero to bring it back into production by mid January 2020. Newmont Goldcorp provided an outlook for the year 2020 on its Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas. ON FINANCING, Sonoro Metals received proceeds of $875K from the sale to Agnico of the 1% NSR on the Chipriona property in Sonora. First Mexican closed the third tranche of its private placement for gross proceeds of $95K (Guadalupe project, Sonora).  Great Panther announced USD $10M concentrate prepayment (Guanajuato mine complex, Guanajuato). Telson announced its intention to conduct a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD $3M (Campo Morado mine, Guerrero). SilverCrest announced that SSR mining elected to exercise its SilverCrest equity participation with CAD $13.25M private placement (Las Chispas project, Sonora).  ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Sierra Metals updated mineral resource estimate for its Bolivar mine in Chihuahua.  Leagold announced expansion plans for its Los Filos mine in Guerrero. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Prospero sold its Mexican subsidiary Minera Fumarola S.A. de C.V. to an arm’s length purchaser, Aquatio S.A. de C.V. of Jalisco State, Mexico (Pachuca SE project, Hidalgo). Equinox Gold and Leagold mailed management information in order to approve business combination and create a premier Americas Au producer (Los Filos mine, Guerrero). Goldgroup provided a legal update on its dispute with DynaResources concerning the San Jose de Gracia mine in Sinaloa. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Fresnillo plc created more than 9,000 jobs in 2019. Zacatecas students created a protective device for miners to reduce accidents.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • La Caridad mine in Sonora, owned by the Grupo Mexico, is one of the most precious jewels of the Mexican mining. Its activity dates back to the pre-Hispanic era, but which had its greatest boom in the early twentieth century and that today is recognized in the history of our country as a factor of advancement and economic development for all Mexicans. Today it is the best integrated mine in the world, a mine where Cu is split and extracted for plate refinement. But this is not the only thing that is exploited in La Caridad, because large quantities of refined Au and Ag are also obtained, as well as Moly, a metal highly prized for its ability to create alloys with steel. But beyond its metallurgical production, La Caridad is also important for the entire region and the surrounding villages, as the mine generated multiple infrastructure works, thus generating a chain of well-being for its inhabitants. Developing new schools, cultural, sports facilities, housing, personnel transport systems and a supply network for workers, known as the “miner’s stores”, in addition to thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
  • Lithium can turn Mexico, in the planet´s chargeable battery. After one of the biggest Li deposit was discovered in Sonora by Bacanora, a Canadian mining company. The technology industry has set its sights on the country with multiple requests from mining companies that want to exploit it, including Chinese corporations. Given this news, the head of the SEMARNAT, Victor Manuel Toledo, described the potential that this represents for Mexico in terms of tax collection and economic recovery, saying that worldwide Lithium has become “the new oil.” Bacanora, in collaboration with the Chinese Ganfeng already plans to raise at least USD $400M to request a license from the Mexican government for the exploitation of a Li quarry allegedly made up of 4.5 M tonnes of this element that has detected, which would later generate profits for these companies of at least USD $1B.
  • Mexico announced USD 4.65B in capital expenditure for new mining projects in 2020-2021. A series of mining companies will commence to build various mining projects in Mexico in 2020. Minera Alamos, expects to initiate construction of its Santana-Los Verdes project in Sonora in Q1, 2020 with an investment of USD $7.55M, which includes the construction of a coal plant, platforms, ponds and various earthworks at the mine site. The complex should start producing in Q3, 2020. It also plans to begin construction of its la Fortuna mine in Durango at the end of 2020 at a total cost of USD $26.9M. Torex Gold Resources Inc., expects to start the construction of its Media Luna mine in Guerrero in Q1, 2021, with a capital expenditure of USD $482M. Media Luna has a capacity of 47M Lb Cu, 170K Oz Au, and 1.7M Oz Ag per year. Prime Mining Corp., plans to begin construction of its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa in June 2021 and end in December of the same year. The capital expenditure of the project is set as USD $89.5M and its capacity is 35K Oz Au and 253K Oz Ag per year, with a useful mine life of 11 years. VVC Exploration Corp., owns the USD $4B Samalayuca copper project in Chihuahua. Samalayuca, currently awaiting a construction decision, has an estimated useful mine life of 16 years. Southern Copper Corporation, is the owner of Mina Pilares in Sonora, which will produce Cu in concentrates to be processed in the La Caridad mine. Mina Pilares, currently awaiting a construction decision, should start producing in H2, 2021. Southern reported that it has already obtained environmental permits and is currently trying to acquire additional land.

ON EXPLORATION

  • GoGold Resources Inc., filed a NI 43-101 Technical Report on its Los Ricos project in Jalisco. Work done by GoGold confirms that the drilling program continues to intersect wide zones of Au & Ag from surface to vertical depths of 300m. The Los Ricos deposit is still open along strike to the north and at depth. It also concludes that although high-grade portions of the vein have been mined out, the structures still have wide mineralized intervals potentially amenable to surface mining methods. A budget of USD $5.3M was proposed to continue the exploration work at Los Ricos project in Jalisco for the year 2020. The company also announced that plans to complete an NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource Estimate on Los Ricos in 2020.

ON MINING

  • Telson Mining Corporation, reported some of the reactivation activities carried out at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero to bring it back into production by mid January 2020. The company has already restored electrical power to the mine site, and personnel have commenced dewatering the mine. Access has been restored to the El largo Zone where there are approximately 50K tonnes of ore available to transport to the mill site that along with 20K tonnes of ore previously transported to the mill will be available for processing upon start-up. Personnel are also advancing on the process of checking, servicing, and repairing as necessary, all mill processing equipment, mobile mining equipment, underground mining equipment, ventilation systems and safety equipment, etc.
  • Newmont Goldcorp, provided a 2020 outlook for its Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas. It plans to produce 575K Oz Au at a cash cost of $570 per Oz Au and AISC of $725 per Oz Au. In addition, the company plans to produce 30 M Oz Ag, 200M Lb Pb, and 425M Lb Zn, at a cash cost of $515 per Oz AuEq and AISC of $805 per Oz AuEq.

