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

Phyllic alteration

By Miguel A Heredia

During the twenty one week of the year (May 18th to May 24th, 2020), at least 36 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with twelve commenting on Mexican issues, six disclosing deals and corporate issues, five discussing on social issues, four informing on exploration results, three communicating production and financial results, three announcing financing rounds, and three reporting on resources and developments.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Mexican mining sector decreased last year according to government data.  Mexico deemed mining an essential activity, allowing companies to resume production activities. The Undersecretary of Mining, Francisco Quiroga, agreed with the Union Labour leaders on the strategy to guarantee a safe return to the mining operations in the country.  A protocol for reopening companies was defined and only the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) can approve it or rejected it. Mining companies with operations in Chihuahua signed a letter of commitment before the State Government and the Government of Mexico, to follow the instructions on health and safety at work during the phase of resumption of operations in the so-called “new normality”. Excellon Resources and the FRENTE Metallurgical Mining Union reached some agreements to continue operating the La Platosa mine in Durango. Industrias Peñoles announced the shutdown of its Francisco I Madero Zinc mine in Zacatecas due to difficult mining conditions and low metal prices. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Tocvan and its partner Colibri announced exciting new targets on its Pilar project. In Chihuahua, Kootenay released drill results from the first six of ten holes completed to date at its Columba project. In Sinaloa, Vizsla restarted its exploration and drilling program at its Panuco project.  ON MINING, Mag Silver reported Q1, 2020 financial results (Juanicipio project, Zacatecas). Mexus reported additional gold sales from production at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. McEwen reported full year 2019 production results from its El Gallo mine in Sinaloa. ON FINANCING, Magna Gold announced a non-brokered private placement to raise gross proceeds of up to $7M (Mercedes project, Son).  Discovery Metals announced that it intends to complete a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD $25M (Cordero project, Chihuahua).  Mithril announced that its rights issue for capital raising has closed with strong support for both shareholder entitlements and additional shortfall shares (Copalquin project, Durango).      ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Endeavour reported drill results from fourteen holes collared at its Bolaños mine in Guanajuato, eight of which intersected high-grade mineralization in the Melladito Vein. Mag Silver provided an update on its Juanicipio project in Zacatecas. VanGold announced plans to conduct a 1,000 tonnes bulk sample from its Pinguino project in Guanajuato. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Alamos Gold reported results of its annual general meeting of shareholders (Mulatos mine, Sonora). Argonaut shareholders and Alio securityholders approved merger to create North American diversified Intermediate gold producer (El Castillo mine, Durango). Equinox announced results of its annual general meeting of shareholders (Los Filos mine, Guerrero). Defiance extended its option agreement on its San Acacio project in Zacatecas to 2023. Silver Tiger (former Oceanus Resources) commenced trading under the symbol “SLVR” (El Tigre project, Sonora). Sierra Metals appointed its new CEO (Bolivar mine, Chihuahua). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, The Grupo Mexico Foundation donated 5,000 molecular tests for COVID-19, and will be distributing 450,000 protection kits in Mexico City as well as in the states of Mexico, Jalisco and Nuevo Leon. Minera Gorrión, subsidiary of Almaden Minerals and in charge of developing the Ixtaca mine project, in the north of Puebla, donated 1,000 disinfecting gels and 2,000 masks to the Ixtacamaxtitlán Community Hospital, in charge of leading efforts against the epidemic in the region. Minera Media Luna (Torex Gold), will donate MXP $2M to launch a hospital in Iguala, Guerrero, which will exclusively treat patients with COVID-19. Consorcio Minero Peña Colorada S.A. de C.V. , donated MXP $500K to the Integral Development of the Family (DIF)  of Colima State to allocate it to the Emergent Food Attention Program implemented by the government.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Mexican mining sector, decreased last year, according to government data. Net FDI in 2019 was USD $592M, down from almost USD $ 650M in 2018, according to data published by the economy ministry. The 2019 figure is the lowest compared to previous years. Spending peaked at USD $ 5.44B in 2013. The industry leaders see a general decline in investment in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mining companies intend to restart operations in June 1, 2020, as part of a gradual reopening of the economy under which the sector has acquired essential status.
  • Mexico, deemed mining an essential activity, allowing companies to resume production activities, six weeks after asking all non-essential business to temporarily close in response to the COVId-19 pandemic. Argonaut, Azure, Compañía Real del Monte, Premier, Newmont, Alamos Gold, Great panther, among others, are some of the mining companies which will be starting activities at its mine operations.