ON FINANCING

  • Sonoro Metals Corp., received proceeds of $875K from the sale to Agnico of the 1% NSR on the Chipriona property, located in the Mulatos mining district in Sonora. The NSR originated from the sale of the Chipriona property to Agnico in December 2019 for the amount of $4M plus the NSR.
  • First Mexican Gold Corp., closed the third tranche of its private placement for gross proceeds of $95K. In total, the company issued 20M shares for gross proceeds of $1M (Guadalupe project, Sonora).
  • Great Panther Mining Limited, entered into a USD $10M prepayment agreement with the IXM Group for 100% of the Au-Ag concentrates produced from the Guanajuato mine complex in 2020 and 2021. The prepayment will be repaid on December 31, 2020 and will bear interest at an annual rate of 3-month USD LIBOR plus 5%.
  • Telson Mining Corporation, announced its intention to conduct a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD $3M (Campo Morado mine, Guerrero).
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc., announced that SSR Mining elected to exercise its shareholder participation right, pursuant to an agreement between the company and SSR Mining dated November 28, 2018. Accordingly, SSR Mining has agreed to purchase 1,819,074 shares of SilverCrest for aggregate proceeds of CAD $13.25M at the same price of CAD $7.28 as the bought deal public offering announced by SilverCrest on December 3, 2019. SSR entered into a transaction with a third party to divest of the 1,819,074 SilverCrest common shares to be acquired pursuant to the private placement at a price of CAD $8.45 per common share for a pre-tax gain of approximately CAD $2.1M. Net proceeds raised by SilverCrest will be used to continue exploration and development of its Las Chispas project in Sonora.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  •  Sierra Metals Inc., updated mineral resource estimate for its Bolivar mine in Chihuahua. This mineral resource update includes 13,698m of infill drilling and 41,553m of exploration drilling. Total indicated mineral resources are 11.63M tonnes of 0.95% Cu, 18 g/t Ag, and 0.24 g/t Au (or 1.16% CuEq) for a total of 244.3M Lb Cu, 6.8M Oz Ag, and 90.4K Oz Au (300.1M Lb CuEq). Total inferred mineral resources are 16.69M tonnes of 0.93% Cu, 17 g/t Ag, and 0.30 g/t Au (or 1.16% CuEq) for a total of 342.1M Lb Cu, 9M Oz Ag, and 162.7K Oz Au (428.1M Lb CuEq). Sierra Metals plans to update a PEA for the Bolivar mine which is expected to be released in Q3, 2020. Goal of the PEA is to increase tonnage throughput in excess of 5,000 tonnes per day, which is expected to be reached by the end of 2020.
  • Leagold Mining Corporation, announced a USD $180M expansion plans for its Los Filos mine in Guerrero. Expansion began in July, with the final phase of development scheduled to conclude by end-2021. The Los Filos expansion will play a key role to consolidate the recently merged Equinox-Leagold combined company as a producer of 1M Oz Au per year in 2021, based on output from current mines in Brazil, Mexico and USA. This expansion will position Los Filos mine as one of the Mexico´s biggest Au mines, combining underground and open pit operations across the Los Filos, Bermejal and Guadalupe deposits. The expansion is expected to roughly double production at Los Filos in 2021 from around 200K Oz Au produced in 2019 to 400K Oz Au.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Prospero Silver Corp., sold its Mexican subsidiary Minera Fumarola S.A. de C.V. to an arm’s length purchaser, Aquatio S.A. de C.V. of Jalisco State, Mexico, for a cash purchase price of USD 5K, and assumption of all statutory liabilities and obligations of the subsidiary in Mexico, including property maintenance and abandonment, statutory employee severance, and tax obligations, estimated to aggregate to USD $95K.
  • Equinox Gold Corp., and Leagold Mining Corporation, mailed management information to approve business combination to create a premier Americas Au producer. “Pursuant to the transaction, Leagold shareholders will receive 0.331 of an Equinox Gold share for each Leagold share held. At closing, existing Equinox Gold and Leagold shareholders will own approximately 55% and 45% of the combined company, respectively, on an issued share basis. The combined company will continue as Equinox Gold under the ticker symbol “EQX” on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NYSE American Stock Exchange” (Los Filos mine, Guerrero).
  • Goldgroup Mining Inc., provided a legal update on its dispute with DynaResources concerning the San Jose de Gracia mine in Sinaloa. It is awaiting the written judgment of the 11th Federal Circuit Collegiate Court in Mexico to be published to assess its contents and reason for judgment. The Company will continue to pursue all legal avenues in Mexico to achieve a favorable resolution to the DynaUSA dispute. It also will continue the enforcement of the final judgment from the US District Court for the District of Colorado which confirmed the company´s previously announced favorable award in the arbitration against DynaUSA.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Fresnillo plc., generated more than 9,000 jobs in 2019. The company is making every effort to be competitive, to continue generating jobs for Fresnillo and generate economic benefits for the population.
  • Zacatecas students, created a protective device for miners to detect risk of fatigue, heart rate and blood pressure. The intelligent device called EPIMIN is set inside the hard hat of the miners to detect fatigue of the miners, based on heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature, with the variable that, in case of presenting any irregularity, the device will issue a sensory alert to the user and will alert a monitoring center located on surface with the person in charge. “An investment in technology like this will allow mining companies to control work risks, anticipate them, prevent them and get to the longed for zero accidents.”

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-Fe/calcite fault-bx hosted in rhyolites in a prospect in Chihuahua, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Third Week of December, 2019.

Phyllic alteration

By Miguel A Heredia

During the fifty-one week of the year (December 16th to December 22th, 2019), at least 28 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with nine announcing financial rounds, seven disclosing deals and corporate issues, five discussing social issues, four reporting on resources and developments of their properties, two communicating production and financial results, and one commenting on Mexican issues.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, Mexico mining production showed signs of recovery. ON EXPLORATION, no relevant news. ON MINING, Starcore presented production and financial results for the second quarter ended October31, 2019 from its San Martin mine in Queretaro. Premier provided a year end operations update (Mercedes mine, Sonora).  ON FINANCING, Defiance extended its loan until December 21, 2020 for a balance of $1.2 M (San Acacio project, Zacatecas). Alamos Gold announced renewal of a normal course issuer bid, and an increase of a credit facility from USD $400M to USD $500M (Mulatos mine, Sonora). Orla finalized a credit agreement for USD $125M for the development of its Camino Rojo project in Zacatecas. First Mining closed a non-brokered flow-through equity financing for $2M (San Ricardo project, Sonora).  SilverCrest closed a CAD $92M bought deal financing, including CAD $12M over allotment option exercised in full (Las Chispas project, Sonora). Golden Minerals sold two non-strategies Mexican exploration properties to Industrias Peñoles for $3M. Mexus paid off two loan agreements which were coming due (Santa Elena mine, Sonora). Mithril announced its plan to raise up to A$4.9M by way of an entitlement issue to shareholders (Copalquin project, Durango). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Argonaut presented a positive PFS for its Cerro Del Gallo project in Guanajuato, and increased company´s mineral reserves by 48%. Coeur provided an update on its exploration program at Palmarejo mine in Chihuahua. Azure commenced a 7,000m RC resource expansion drilling at its Loma Bonita deposit in Sonora. Industrias Peñoles commenced extraction and grinding tests at its Capela mine (former Rey de Plata mine) in Teloloapan, Guerrero. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Discovery Metals announced the appointment of its new VP of Corporate Development and Investor Relations (Cordero project, Chihuahua). Equinox Gold and Leagold entered into a definitive agreement to combine in an at-market merge (Los Filos mine, Guerrero). Goldplay entered into a letter of intent agreement with Mako Mining Corp., to acquire 100% of the shares of Marlin Gold Mining Ltd. (San Marcial project, Sinaloa). Oroco presented results from its special annual general meeting for shareholders (Santo Tomás project, Sinaloa). Prize Mining announced the resignation of its CEO and the appointment of its replacement (Manto Negro project, Coahuila).   Mithril entered into an exclusive option agreement to acquire all the issued share capital of Sun Minerals Pty Ltd., which holds an exclusive option to earn up to 100% interest in the high grade Copalquin Au & Ag project in Durango.    ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Zacatecas Mining Cluster held its second Talent Meeting with participation greater than the 30 people who previously registered to participate in the event. Ladies Committee of the AIMMGM and Outlet Minero promoted the environmental education in Zacatecas. Grupo Mexico participated in the conference of preventive culture in San Luis Potosi. Minera Peñasquito held Christmas celebration in Mazapil, Zacatecas. It also informed about the progress of the social programs that the mining company performs in the 25 communities of direct influence.

 ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Mexico mining production, showed signs of recovery, at a time when companies move forward with their efforts to face the problems that hinder operations in a series of large mines. General production increased 1.0% in October compared to the same month last year, led by increases in Pb, Zn, and Ag, according to the INEGI statistics agency. The October increase was largely due to the improvement experienced by three metals. Pb production increased 22.7% to 26.1M Lb, Zn production rose to 12.2% to 78.5M Lb, and Ag production rose to 11.6% to 10.3M Oz. The hike occurs despite a major disruption during October at the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas, one of Mexico’s largest producers of Au, Ag, Pb, and Zn.

ON EXPLORATION

  • No relevant news.

ON MINING

  • Starcore International Mines Ltd., presented production and financial results for the second quarter ended October 31, 2019 from its San Martin mine in Queretaro. It milled 54,100 tonnes of 1.78 g/t Au and 34 g/t Ag to produce 2,700 Oz Au and 31.1K Oz Ag (3,100 Oz AuEq), at a cash cost of USD $71 per tonne milled or USD $1,259 per Oz AuEq, and AISC of USD $1,527 per Oz AuEq Starcore had Au & Ag sales of CAD $ 5.8M, a loss of CAD $1.1M, or CAD $0.02 per share, and an EBITDA of (CAD $342) for the six months period ended October 31, 2019.
  • Premier Gold Mines Limited, provided a year-end operations update. The company reported that the successful 2019 drill campaign resulted in the discovery of higher-grade zones located near existing mine workings, and plans are emplaced to benefit from them. Also, it plans to enter in identified near-mine areas in the Lupita extension and Marianas in order to multiple the numbers of headings and stopes, allowing for more flexibility and increased production. At the end of Q3, 2019, year-to-date mine production totaled 47.6K Oz Au and 146.5K Oz Ag, with total co-product cash costs of $973 per Oz Au and co-product AISC of $1,226 per Oz Au.

ON FINANCING

  • Defiance Silver Corp, announced that it has extended the loan for an additional year until December 21, 2020, with a reduction of $500K. The balance on extension is $1.2M at a rate of 10% per year (San Acacio project, Zacatecas).
  • Alamos Gold Inc., announced its intention to make a normal course issuer bid permitting Alamos to purchase for cancellation up to 28.7M class A common shares, representing 10% of the company´s public float of the common shares as of December 11, 2019, being 287.3M common shares issued and outstanding. The price for any repurchased common shares will be the prevailing market price at the time of the purchase. All common shares purchased by Alamos will be cancelled. In addition, the company increased the size of a credit facility from USD $400M to USD $500M on more favourable terms. “The increase in our facility on more attractive terms is a reflection of the increased scale of Alamos as well as our strong operating and financial outlook. Combined with our existing cash, this further strengthens our financial flexibility with no debt and nearly US$700 million of available liquidity,” said Jamie Porter, Chief Financial Officer (Mulatos mine, Sonora).
  • Orla Mining Ltd., finalized a credit agreement for USD $125M for the development of its Camino Rojo project in Zacatecas. The credit comprises three tranches: an initial tranche for USD $25 M once the agreement is closed and two subsequent tranches for USD $50M each available once Orla satisfies certain conditions, including the receipt of key permits required for the development of Camino Rojo. After the closing of the credit facility, the board of directors has approved the start of construction spending at Camino Rojo, allowing the continuation of detailed engineering and the ordering of long lead items, such as the crushing system. Commencement of project construction has also been approved, subject to receipt of all required permits. By the way, SEMARNAT has granted to Orla the approval of the change of land use permit, one of the two key permits required for the development of its project.
  • First Mining Gold Corp., closed a non-brokered flow-through equity financing for $2M. Gross proceeds will be used to fund exploration programs of their mining properties (San Ricardo project, Sonora).
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc., closed a CAD $92M bought deal financing, including CAD $12M over allotment option exercised in full. Gross proceeds will be used to continue the exploration and development of its Las Chispas project in Sonora.
  • Golden Minerals Company, sold two non-strategies Mexican exploration properties to Industrias Peñoles for $3M. The Mogotes and Pistachon properties are located near the Velardeña mine in Durango. None of the claims contain any identified mineral resources. The cash received will be used to advance key exploration projects in Mexico and Nevada.
  • Mexus Gold US, paid off two loan agreement which were coming due. The company does not have the funds to hire additional crew to run all aspects of the mine continuously, so it is seeking the necessary funds by selling a portion of its non-producing properties, selling equipment not needed at the mine site, and/or funding from its shareholder base. It also is considering selling a small royal interest in its Santa Elena mine in Sonora.
  • Mithril Resources Ltd., announced its plan to raise up to A$4.9M by way of an entitlement issue to shareholders. Net proceeds will be used to complete a drilling program at Copalquin project, Durango, and to continue work on the company´s existing projects.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Argonaut Gold Inc., presented a positive PFS for its Cerro Del Gallo project in Guanajuato. It increased company´s mineral reserves by 48%, and measured and indicated Au mineral resources by 36%. The project has 91,754,000 tonnes of 0.56 g/t Au, 13 g/t Ag, and 0.09% Cu to contain a total of 1.64M Oz Au, 39.1M Oz Ag, and 192.15M Lb Cu. Metallurgical recoveries are 60%, 53%, and 43% respectively. Cerro Del Gallo is a low-cost asset, with estimated cash cost of $597 per Oz Au sold and AISC of $677 per Oz Au sold. The project has an after-tax internal rate of return of $20% and a NPV at a 5% discount rate of $175M, assuming metal prices of $1,350 for Oz Au and $16.75 for Oz Ag. Argonaut plans to produce as an average 64K Oz Au, 1.3M Oz Ag, and 5.4M Lb Cu per year, and has estimated a life of mine of 15.5 years.
  • Coeur Mining Inc., provided an update on its exploration program carried out at its Palmarejo mine in Chihuahua, which has been focused on resource expansion drilling. Highlights from the 2019 drilling campaign at Palmarejo includes positive infill results at the western and southern portions of the Guadalupe mine complex, including hole DC3-ZPA-0010 with 12.8 g/t Au and 1,047 g/t Ag over 5.7m; new resource expansion intercepts from the northern portion of the Independencia mine complex, including hole VIDH-120, with 1.5 g/t Au and 179 g/t Ag over 9.3m; and new resource expansion intercepts from the northeastern most portion of the Independencia mine complex, with hole BVDH-039 with 1.1 g/t Au and 165 g(/t Ag over 5m. “Coeur’s geologic team also expanded its footprint in the district by mapping and sampling exposures of new veins southwest and northeast of the two underground mining complexes as well as new veins west and east of the legacy open pit mine. Coeur expects to seek drill permits for several new areas in 2020 based on positive surface trace-element geochemistry and alteration results”.
  • Azure Minerals Limited, commenced a 7,000m RC resource expansion drilling program at its Loma Bonita deposit in Sonora, where a channel sampling in a road returned 3.6 g/t Au over 35.5m. Alacran project includes Mesa de Plata and Loma Bonita deposits. Initial focus is on growing the Alacran Au & Ag resource of 32.2M Oz Ag and 150K Oz Au. Loma Bonita deposit is open for expansion in most directions with good drill intersections of Au including hole MDPC-131 with 2.8 g/t Au and 33 g/t Ag over 47m; hole MDPC-096 with 1.6 g/t Au and 21 g/t Ag over 67m; and hole MDPC-102 with 1.1 g/t Au and 89 g/t Ag over 44m. In addition, Azure is continuing to undertake reconnaissance and follow-up work throughout the Alacran project where first pass surface sampling of historical dumps returned high grades of Au-Ag and base metals with maximum values of 24.1 g/t Au, 3,675 g/t Ag, 33.5% Pb, 21% Zn, and 2.3% Cu.
  • Industrias Peñoles S.A.B.de C.V., commenced extraction and grinding tests at its Capela mine (former Rey de Plata mine) in Teloloapan, Guerrero. Capela mine is expected to begin operations in 2020 with a daily production of 4,500 tonnes per day. According to the general director of Industrias Peñoles, Fernando Alanís Ortega, the mine located in Teloloapan required an investment of USD $340M.

 ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Discovery Metals Corp., announced the appointment of its new VP of Corporate Development and Investor Relations (Cordero project, Chihuahua).
  • Equinox Gold Corp., and Leagold Mining Corporation, entered into a definitive agreement to combine in an at-market merge, creating one of the top Au producing companies operating entirely in the Americas. The combined entity will continue as Equinox Gold. “Pursuant to the Transaction, Leagold shareholders will receive 0.331 of an Equinox Gold share for each Leagold share held (the “Exchange Ratio”). This implies at-market consideration of C$2.70 per Leagold common share, using closing prices for both Equinox Gold and Leagold common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange on December 13, 2019. At closing, existing Equinox Gold and Leagold shareholders will own approximately 55% and 45% of the merged company, respectively, on an issued share basis”. (Los Filos mine, Guerrero).
  • Goldplay Exploration Ltd., entered into a letter of intent (LOI) agreement with Mako Mining Corp. to acquire 100% of the shares of Marlin Gold Mining Ltd. (San Marcial project, Sinaloa). Marlin owns, amongst other assets, Oro Gold de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. , a Mexican company that owns the La Trinidad mine facilities, currently being decommissioned. Oro Gold also controls 100% of nine concessions totaling 104,094.5 ha located adjacent to Goldplay’s existing portfolio in the historic Rosario gold-silver Mining District, Sinaloa, Mexico. “Under the LOI, upon payment of $50K by Goldplay to Mako the parties have agreed to a binding exclusivity and non-solicitation period from the signing of the LOI until December 31, 2020, or such later date as the parties may agree, which is binding on the parties. Exclusivity will otherwise terminate on the early of the completion of the proposed acquisition or earlier termination of the LOI or the definitive agreement, as the case may be”. The terms of the transaction are subject to negotiation and will include a nominal cash payment to Mako and the issuance of a small NSR royalty to Mako on the concessions currently owned by Oro Gold. Goldplay will assume all remaining tax liabilities of Oro Gold.
  • Oroco Resource Corp., presented results from its special annual general meeting of shareholders (Santo Tomás project, Sinaloa).
  • Prize Mining Corporation, announced the resignation of its former CEO and the appointment of the new CEO (Manto Negro project, Coahuila).
  • Mithril Resources Limited, entered into an exclusive option agreement to acquire all the issued share capital of Sun Minerals Pty Ltd., which holds an exclusive option to earn up to 100% interest in the high grade Copalquin Au & Ag project in Durango. Copalquin contains 32 known historic Au and Ag underground mines including the La Soledad and El Refugio mines. Historic drilling highlights project’s exploration potential with multiple high-grade drill intercepts including hole UC-03 at el Cometa mine with 45.16 g/t Au and 118 g/t Ag over 17.77m; hole UC-024 at El Refugio mine with 6.54 g/t Au and 140 g/t Ag over 7.9m; and hole MP-07-101 with 28.99 g/t Au and 2,350 g/t Ag over 4.53m.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • The Zacatecas Mining Cluster (CLUSMING), held its second Talent Meeting with participation greater than the 30 people who previously registered to participate in the event. The goal of the Talent Meeting is to identify personnel with the skills and attitudes necessary for certain companies in the mining industry (mines and suppliers or contractors), and be part of a talent group that can be subsequently hired by companies, according to their profiles.
  • The Ladies Committee of AIMMGM and Outlet Minero, promoted the environmental education in Zacatecas. Attendees gave a brief talk to the groups about culture for sustainable development, highlighting the importance of carrying out actions such as recycling and reusing objects to make new creations at school and at home. Likewise, about the importance of mining and its presence in objects such as pencils, benches, blackboards, among others, that makes everyday life possible. In this context, the Outlet Minero team organized a Christmas tree contest made with recycling and reused material.
  • Grupo Mexico, promoted preventive measures against hydro metereologic phenomena in San Luis Potosi during the conference of preventive culture. Some emergency brigade collaborated in the event with five members, who gave prevention talks with the community of San Luis Potosí and made a demonstration with a fire truck and own safety equipment. SEMARNAT, Civil Protection, and San Luis Potosi Fire Department participated in this conference of preventive measures.
  • Minera Peñasquito, held Christmas celebration in Mazapil, Zacatecas, where the company distributed thousand of toys in 25 communities belonging to the mine´s area of influence. “Minera Peñasquito is not just about removing the ore, about removing the Au. The responsible mining that we want to do cannot work without working with the community. For us being part of the community is a priority, throughout the year, with social investment, entrepreneurship or infrastructure works. It’s fundamental, “said Nelson Núñez, sustainability manager at Newmont-Goldcorp”.
  • Minera Peñasquito, informed to the community leaders about the progress of the social programs that the mining company performs in the 25 communities of direct influence. Among the programs to be reported, the rehabilitation of houses in Nuevo Peñasco was highlighted in infrastructure, which benefited 22 people from that community, as well as maintenance of roads in Santa Rosa, Cuitláhuac, La Mejorada, Charcos, Cedros y Mesas, as well as the maintenance and operation of wells for human consumption in El Vergel and plants and wells in Mesas, Cedros y Charcos. Regarding social responsibility, the company informed about the project “Together We Left a Legacy” that improves the conditions of educational, social infrastructure and promotes sports. This year furniture was delivered to 17 schools to benefit 1,137 students, as well as Ejidos to benefit 310 people. There was talk of Peñasquito Open Doors, a program that offers guided tours so that members of neighboring communities know about the mining operation. 71 sports academies were also held, supporting 70 teams, with 1,224 beneficiaries where 830 uniforms were delivered. Another important item is the educational scholarships, which grant economic incentives to students from primary to university. There are two types of scholarships: by agreement, which in 2019 allowed the delivery of 411 supports, and scholarships of excellence, which is open call and that this year, benefited 192 students. For the entrepreneurs there is the “Ideas con Valor program”, for the creation and strengthening of micro businesses, which supported 120 families with the participation of 300 people. Through the ‘Local Employment Program”, 765 people from the communities surrounding the operation have been hired, who through specific training were able to develop the capabilities required for the mining operation.

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, phyllic alteration in an IOCG project in Jalisco, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Second Week of December, 2019