  • The Undersecretary of Mining, Francisco Quiroga, agreed with the Union Labour leaders on the strategy to guarantee a safe return to the mining operations in the country, once the reactivation of this sector was allowed. The mining sector generates 370K direct jobs and 2.3M of indirect jobs throughout the country, which generates benefits for workers and employees. Mining represents an essential sector because it supplies raw materials to practically all industries. On the other hand, Francisco Quiroga has been very active working with mining companies to define, along with the Secretary of Health, Jorge Alcocer Varela, the protocols for a safe reopening in 249 mining municipalities.
  • A protocol for reopening companies was defined by the authorities. Companies must have the authorization of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) to restart activities, after remain closed due to the CIVID-19. According to the Technical Guidelines for Health Safety in the Workplace, published this Monday by the Ministry of the Economy (SE), the IMSS will have 72 hours to approve or reject the request.
  • Mining companies with operations in Chihuahua, signed a letter of commitment before the State Government (Governor Javier Corral) and the Government of Mexico (Undersecretary of Mining Francisco Quiroga), to follow the instructions on health and safety at work during the phase of resumption of operations in the so-called “new normality”. Francisco Quiroga added that to close the circle of prevention, the mining industry will be trained in the management of the different equipment that will be put into operation to comply with the protocols set by the State Health Council.
  • Excellon Resources Inc., and the FRENTE Metallurgical Mining Union, reached some agreements to continue operating the La Platosa mine in the Bermejillo community, located in the Mapimí municipality, Durango. It highlights a cut of around 20% in personnel and a technical strike for the next 60 days as the company develops the restructuring process. The official assured that the liquidations of the personnel who will be dismissed will be 100% and in accordance with the provisions of the law, in addition to reaching an agreement with the union so that, while the technical strike is carried out, only 50% of their salary will be paid to the rest of the workers who, due to the pandemic caused by the COVID-19, are in domiciliary protection.
  • Industrias Peñoles S.A.B. de C.V., announced the shutdown of its Francisco I Madero Zinc mine in Zacatecas, due to difficult mining conditions and low metal prices. It stated that it has begun laying off unionized workers in the mine unit and also trying to reassign to others workers and contractors to other mine units. The Francisco I Madero mine started operations in 2001. Peñoles processed in 2019, over 2.3M tonnes to produce 93M Lb Zn and 19.9M Lb Pb.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Tocvan Ventures Corp, and its partner Colibri Resources Corporation, announced new exciting targets generated by an IP survey on its Pilar project in Sonora. “According to the survey data, the Main Zone and the North Hill Zone may be connected and, if confirmed, would be renamed as a mineralization trend. Results also indicate the potential of the northeast-southwest structures connecting the 4-Trench Zone to the Main Zone, Tocvan said”. Geophysical results will be combined with additional surveys to better define drill targets for a phase 2 drilling campaign.
  • Kootenay Silver Inc., released drill results from six of ten holes completed to date at its Columba project in Chihuahua, as part of its 2020 drilling program. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole CDH-20-045 with 239 g/t Ag, 0.08% Pb, and 0.4% Zn over 4.3m, including 350 g/t Ag, 0.1% Pb, and 0.5% Zn over 2.5m, and including 456 g/t Ag, 0.2% Pb and 0.6% Zn over 1.5m in the F Vein, and 208 g/t Ag, 0.1% Pb, and 0.2% Zn over 3m, including 974 g/t Ag, 0.03% Pb, and 0.3% Zn over 0.5m in a footwall vein; hole CDH-20-046 with 264 g/t Ag, 0.06% Pb, and 0.1%Zn over 6.8m, including 553 g/t Ag, 0.1% Pb, and 0.2% Zn over 2.9m, including 911 g/t Ag, 0.2% Pb, and 0.2% Zn over 1.4m, including 1,585 g/t Ag, 0.3% Pb, and 0.3% Zn over 0.6m, and 689 g/t Ag, 0.2% Pb, and 0.3% Zn over 0.5m, and 219 g/t Ag, 0.04% Pb, and 0.1% Zn over 5m, all in the F Vein; hole CDH-20-047 with 166 g/t Ag, 0.2% Pb, and 0.5% Zn over 15.65m, including 351 g/t Ag, 0.4% Pb, and 1% Zn over 5.97m, including 400 g/t Ag, 0.45% Pb, and 1.2% Zn over 4.97m, including 782 g/t Ag, 1.1% Pb, 3.6% Zn over 1.05, including 305 g/t Ag, 0.1% Pb, and 0.3% Zn over 1.15m, including 219 g/t Ag, 0.4% Pb, and 0.7% Zn over 1.1m, including 432 g/t Ag, 0.5% Pb, and 1% Zn over 0.97m; and hole CDH-20-042 with 115 g/t Ag over 0.3m in a hangingwall of a quartz vein, and 86 g/t Ag 0.02% Pb, and 0.1% Zn over 13m, including 111 g/t Ag, 0.03% Pb, and 0.1% Zn over 5.9m, in the F Vein. These holes tested the F Vein structure along 400 meters of strike length with holes 42 to 45 focusing on gaps in the 2019 drill program, while holes 46 and 47 were step outs along strike.
  • Vizsla Resources Corp., restarted its exploration and recommenced its 14,500m drilling programs at its Panuco project in Sinaloa. Vizsla has tested only five of the initially twenty targets and will continue with two drill rigs to ensure the remaining 10,861m of planned drilling is completed in the 2020 calendar year.