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By Jorge Cirett

During the 50th week of the year (December 9th to December 15th, 2019), at least 18 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Bacanora Minerals lithium deposit in Sonora is considered the biggest resource of the metal in the world, according to Francisco Quiroga, Mining sub-secretary. Camimex calls to maintain the competitivity of the mining sector, as it is being threatened by a environmental tax proposal. Newmonts Goldcorp´s Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas is to lift Mexican gold production in 2020, according to BNamericas. Camimex invited the secretary of the environmental agency (SEMARNAT), Victor Manuel Toledo to visit one of the mining units, for him to review what sustainable mining is. He will also be visiting Hermosillo and Ures, meeting with authorities of the municipalities affected by a toxic leak on 2014. ON EXPLORATION, in Chihuahua, Mammoth Resources updated on exploration efforts by partner Centerra at its Tenoriba project; Kootenay Silver released good drilling results on its Columba property. ON MINING, Alamos Gold and Golden Minerals released results for the third quarter 2019. GoGold released results on the year ending in September 2019. ON FINANCING, Advance Gold closed the second tranche of its private placement for gross proceeds of $42 K. Azure Minerals announced the receipt of A$467 K of VAT back taxes (dating to 2016) from the government. Tamino Minerals is planning to become “Pink Current” very soon on the OTC. Odyssey Marine Exploration obtained commitments for up to $4.2 M.   ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Candelaria Mining released results on 15 new holes from the Mirador mine at the Altagracia project in Oaxaca. Pan American Silver announced an initial resource estimate, on the polymetallic  skarn deposit at La Colorada, of 72.5 M tonnes @ 44 gpt Ag, 0.17% Cu, 2.02% Pb, 4.40% Zn, remaining open in most directions, and containing over 100 M Oz Ag. Defiance Silver updated on exploration efforts at its San Acacio project in Zacatecas and at its Tepal project in Michoacán. Prime Mining released surface road cut and trench assays from its Guadalupe de los Reyes project in Sinaloa. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Tamino Minerals has signed a LOI on the Ofelia property, in Sonora. Discovery Metals informed Eric Sprott now owns 21% interest in the company. Newmont Goldcorp announced a deal with the Cedros community on water resources. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. A mining gathering was held in Banamichi, Sonora. The Asociación de Mineros de Sonora celebrated its 40th anniversary. The first “Comité de Desarrollo Regional para las Zonas Mineras” was created in Sonora, to recommend the use of the Mining Fund in certain infrastructure projects in mining areas. Dr. Vagón, Grupo Mexico’s health itinerant clinic was at La Junta, and soon to be moved to the nearby Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, both in Chihuahua. The Consorcio Minero Benito Juárez and the Fundación Bécalos Televisa delivered 120 scholarships to excellency students. A fair was held in Tayoltita, Durango, to bring awareness of the mining work and environment to inhabitants and family members of mine workers. Minera Media Luna is showing a strong support for education in Guerrero, with shcolarships, internships and support to local schools. The Sonora miners association (AMSAC) signed an agreement with the Consejo Regulador del Bacanora, to source agave saplings on its greenhouses to the agave growers. The Mexican gray wolf has left the list of extinct species in the wild, moving to the category of species on extinction risk.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • The lithium deposit in Sonora is the major project of its type in the World, according to Francisco Quiroga, Sub-Secretary of Mining, on an interview by a journalist known country wide. He cautioned on not hurrying up to celebrate, as the lithium still has to be extracted, and be metallurgically separated of the other minerals present in the ore (In this project, unlike other, lithium is contained in a clay). This project is assumed to have 243 M tonnes of lithium, surpassing the Thacker Pass deposit in Nevada, the second lithium deposit, with reserves of 179 M tonnes of lithium. The deposit is co-owned by the English company (not Canadian, as stated in the note) Bacanora Lithium and the Chinese Ganfeng Lithium, and located in the Bacadehuachi municipality (tens of kilometers from the Campo Verde Protected Natural Area and the Chihuahua border).
  • Camimex calls for maintaining the competitivity of the Mining Sector in Sonora. The call was made by Karen Flores, Camimex head, on the first Universitary Mining Gathering held in Banamichi, Sonora. She called for a proposal to tax mining operations on environmental grounds to be repelled. Such tax would transform Sonora in one of the more expensive places to mine, in an industry that is already heavily regulated and taxed. According to the authorities, mining in 2018 provided more than 46 billion pesos (US$2.36 billion) in taxes, 9,000 billion pesos (US$461 M) in rights and more than 4,500 billion pesos (US$230 M) in resources for the Mining Fund.
  • Newmont Goldcorp’s Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas is to lift Mexican gold production in 2020, when production by other big players is to decline. The combined production by the three biggest producers in Mexico, Fresnillo, Newmont Goldcorp, and Alamos Gold should reach 1.59 M Oz Au, above the 1.22 M Oz Au mines in 2019. This is a 30% increment year on year, achievable if the companies reach their mid-point guidelines. According to BNamericas this figure is more than half the 3.15 M Oz Au to be produced by more than 20 companies in Mexico. Fresnillo’s production reached 923 K Oz Au in 2018, expects to produce 885 K Oz in 2019, 785 K Oz in 2021 and 665 K Oz in 2022; the decline motivated by the end of production at the Noche Buena mine and less production at Herradura. Meanwhile, Peñasquito expects to produce 575 K Oz Au in 2020 , and a little bit more in 2021, before production starts to decline due to lower grades. Alamos Gold expects to produce 150 – 160 K Oz Au during 2019 in Mulatos, while the Chanate mine is to produce only 5 K Oz. Minera Frisco and Agnico Eagle have seen their gold production dwindle in 2019, while Torex Gold reached 138 K Oz Au produced during the third quarter, and the company expects to sell 430 K Oz Au this year. Leagold also is to increase production at Los Filos, expecting to double on the 200 K Oz Au forecasted for this year.
  • Camimex invited Victor Manuel Toledo, secretary of the environment and natural resources (SEMARNAT) to visit one of the mining units, for him to review what sustainable mining is. Earlier in the day, in the morning presidential conference, Toledo stated that Semarnat is not against mining: “For Semarnat there is not good or bad mining, revisions have to be on a case by case basis, and confirm through inspection its adherence to norms”.
  • Victor Manuel Toledo, secretary of the environment and natural resources (SEMARNAT) is to be in Hermosillo in December 18th for the presentation of a book on the toxic leakage of 2014, and in Ures to meet with affected parties and authorities of municipalities within the Rio Sonora basin.
  • Alberto Orozco, president of the Sonora Mining Cluster, praised the visit that Victor Manuel Toledo (Environmental Secretary) is to make next week to a mining unit in Sonora. Orozco stressed the presence in Sonora of companies highly involved in the social and economic development of the producing regions in a sustainable manner. He also pointed that the Sonoran mining production is 36% of the national production, contributing with 18% of the State gross domestic product.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Mammoth Resources Corp. updated on exploration efforts at its Tenoriba project, funded by partner Centerrea Gold Inc.. Field logistics have been set, all historical geologic data compiled for Centerra’s review and interpretation and a 3D model is under preparation; all un-assayed core was sent for analysis, and the previous drill program permit is being closed, and a new one is to be prepared. Strong argillic, argillic and minor vuggy silica is present on volcanic rocks on a 4 to 6 Km long belt, with geophysics re-processing pointing to a larger target than previously envisaged, and a new 30 line-Km survey is being planned. A large soil anomaly highlights the eastern part of the corridor. Mammoth is working on community consultation processes with the two ejidos (communal lands) involved.
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. released results from six holes drilled at its Columba project in Chihuahua. Highlighted intervals comprise: 25.85 m @ 200 gpt Ag (including 11.5 m @ 415 gpt Ag, which includes 4.0 m @ 721 gpt Ag, which includes 1.9 m @ 982 gpt Ag) in silicified breccias in proximity to a lithological contact; 6.25 m @ 67 gpt Ag (including 2.09 m @ 172 gpt Ag); 3.0 m @ 314 gpt Ag (including 0.63 m @ 776 gpt Ag); 59.8 m @ 48 gpt Ag (including 9.57 m @ 146 gpt Ag); 6.63 m @ 103 gpt Ag and 1.0 m @ 124 gpt Ag. Several of the intercepts are in quartz veins in rhyolite, as quartz stockworks and as quartz-barite veins.

ON MINING

  • Alamos Gold Inc. released some production figures for 2019, including data on its Mexican production. At Mulatos, in Sonora, during the first nine months of this year 20 K tonnes per day were stacked @ 0.92 gpt Au, with a recovery of 67%, to produce 108 K Oz Au at cash cost $772 and a mine-site AISC of $861. Production from the Mulatos district is expected to total 150-160 K Oz Au in 2020, with ore mined from the Mulatos, El Victor and San Carlos open pits, as well as new production from Cerro Pelon. “A total of $7 million has been budgeted at Mulatos for exploration in 2020 which includes 14,000 m of drilling focused in the Mulatos near-mine, Carricito and La Yaqui Grande areas. A number of regional exploration targets have been identified in 2019 from the property-wide VTEM geophysical survey that was completed in late-2018. A focus of the 2020 regional exploration program will be to further evaluate these targets through systematic mapping, sampling, and ground geophysics”.
  • Golden Minerals Co. released results for the third quarter 2019. During the period Golden reported revenue of $1.9 M related to the lease of Velardeña’s oxide mill and costs of $0.6 M related to the services provided under the terms of the lease, for a net operating margin of $1.3 M. Exploration expenses were $0.9 M, Velardeña care and maintenance $0.4 M, administrative expenses $0.7 M for a total loss of $1.8 M for the quarter. Last October Golden entered into an agreement with Magellan Gold Corp. to sell the company’s option to earn a 100% interest in the Santa Maria and Las Marias exploration properties in Chihuahua. Cash and cash equivalents of $2.9 M by the end of the period.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. announced financial results for the year ending 2019. During the last quarter period the company acquired the Los Ricos project in Jalisco, for share consideration of $5.4 M and cash $4.5 M, of which $3.9 M is payable over three years. During the period the company sold 1 M Oz Ag and 8,752 Oz Ag, produced 1.78 M Oz AgEq, had income of $8.1 M at an AISC of $14.82 per Oz AgEq and cash cost $11.80 per OZ AgEq, a gain of $11.8 M on the sale of the Santa Gertrudis project royalty and has a net working capital of $13.1 M.

ON FINANCING

  • Advance Gold Corp. closed the second and final tranche of the private placement previously announced, for gross proceeds of $42 K (Tabasqueña, Zacatecas).
  • Azure Minerals Ltd. announced that the Mexican tax office has paid this week the amount of MX$6.19 M, approximately A$467 K. This is the interest component from a previous payment, bringing the total received by Azure to A$1.23 M. The payments are the result of the successful resolution of the company’s legal action for the recovery of IVA (the equivalent to GST, or VAT) dating to the 2016 financial year. A fee of 15% is payable to the legal and tax advisors involved (Alacrán, Sonora).
  • Tamino Minerals Inc. is planning to become Pink Current very soon on OTC markets, abiding to OTC disclosure lines. As of the end of September 2019, the company has 370.6 M shares, of which Pedro Villagran holds 138.8 M and Joseph Berry 33 M.
  • Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. obtained commitments for up to $4.2 M in funding in two separate arrangements. A group of existing shareholders is to provide up to $2 M in funding ($539 K already submitted) as advance against a portion of multi-million dollar payment Odyssey expects to receive within the next six months, related to a previously completed ship-wreck project. In addition, “a term sheet has been executed and definitive agreements are being drafted with the group that has already committed up to $6.5 million in non-recourse legal funding for the NAFTA action for up to an additional $2.2 million” (Bay of Ulloa, Baja California Sur).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Gold Resource Corp. released drill results from 15 holes from the Mirador mine area in the Altagracia project in Oaxaca. The Mirador mine is 16 Km NW from the Company’s Aguila project and processing facilities. Highlighted results comprise: 9.21 m @ 0.24 gpt Au, 260 gpt Ag (including 0.73 m @ 0.58 gpt Au, 1,085 gpt Au); 1.38 m @ 4.39 gpt Au, 1,455 gpt Ag; 1.08 m @ 1.81 gpt Au, 2,190 gpt Ag; 5.99 m @ 1.04 gpt Au, 206 gpt Ag (including 1.54 m @ 2.02 gpt Au, 590 gpt Ag); 3.72 m @ 1.44 gpt Au, 910 gpt Ag (including 1.0 m @ 2.84 gpt Au, 2,610 gpt Ag); 2.67 m @ 1.10 gpt Au, 354 gpt Ag.
  • Pan American Silver Corp. announced an initial mineral resource estimate for the large polymetallic deposit discovered in 2018 at La Colorada mine in Zacatecas. The inferred mineral resource is 72.5 M tonnes @ 44 gpt Ag, 0.17% Cu, 2.02% Pb, 4.40% Zn, remaining open in most directions and containing 102 M Oz Ag, 3.2 M tonnes of Zn, 1.5 M tonnes of Pb, and 121 K tonnes of Cu. Most of this mineralization is contained within a larger mineralized skarn 500 m x 600 m, between 600 and 1,700 m of depth. To make the geologic interpretation and resource estimation, 65 drill holes totalling 54,000 m of drilling were utilized.
  • Defiance Silver Corp. updated on exploration efforts to be made at its San Acacio project in Zacatecas. Targeted core re-logging and selective re-assay is on-going and will continue through 2020, while field exploration involves surface geochemistry outside the resource area, systematic underground mapping and sampling and regional targeting are carried out.
  • Defiance Silver Corp. announced OreQuest has been planning an exploration program at Tepal, in Michoacan. The aim is to follow up on high-grade drill results as the 1.42 m @ 25 gpt Au, 565 gpt Ag of last year campaign, which is coincidental with highly anomalous surface geochemistry and an untested chargeability anomaly.
  • Prime Mining Corp. released results from surface exploration at it Los Reyes property in Sinaloa. The trenching program has an advance of 25% with highlighted results of 5 m @ 1.0 gpt Au, 11 gpt Ag; 10.5 m @ 2.0 gpt Au, 18 gpt Ag; 16.5 m @ 2.5 gpt Au, 40 gpt Ag; 36.0 m @ 1.84 gpt Au, 13 gpt Ag; 34.5 m @ 4.2 gpt Au, 21 gpt Ag; 13.5 m @ 1.54 gpt Au, 37 gpt Ag in rod cuts, and 9 m @ 0.92 gpt Au, 22 gpt Ag; 4.5 m @ 2.66 gpt Au, 30 gpt Ag; 13.5 m @ 1.42 gpt Au, 49 gpt Ag; 13.5 m @ 1.59 gpt Au, 28 gpt Ag; 7.5 m @ 1.84 gpt Au, 37 gpt Ag; 16.5 m @ 1.04 gpt Au, 23 gpt Ag; 15.0 m @ 5.58 gpt Au, 23 gpt Ag in trenches. The company is working with the database of 493 historic drill holes to establish a new 43-101 compliant resource (currently holding 380 K and 155 K Oz Au in the indicated and inferred categories respectively).

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Tamino Minerals Inc. informed it has singed a letter of intent (LOI) on the Ofelia property in Sonora. The LOI terms state four years of staged payments totalling US$1 M plus a 2% NSR, and provides a 90-day term for due-diligence work.
  • Discovery Metals Corp. announced that with the conversion of 3.3 M subscription receipts to shares, Mr. Eric Sprott owns now approximately 21% interest in the company (Cordero, Chihuahua).
  • Newmont Goldcorp. announced that the Peñasquito mine and the nearby San Juan Cedros community (one of 25 neighbouring communities) in Zacatecas, agreed to an infrastructure solution for sustainable water availability for the community. The 30-year water agreement includes additional water wells to supplement the 600 K liters per-day reverse osmosis drinking water plant the company built in 2018.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • A Mining Gathering was held in Banamichi, Sonora, with more than 600 attendees, mostly students, with the purpose of letting them know the opportunities for internships and employment in mining units. Among the attendees were also governors of mining states, the ambassadors of mining countries, Congress representatives, Union leaders, 14 majors and representatives for mining companies, mining associations and mining communities.
  • The Asociación de Mineros de Sonora (Sonora’s Miners Association, or AMSAC) celebrated its 40th The celebration included a series of presentations and a formal dinner. Among the speakers were Francisco Quiroga (Mining Sub-secretary), Karen Flores (Camimex), Ernesto [Ríos (Americas Mining) and Lourdes McPherson (Argonaut Gold).
  • The first “Comité de Desarrollo Regional para las Zona Mineras (Mining Zones Development  Committee) was created in Hermosillo, Sonora. The finality of such committees is to assess and approve investment projects derived from the Mining Fund, incorporating all interest groups. The committee is integrated by:Comite Fondo Minero11The fist session is to be held in February 28, 2020, and the second on August 28, 2020.
  • Dr. Vagón is to be at La Junta, Chihuahua. From the 12 to the 16 of December, 2019. Among the services to be provided are: general consult, dermatology, pediatric care, geriatric care, odontology, chiropractic, physic rehabilitation, optometry, audiometry, mastography, colposcopy, family planning, lab test, diabetics clinic, psychology and nutrition. This itinerant train-mounted clinic has the capacity to Attend 550 persons daily.
  • The Safety, Environment and Social Responsibility Fair San Dimas 2019, was held on December 6 in Tayoltita, Durango. The different departments of the First Majestic mine displayed details on their work on the mining process, in a didactic and entertaining way, to workers, suppliers, municipality and State authorities, as well as their families and local inhabitants. Radio Plata (Silver Radio) was commissioned, the first radio station to be located in the vicinity, is part of the company’s Centro Cultural, where educative, social and cultural activities are to take place.
  • Minera Media Luna is showing a strong support for education in Guerrero. With support from local authorities in Cocula, the Instituto Tecnológico de Iguala, the Universidad Tecnológica Autónoma del Norte de Iguala, the State government, the Instituto Estatal para la Educación de Jóvenes y Adultos de Guerrero and the general population in Cocula, the company has: installed programs for diminishing the educative lag in primary and secondary education; taken 36 students in internships from local universities; supported 86 students through scholarships; invested $500 K pesos along with the Cocula municipality for the hiring of primary education personnel; participated in the Fourth Week of Mining on the Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero…. And several other programs in education not posted here for lack of space.
  • AMSAC, the Sonora Miners Association, signed an agreement with the Consejo Regulador del Bacanora (Regulatory Council for Bacanora, a spirits drink). Under this agreement , several mining companies are to grow the needed agave saplings for the production of Bacanora in their green houses, to be transplanted in the field by the agave growers.
  • Minera Peña Colorada presented the “Ilustred Guide to Wildlife in the Minatitlan Microbasin”, at the Feria Internacional del Libro 2019, in Guadalajara, Jalisco. This work was accomplished with the support of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and the Benemérita Universidad de Puebla.
  • The Mexican gray wolf has left the list of extinct species on the wild, moving to the category of species on extinction risk. This is the result of an international effort among the USA and Mexican governments, with the participation of Grupo Mexico. The declaration comes after 12 liberations and the documentation of 9 successful litters with some 30 puppies on the wild. Grupo Mexico, as well as other mining companies, has an UMA (Environmental Management Unit) that take care and reproduce threatened species.
  • Dr Vagón, Grupo Mexico’s health train, is to be on Ciudad Cuahutémoc, Chihuahua, from December 18 to December 22. The 17 train carriages itinerant clinic has the capacity to attend 600 persons per day, providing for a wide array of services, like diagnostics, ailment prevention, dermatology, odontology, physical rehabilitation, optometry, audiometry, psychology, nutrition, diabetes and chiropractic treatments.