ON MINING

  • Mag Silver Corp., reported Q1, 2020 financial results. It estimated the pre-operative initial capital now at USD $440M as of January, 2018. The company also reported a development expenditure of approximately USD $153.5M (company therefore estimates approximately $286,584 of remaining initial capital on a 100% basis as at March 31, 2020), and an existing cash and other working capital as at March 31, 2020 of USD $6.8M and USD $13.2M respectively (Juanicipio project, Zacatecas).
  • Mexus Gold , reported addition gold sales from production at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. It sold 47.5Oz Au on May 7th and was processing an additional 45 Oz Au the week of May 18th. Mexus announced that the sales of gold for the month of May are expected to exceed 120 Oz Au.
  • McEwen Mining Inc., reported full year 2019 production results from its El Gallo mine in Sinaloa. It produced 2,700 Oz AuEq (GEO) from residual leaching of the heap leach pad. Beginning with Q42019, the company has ceased relying on, and disclosing, cash costs and AISC per GEO as key metrics for El Gallo mine. Residual leaching will continue for as long as incremental revenue exceeds incremental costs.

ON FINANCING

  • Magna Gold Corp., announced a non-brokered private placement to raise gross proceeds of up to $7M. Net proceeds will be used for working capital purposes in connection with the company´s existing projects (Mercedes project, Sonora).
  • Discovery Metals Corp., announced that it intends to close a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD $25M. Net proceeds will be used primarily to continue the exploration programs at its Cordero and Coahuila projects in Chihuahua and Coahuila respectively.
  • Mithril Resources Limited, announced that its rights issue for capital raising has closed with strong support for both shareholder entitlements and additional shortfall shares. The company was required to raise a minimum of $1.5M under the rights issue as a condition precedent of the transaction with Sun Minerals Pty Ltd. Fund raised will be used to advance exploration at its Copalquin project in Durango, following completion of the acquisition of Sun Minerals.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Endeavour Silver Corp., reported drill results from fourteen holes collared at its Bolaños mine in Guanajuato, eight of which intersected high-grade mineralization over minable widths in the Melladito Vein. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole BN27 with 24.3 g/t Au and 787 g/t Ag (3,217 g/t AgEq) over a true width (TW) of 1.5m, including 91.8 g/t Au and 2,200 g/t Ag (11,380 g/t AgEq) over a true width of 0.20m; hole BN31 with 12.48 g/t Au and 50 g/t Ag (1,298 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 1.1m, including 50.8 g/t Au and 191 g/t Ag (5,271 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 0.2m; and hole BN32 with 7.37 g/t Au and 170 g/t Ag (907 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 2.7m, including 9.47 g/t Au and 327 g/t Ag (1,274 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 0.6m.”The eight drill holes outline a new mineralized zone 100 m long by 200 m deep, open in all directions. It could connect with the historic high-grade San Ramon mine workings immediately west of and the San Pablo mine workings immediately east of the drill holes. This part of the Melladito vein was not previously explored and represents an exciting new area for resource estimation and mine development”.
  • Mag Silver Corp., provided an update on its Juanicipio project in Zacatecas. Highlights include that a detailed engineering is near completion and earthmoving and foundation preparation is well advanced for the construction of the 4,000 tpd beneficiation plant; SAG and Ball mills, flotation cells, all associated vessels, thickeners and ancillary process equipment are now secured on site, progress made with the construction of the flotation plant and infrastructure, and underground development at Juanicipio has now approached 27 km (or 16.9 miles) and is focused on three sub-vertical ramps that descend alongside the mineralization and alongside the conveyor ramp to surface at plant site.