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: Sheeted quartz veinlets from an orogenic gold project in Oaxaca. Picture by Jorge Cirett

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The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Fifth Week of October, 2019

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By Jorge Cirett

During the 44th week of the year (October 28th to November 3rd, 2019), at least 33 press releases were forwarde by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The Morena party reassigned the Mining Fund, taking it away from its intended purpose of helping and developing mining communities. All big organizations related to mining in Mexico presented a petition to the president to rebuke the channelling of the Mining Fund away from its intended goal of helping mining communities. The governors of Sonora, Durango, Zacatecas and Guerrero sent a letter to the president of Mexico asking not to affect the communities by withdrawing the Mining Fund. On other matters, the AIMMGM informed mining companies expect to invest more than US$26 billion in six years. The illegal blockade on the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas was lifted, with negotiations to continue shortly. The El Castillo mine access in Durango was illegally blocked for a few days, and then released, while negotiations proceed with community involved. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Magna Gold informed it has two projects in the state, Mercedes near Yecora and San Judas, near Trincheras. In Chihuahua, Wealth Minerals negotiated surface access to its Valsequillo project. In Durango, Gainey Capital halted drilling activities while discussions with the local indigenous groups proceed.  ON MINING, Gold Resource, Consolidated Zinc, McEwen Mining, Santacruz Silver, Premier Gold, Torex Gold, Americas Silver and sierra Metals released third quarter 2019 production results. Telson Mining is to re-commence mining at Campo Morado in Guerrero. ON FINANCING, Goldplay Exploration filed an amended and restated condensed interim consolidated financial statement. Oroco Resource informed the exercising of warrants for $720 K. Starcore Interantional has resumed trading on the OTC Pink market. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Pan American Silver released impressive results from 14,300 m of drilling at its La Colorada mine in Zacatecas. Mexican Gold Corp updated on its current drilling program at Las Minas, Veracruz. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Telson Mining is to re-start mining at Campo Morado, in Guerrero, under a notice of default and demand for payment by Nyrstar. Prime Mining signed a public relations contract with Brisco Capital Partners. Oceanus is using now a service for virtual tours on remote locations. Santacruz and Peñoles extended a lease agreement on the Zimapan mine in Hidalgo. Almaden Minerals was informed by SEMARNAT that the permitting process for its Ixtaca mine in Puebla is suspended until a judicial resolution is reached (the head of the institution is openly against open pit mining).  ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Alamos Gold reunited all the students under its scholarship program in three venues, Matarachi, Sahuaripa and Hermosillo.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Last week the Morena party majority reassigned the Mining Fund (Fondo para el Desarrollo Regional Sustentable de Estados y Municipios Mineros) to education spending.  The fund is gathered on a 7% (increased to 7.5% in gold and silver) royalties on extracted minerals implemented in 2014 to aid with the infrastructure, health, education and sustainability of mining communities.
  • The Asociación de Ingenieros de Minas, Metalurgistas y Geólogos de México (AIMMGM) informed that mining companies expect to invest more than US$26 billion in six years. If such investments come to be realized, 50 thousand direct jobs and 274 thousand indirect jobs could be generated, and mining companies would pay an additional 23,500 million in taxes. Just last year the industry paid 46,159 million pesos on income tax (Impuesto sobre la renta, ISR).
  • On October 26th, the Zacatecas governor Alejandro Tello informed that security forces are inviting the group that (illegally) blocks the entrance to the Peñasquito mine to leave the site. The governor also informed that a number of the blockers might be pursued judicially, some by the state and some by the federal government. He stated that he’s is been in contact with the sub secretary of the interior (Subsecretario de Gobernación), with whom also the company executives, communal farmers (ejidatarios) and the state government have been in dialogue rounds.
  • The Cámara Minera de México (CAMIMEX), the Grupo de Minería de la Cámara de Comercio de Canadá, the Asociación de Ingenieros de Minas, Metalurgistas y Geológos de México, the organization in mining Mujeres WIM de México and the Colegio de Ingenieros de Minas, Metalurgistas y Geólogos de México received with great worry de Senate decision to approve an unjust redistribution of the Mining Fund (Fondo Minero), braking the spirit on which the fund was created to benefit mining communities. The priority for the sector is that the resources reach the communities and municipalities where they were generated, contributing with independent actions by mining companies to the social welfare and community development in areas away from urban centers, aiding to reach greater life quality, development and wellbeing. Miners are appalled by the Congress decision, same that dismissed petitions by state governors, municipality presidents, from the industry and mining communities to guarantee the return of funds to these localities. A strong and respectful call is made to the authorities to reconsider the distribution methodology for the resources and operational rules of the fund, where it should be clearly established that these funds are to be funnelled exclusively to mining communities, municipalities and states. The mining industry refresh its compromise to continue to be an agent of change, a block that forwards sustainability practices and is and active player that contributes to a greater well-being for thousands of miner families and millions of Mexicans. We consider ourselves as the best federal government ally to achieve the more valuable social objectives sought by new government project. The Camara Minera de Mexico is the first camera of industries formed in the country, representing the interests of the mining-metallurgical industry in the country.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. informed on an illegal blockade at its El Castillo mine in Durango. The Company has a legal and binding agreement in place with Atotonilco ejido that was signed and recognized by both the Atotonilco ejido and the Mexican government in 2012 and runs through 2022. The blockade lifting was announced on October 30, with an agreement with the ejido pending to be ratified on November 11.
  • Newmont Goldcorp confirmed that free access to its Peñasquito installations in  Zacatecas is complete as of last Sunday (Oct. 27). Access to the mine had been blocked by a small group of communal agriculture workers (ejidatarios) and truckdrivers. The company is to restart the social investment programmes in the next few days, and expects to initiate on November 19 the new program “Juntos Dejamos Legado”, which aims to support schools and sport activities in 25 nearby communities. The ending of the blockade was achieved with government executives having dialog with the blockers, with the presence of the national guard (Guardia Nacional) and the state police (Policía Estatal Preventiva), stressing that further negotiations were to proceed only without the blockade in place.
  • The governors of Sonora, Claudia Pavlovich; Zacatecas, Alejandro Tello; Durango, José Rosas, and Guerrero, Héctor Astudillo, sent a letter to the president of México asking not to affect the communities by withdrawing the mining fund.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Gainey Capital Corp. temporarily halted all drilling activities at its Las Margaritas property in Durango, following discussions with the local indigenous groups (Las Margaritas, Durango).
  • Magna Gold Corp. informed it has two projects in Sonora. The flagship 1,239 ha Mercedes project in Yecora, and the recently acquired San Judas project in Trincheras.
  • Wealth Minerals Ltd. successfully negotiated surface access rights to its Valsequillo property in Chihuahua. The company has an option to acquire 100% interest in the 2,840 ha property. Past artisanal mining activity concentrated on a number of epithermal, Zn-Pb-Cu-Ag veins, stockworks and silicified zones concentrated within two NW trending corridors. Rock sample results of up to 2.68 gpt Au, 629 gpt Ag, 9.5% Cu, 16.5% Pb, 6.4% Zn have been obtained.