  • VanGold Mining Corp., announced plans to conduct a 1,000 tonnes bulk sample from its Pinguino project in Guanajuato. It entered in an agreement with Endeavour Silver and will be sending the bulk sample to Endeavour’s Bolañitos mill, located approximately 28kmfrom El Pinguico project. “By conducting this large test, the Company will gain valuable metallurgical and precious metal recovery information pertaining to the mineralized material on the El Pinguico property.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Alamos Gold Inc., announced results of its annual general meeting of shareholders. It also appointed and compensated executives and auditor´s remuneration (Mulatos mine, Sonora).
  • Argonaut Gold Inc., shareholders and Alio Gold Inc. securityholders, approved merger to create North American diversified intermediate gold producer. On closing of the transaction, Argonaut and Alio shareholders will own approximately 76% and 24% of the merged company, respectively, on an issued share basis. The merged company will continue as Argonaut Gold with the ticker symbol AR on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). (El Castillo mine, Durango).
  • Equinox Gold Corp., announced results of its annual general meeting of shareholders. It also appointed auditors and approved executive´s compensation (Los Filos mine, Guerrero).
  • Defiance Silver Corp., announced that it has successfully negotiated with the project vendor its option agreement on its san Acacio project in Zacatecas. The project vendor has agreed to extend the option agreement terms by three years from September 27, 2020 to September, 27, 2023. “Defiance will now be making quarterly payments, over three years, to the property vendor totaling USD $2,278,189, with the final option payment of USD $2,407,461 due September 27, 2023. In accordance with the original agreement, the vendor retains a 2.5% NSR which may be purchased for USD $2,500,000. Should the agreement be terminated prior to September 27, 2023 a break fee equal to 5% of the outstanding option balance shall be paid to the property vendor”.
  • Silver Tiger Metals Inc., (former Oceanus Resources), commenced trading under the trading symbols “SLVR” on the TSXV. There was no change in the share capital of the company. Certificates representing common shares of the company will not be affected by the name and symbol change and will not need to be exchanged (El Tigre project, Sonora).
  • Sierra Metals Inc., announced the appointment of its new CEO effective immediately (Bolivar mine, Chihuahua).

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • The Grupo Mexico Foundation, donated 5,000 molecular test for the detection of COVID-19 to be applied to patients from all over the state of Chihuahua. Governor of Chihuahua State, Javier Corral, stated that it will allow reducing the time of diagnosis and extending timely attention to the population. In addition, it also will donate 450,000 protection kits to be distributed in Mexico City as well as in the states of Mexico, Jalisco and Nuevo Leon. The kits are personal and contain supplies such as masks, gowns, hats, shoe covers, KN45 masks, gloves, goggles and everything necessary to promote the comprehensive protection of health personnel in hospitals.
  • Minera Gorrión (MG), subsidiary of Almaden Minerals Ltd., and in charge of developing the Ixtaca mine project, in the north of Puebla, donated 1,000 disinfecting gels and 2,000 masks to the Ixtacamaxtitlán Community Hospital, in charge of leading efforts against the epidemic in the region. On the other hand, 1,440 liters of gel and 4,800 face masks were distributed among 15 Rural Medical Units of the IMSS and 9 Health Houses of the Ministry of Health in the municipality. Likewise, MG delivered 1,300 liters of gel and 2,000 covers mouths to the Central Warehouse of Health Services in the state of Puebla to support the efforts led by the Puebla government to counteract the spread of the disease in the state.
  • Minera Media Luna (Torex Gold Resources Inc.), donated MXP $2M to launch a hospital in Iguala, Guerrero, which will exclusively treat patients with COVID-19. The hospital will be soon in operation and will also serve people from Taxco, Huitzuco, Tepecoacuilco and Cocula affected by the coronavirus.
  • Consorcio Minero Peña Colorada S.A. de C.V., donated MXP $500K to the Integral Development of the Family (DIF) of Colima State, to allocate it to the Emergent Food Attention Program, implemented by its government.

 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 a porphyry Cu system in a prospect in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

 

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

154 - copia (2)

By Jorge Cirett

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

ON MEXICO ISSUES

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

ON EXPLORATION

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

ON MINING

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

ON FINANCING

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

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

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

First Majestic Reserves and Resources 2019

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

Bolívar Reserves and Resources to 201911

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

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

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

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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

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

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

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

phreatic breccia

By Miguel A Heredia

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

ON MEXICO ISSUES

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

ON EXPLORATION

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

ON MINING

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

ON FINANCING

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

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

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

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

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

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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

 

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

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

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

IMG_4731

By Jorge Cirett

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

ON MEXICO ISSUES

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

ON EXPLORATION

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

ON MINING

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

ON FINANCING

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

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

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

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

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

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

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

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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

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

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

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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 First Week of February, 2020

225aBy Jorge Cirett

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

ON MEXICO ISSUES

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

ON EXPLORATION

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

ON MINING

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

ON FINANCING

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

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

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

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

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

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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

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

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

225a

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

 

Boiling texture in an epithermal quartz vein

By Miguel A Heredia

During the third week of the year (January 13th to January 19th, 2020), at least 27 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with eight communicating production results, seven reporting on resources and developments, five informing on exploration results, two disclosing deals and corporate issues, two discussing issues on social responsibility, two commenting on Mexican issues, and one announcing financial rounds.  ON MEXICO ISSUES, The Mexican mining industry, the thirteenth largest in the world, is laying the groundwork for generating more investment in this important development engine. Mining  activity has increased in Tamaulipas, according to the General Directorate of Mines.  ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Silver Viper released drilling results from its La Virginia project and Aztec Minerals provided a 2020 outlook for its Cervantes project. In Chihuahua, Radius announced results from the third phase of drilling from its Amalia project. In Sinaloa, Vizsla Resources discovered a new high grade vein at its Panuco project. In Zacatecas, Advance Gold commenced the third phase geophysical survey at its Tabasquena project. ON MINING, Alamos Gold commenced operation at its Cerro Pelon mine in Sonora. Torex announced that it expects to produce between 420K to 480K Oz Au in 2020 (El Limón Guajes, Guerrero). Great Panther, GoGold, McEwen, Fortuna Silver, Avino, and Coeur reported Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from their Mexican operations.   