ON MINING

  • Telson Mining Corp. announced the recommence of mining operations at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero. This is the result of improved relations with the local community and a better zinc price. The company anticipates initiating full mining activities and processing operations near the beginning of December 2019.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. informed on an illegal blockade at its El Castillo mine in Durango. The Company has a legal and binding agreement in place with Atotonilco ejido that was signed and recognized by both the Atotonilco ejido and the Mexican government in 2012 and runs through 2022.
  • Gold Resource Corp. reported gold production for the third quarter of 2019, including figures from its Oaxaca Mining Unit. The Arista mine milled 163.3 K tonnes @ 1.76 gpt Au, 85 gpt Ag, 0.39% Cu, 1.9% Pb, 4.7% Zn; the Aguila open pit mine milled 3.6 K tonnes @ 1.49 gpt Au, 58 gpt Ag; the Mirador mine milled 11.7 K tonnes @ 0.76 gpt Au, 197 gpt Ag. In total, 178.6 K tonnes were milled at a rate of 2,007 tonnes per day, to produce 7,462 Oz Au, 473.8 K Oz Ag, 492 tonnes Cu, 2,459 tonnes Pb, 6,057 tonnes Zn. Total cash cost after by-product credits was $197 per AuEq ounce and total all-in sustaining cost was $520 per AuEq ounce for the period.
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. released its third quarter 2019 activities report. The acquisition of the Plomosas mine in Chihuahua was completed, getting the remaining 10% ownership in exchange for a 1% NSR royalty. During the quarter 7,511 tonnes were mined @ 13.5% Zn, 8.2% Pb, and 9,120 tonnes were processed @ 12.5% Zn, 7.9% Pb.
  • McEwen Mining Inc. presented its third quarter 2019 report, including activities at its El Gallo mine in Mexico. During the third quarter the mine produced 3,057 Oz AuEq from residual leaching, at cash cost $1,153 and $1,177 AISC per Oz AuEq. Work on the Fenix Project feasibility study and permitting is progressing.
  • Pan American Silver Corp. released results from 14,300 m of drilling during the third quarter 2019 on its La Colorada mine in Zacatecas (see Resources and Development section) .
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. reported its third quarter 2019 production. Consolidated production was 956.5 K Oz AgEq. At Zimapan, in Hidalgo, 82.2 K tonnes were processed @ 75 gpt Ag, 0.59% Pb, 2.28% Zn, 0.48% Cu to produce 151.5 K Oz Ag (75% recovery), 463 tonnes Pb, 1,492 tonnes Zn, 316 tonnes Cu. At Veta Grande, in Zacatecas, 44 K tonnes were processed @ 99 gpt Ag, 0.24 gpt Au, 1.45% Pb, 2.11% Zn to produce 62.4 K Oz Ag (45% recovery), 139 Oz Au, 370 tonnes Pb, 519 tonnes Zn. At Rosario, in San Luis Potosi, 22 K tonnes were processed @ 65 gpt Ag, 0.25 gpt Au, 0.40% Pb, 2.04% Zn to produce 43 K Oz Ag (93% recovery).
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. announced Q3 2019 production results, including 14,481 Oz Au and 37.5 K Oz Ag from its Mexican operations at Mercedes, in Sonora.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc. reported third quarter 2019 results. At its El Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero, the company produced 138,145 Oz Au, mine production averaged 144,989 tonnes per day (tpd), mine ore production averaged 15,391 tpd @ 3.19 gpt Au, with a plant throughput of 12,380 tpd @ 4.11 gpt Au, recovering 89% Au at cash cost $561 and AISC of $675.
  • Americas Gold and Silver Corp. released third quarter 2019 production results, including figures from its Cosalá operations in Sinaloa. At the site 151.2 K tonnes were milled to produce 128.8 K Oz Ag, 10.1 M Lb Zn, 3.7 M Lb Pb (or 1 M Oz AgEq), at cash cost -$10.82 per Oz Ag, and an AISC of -$1.49 per Oz Ag after sub-product credits.
  • Sierra Metals Inc. reported its Q3-2019 financial results, not including figures from its operations in Mexico. The company had $29.0 M of cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period (Bolivar, Chihuahua).

ON FINANCING

  • Goldplay Exploration Ltd. filed an amended and restated condensed interim consolidated financial statement and management discussion and analysis for the six months ended June 30, 2019, adding the following disclosure “in Note 11 – Related Party Transactions; The Company issued 480,000 common shares valued at $60,000 as debt settlement with officers and a director of the Company and in Note 12 – Share Capital and Reserves; the Company issued 600,000 common shares valued at $75,000 as debt settlement including $60,000 to related parties” (San Marcial, Sinaloa).
  • Oroco Resource Corp. informed that warrant holders from a unit offering completed on April 2018 have fully exercised the purchase warrants providing the company $720 K (Santo Tomás, Sinaloa).
  • Starcore International Mines Ltd. announced it has resumed trading on the OTC Pink markets in USA under the symbol “SHVLF” (San Martin, Queretaro).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Pan American Silver Corp. released results (impressive) from 14,300 m of drilling during the third quarter on the La Colorada skarn discovery in Zacatecas. Drill highlights comprise 250.9 m @ 40 gpt Ag, 0.08% Cu, 2.6% Pb, 3.4% Zn (including 78.9 m @ 60 gpt Ag, 0.09% Cu, 3.9% Pb, 4.8% Zn); 72.3 m @ 37 gpt Ag, 0.16% Cu, 3.8% Pb, 6.3% Zn and 56.6 m @ 39 gpt Ag, 0.10% Cu, 3.3% Pb, 6.6% Zn; 124.8 m @ 42 gpt Ag, 0.08% Cu, 2.4% Pb, 3.1% Zn; 252.9 m @ 67 gpt Ag, 0.19% Cu, 3.8% Pb, 6.6% Zn (including 27.3 m @ 108 gpt Ag, 0.20% Cu, 8.1% Pb, 13.7% Zn and 148.6 m @ 81 gpt Ag, 0.23% Cu, 4.4% Pb, 7.7% Zn); 132.5 m @ 56 gpt Ag, 0.19% Cu, 3.8% Pb, 6.3% Zn and 139.2 m @ 54 gpt Ag, 0.15% Cu, 1.8% Pb, 5.9% Zn; 379.0 m @ 54 gpt Ag, 0.50% Cu, 2.0% Pb, 3.7% Zn (including 66.7 m @ 154 gpt Ag, 2.07% Cu, 1.0% Pb, 1.6% Zn).
  • Mexican Gold Corp. updated on its current drill program at its Las Minas project in Veracruz. To date 655 m have been drilled on five holes, with three holes testing El Dorado zone, another 261 m hole tested an electromagnetic anomaly, while the hole currently being drilled is also testing a 350 m extension of the same anomaly.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Telson Mining Corp. informed that as a result of suspending operations at Campo Morado in August 2019 under force majeur conditions, Telson has been without cash flows resulting in non-payment under the loan agreement with Nyrstar Holdings Ltd. This has resulted in Nyrstar issuing a notice of default and demand for payment. Telson’s outstanding debt under this loan agreement including principal and interest is approximately US$6 M. Telson expects to be able to recommence outstanding payments to Nyrstar while exploring other financing alternatives.
  • Prime Mining Corp. entered into contractual agreements for marketing, advertising, shareholder engagement and social media communications with Brisco Capital Partners Corp. for a monthly retainer for a minimum of a CDN$10 K and a maximum of CDN$50 K (Guadalupe de Los Reyes, Sinaloa).
  • Oceanus Resources Corp. announced that is now live on VRIFY, a platform being used by companies to communicate with investors using virtual tours of remote mining assets, 3D models and interactive presentations (El Tigre, Sonora).
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. and Peñoles, each by mean of a subsidiary, extended the Zimapan mine lease agreement from December 31,2019 to December 31, 2020. Santacruz must make monthly payments to Peñoles based on a 4% NSR, subject to a minimum US$45 K and a maximum of US$60 K per month. The extension provides more time for the negotiation of terms of a potential acquisition of the Zimapan mine in Hidalgo.
  • Almaden Minerals Ltd. was notified by SEMARNAT (Mexico’s environmental authority) that the permitting process for the Ixtaca project in Puebla has been suspended pending resolution of a mineral title lawsuit previously reported. “Under the Lawsuit, certain organisations have supported legal challenges against the Government of Mexico and the Mexican mineral title regime using the Company’s mineral claims as a basis for their challenges. The Lawsuit contends that the issuance of Almaden’s original mineral titles violated human rights and did not respect Mexico’s commitment to indigenous consultation under United Nations Instrument ILO 169…… o. In April, 2019, a Lower Court in Puebla State ruled that the Mexican mineral title system is unconstitutional and as a result these original mineral claims should be held exclusively for Almaden until such time as consultation can be completed. This Lower Court decision has now been appealed by the Mexican Congress, Senate, Secretary of Economy and Mining authorities, as well as Almaden as an affected party. The Lawsuit remains before the Courts”. SEMARNAT was informed on October 24 that the company completed the necessary steps to abandon its mineral claims in the area of the complaint in 2017.
  • Bacanora Lithium is using Veolia Water Technologies Division with its HPD evaporation and crystallisation technologies to validate Bacanora Lithium’s product purity requirements at the Sonor lithium project, while removing potassium and converting it into a sub-product. Veolia engineered and designed the production process that recovers lithium carbonate and sulphate of potash from clay deposits.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Minas de Oro Nacional (Alamos Gold) reunited in Matarachi, Sahuaripa and Hermosillo (Sonora) all the 185 students currently receiving scholarships to study in Matarachi, Sahuaripa, Arivechi, Chihuahua, Cuahutémoc and San Luis Rio Colorado. The ceremony in Hermosillo was held with company and state executives, including the state governor, the Mining Director, the director of DIF, the director of the Sonora Mining Cluster, the director of the Miners Association of Sonora and the SEC sub-secretary of Basic Education.

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: Gneiss hosted quartz veinlet from a project in Oaxaca. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

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