ON FINANCING, Minera Alamos closed a private placement with Osisko for gross proceeds of $6M. (Santana project, Sonora). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Starcore staked two new claims near its San Martin Mine in Querétaro. Prime Mining retained a consulting company to complete an estimate of the Au and Ag resources for its Los Reyes mine in Sinaloa. Capstone presented expansion and infill drilling results from its Cozamine mine in Zacatecas. Torex announced an updated resource estimate for its Media Luna project in Guerrero.  SilverCrest announced it plans to release in-fill and expansion drill results from six areas in Q1, 2020. Minera Alamos commenced construction of its Santana mine in Sonora. Southern Silver reported that metallurgical test work confirmed that a marketable Cu, Pb, Zn concentrate can be produce at its Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Sonoro Metals granted stock options to certain directors, officers, and consultants (Cerro Caliche project, Sonora). Radius signed a binding option agreement to acquire from a private family an 800 Ha property called Palmillas, which is adjacent to its Amalia project in Chihuahua. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, The Mining Fund contributed in the road construction in the municipality of Tepehuanes, Durango. The Peñoles Community Center will give new human development workshop.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • The Mexican mining industry, the thirteenth largest in the world, is laying the groundwork for generating more investment in this important development engine. The Ministry of Economy works to have a financing model like the Canadian one. One of the government’s bets is that Mexico, with private investment, be a producer of rechargeable Li batteries for electric cars. José Francisco Quiroga Fernández, the Under Secretariat of Mining said in an interview, that USD $ 100B will be the value of annual Li sales in 2029, according to Bloomberg. 243M tonnes of Li are estimated to be in the Sonora deposits. At the moment that market is worth just over USD $22B; However, according to Bloomberg NEF estimates in 2023 it exceeds USD $40B, in 2025 it will be USD $60B and in 2030, USD $116B, that is to say almost 420% more than the global sales of 2019.
  • Mining activity has increased in Tamaulipas, according to the General Directorate of Mines. The state has 124 mining concessions in 19 of their municipalities. Profits produced by the mineral extraction of Pb, Zn, Cu, Au, Ag, serpentine, and stone aggregates exceed MXP $2,000M per year.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Silver Viper Minerals Corp., announced drilling results for the first three holes of the phase 2 from its Virginia project in Sonora. Significant results were encountered in hole LV19-209 with 3.22 g/t Au and 1,054 g/t Ag (1,280 g/t AgEq) over 1.8m, and other interval with 2.50 g/t Au and 27 g/t Ag (202 g/t AgEq) over 7m, including 5.27 g/t Au and 41 g/t Ag (410 g/t AgEq) over 3m; hole LV19-210 with 1.47 g/t Au and 216 g/t Ag (319 g/t AgEq) over 6m, including 6.32 g/t Au and 1,071 g/t Ag (1,513 g/t AgEq)over 1m; and hole LV19-211 with 13.39 g/t Au and 446 g/t Ag (1,384 g/t AgEq) over 4.5m, including 58.3 g/t Au and 1,923 g/t Ag (6,004 g(t AgEq) over 1m, and other interval with 1.37 g/t Au and 40 g/t Ag (136 g/t AgEq) over 9m. Phase II will consists of 5,000m in approximately 20 holes.
  • Aztec Minerals Corp., provided a 2020 outlook for its Cervantes project in Sonora. It plans to finalize the JV agreement with Kootenay in January 2020, and secure a senior partner to conduct an aggressive exploration program to advance both near surface oxide Au mineralization and deeper porphyry Au-Cu targets.
  • Radius Gold Inc., announced results from the recently completed third phase of drilling from its Amalia project in Chihuahua. Significant results were encountered in hole AM-DD19-18 with 12.5 g/t Au and 2,320 g/t Ag over 1.3m, and 1.4 g/t Au over 13.7m; and hole AM-DD19-19 with 0.5 g/t Au and 22 g/t Ag over 7.4m. Holes AM-DD19-20 and 21 only encountered anomalous Au-Ag values at the San Pedro fault. Radius reported that it has signed a binding agreement to acquire the 800 Ha Palmillas property from a private family which hosts high-grade epithermal Au-Ag mineralization and is adjacent to Amalia project.
  • Vizsla Resources Corp., discovered a new high grade vein at its Panuco property in Sinaloa. This vein consists of crystalline quartz with disseminated argentite and pyrite hosted in a strongly weathered and demagnetized diorite. Sampling on this 500m long vein returned 3.07g/t Au and 312 g/t Ag (557 g/t AgEq over 3.4m; 1.34 g/t Au and 263 g/t Ag (370 g/t AgEq) over 0.7m; and 0.5 g/t Au and 107 g/t Ag (147 g/t AgEq) over 1.1m. Vizsla plans to drill this recently discovered vein in late January/early February as one of the twenty targets that will be drilled throughout 2020.
  • Advance Gold Corp., commenced the third phase geophysical survey at its Tabasquena project in Zacatecas to delineate a new chargeability anomaly identified on the most southerly of the reconnaissance lines from the second phase survey, and to do a long NW-SE line cross cutting all of the previous E-W survey lines to obtain a much deeper penetration. This new survey will consist of nine E-W lines of 1,000m long, with line spacing of 120m, and one line NW-SE of 4,000m long.

ON MINING

  • Alamos Gold Inc., commenced operation at its satellite mine Cerro Pelon, located 3km from its Mulatos mining unit in Sonora. The new open pit mine, whose current life is three years, has a capacity of 4,500 tons per day, has an independent crushing train and the material is deposited in the Mulatos mine yards, taking advantage of the existing mining infrastructure and avoiding more capital costs.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc., announced that it expects to produce between 420K to 480K Oz Au in 2020, at a total cost per Oz Au sold of USD $640-$670, and AISC of USD $900-$960 per Oz Au sold.
  • Great Panther Mining Limited, reported Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from their Mexican operations. At Topia mine, Durango, the company processed in Q4, 2019, 18,854 tonnes with grades of 0.81 g/t Au and 424 g/t Ag for a total of 267 Oz Au, 242.8K Oz Ag, 1.09M Lb Pb, and 1.45M Lb Zn (449.6K Oz AgEq), that brings a total of 79,257 tonnes processed in the full year 2019, with grades of 0.94 g/t Au and 392 g/t Ag for a total of 1,344 Oz Au, 938.6K Oz Ag, 4.39M Lb Pb, and 5.77M Lb Zn (1.78M Oz AgEq). At Guanajuato mine complex, the company processed in Q4, 2019 a total of 48,710 tonnes with grades of 2 g/t Au and 136 g/t Ag for a total of 2,640 Oz Au and 180.5K Oz Ag (394.6K Oz AgEq), that brings a total of 187,610 tonnes processed in the full year 2019 with grades of 2.26 g/t Au and 116 g/t Ag for a total of 11,588 Oz Au and 590.8K Oz Ag (1.5M Oz AgEq).
  • GoGold Resources Inc., announced Q4, 2019 production results from its Parral Tailings project in Chihuahua. The company produced 2,407 Oz Au and 379K Oz Ag (585K Oz AgEq).
  • McEwen Mining Inc., reported that its El Gallo mine in Sinaloa produced in 2019 a total of 16,333Oz AuEq from residual leaching of the heap leach pad.
  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., announced Q4 and full year 2019 production results from its San Jose mine in Oaxaca. It processed 273,066 tonnes of 1.5 g/t Au and 249 g/t Ag to produce a total of 12K Oz Au and 2M Oz Ag. In the full year 2019, the company processed 1,068,722 tonnes of 1.57 g/t Au and 252 g/t Ag to produce 48.9K Oz Au and 7.9M Oz Ag.
  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd., reported Q4, and full year 2019 production results from its Avino mine in Durango, including Avino, San Gonzalo and stockpiles. During the Q4 period, it processed 188,436 tonnes of 0.47 g/t Au, 51 g/t Ag, and 0.43% Cu to produce 2,032 Oz Au, 220.8K Oz Ag, and 1.39M Lb Cu (608.6K Oz AgEq). In the full year 2019, the company processed 789,660 tonnes of 0.41 g/t Au, 54 g/t Ag, and 0.4%Cu to produce 6,912 Oz Au, 958.8 Oz Ag, and 4.97M Lb Cu (2.4M Oz AgEq).
  • Coeur Mining Inc., announced Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from its Palmarejo mine in Chihuahua. In the period Q4, it milled 486,779 tonnes of 2.25 g/t Au and 159 g/ Ag for a total of 28.7K Oz Au and 2M Oz Ag at an average realized price per Oz Au and Ag of $1,238 and $17.28 respectively. For the full year 2019, the company milled 1,755,957 tonnes of 2.49 g/t Au and 151 g/t Ag to produce a total of 111.9K Oz Au and 6.76M Oz Ag at an average realized price per Oz Au and Ag of $1,220 and $16.23 respectively.

ON FINANCING

  • Minera Alamos Inc., closed a private placement with Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd., for gross proceeds of $6M. With this, Osisko has increased its shareholding of the company´s common share from 12.3% to 18.7%. Net proceeds will be used for building its Santana mine in Sonora.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  •  Starcore International Mines Ltd., staked two new claims near its San Martin Mine in Queretaro with upside potential for exploration and development. These two new claims are located to the west of the current mineral rights of the mine and cover approximately 710 Ha. The company will release an exploration plan for the first part of 2020.
  • Prime Mining Corp., retained a consulting company to complete a 43-101 compliant technical report that includes a n estimate of the Au and Ag resources for its Los Reyes mine in Sinaloa. Prime geologists have prepared a database of 493 historic drill holes to establish a new 43-101 compliant in-pit resource. The company expects to expands the size of the indicated resource presented by the former owner of 380.1K Oz Au at a grade of 1.73 g/t Au and inferred resources of 155.2K Oz Au at a grade of 1.49 g/t Au, and Ag resources of 6.3M indicated Oz Ag at a grade of 29 g/t Ag, and 3.6M inferred Oz Ag at a grade of 35 g/t Ag.
  • Capstone Mining Corp., presented drilling results from 6 expansion holes and 21 infill holes collared at its Cozamin mine in Zacatecas. This brings the total drilled to date to 150 holes of a 200 hole program, aiming to double the current reserve base. Significant drill intercepts were encountered in hole CG-19-S445 (step out) with 5.31% Cu, 0.15% Zn, and 79 g(t Ag over a true width of 6.3m, including 9.8% Cu, 0.26% Zn, and 139 g/t Ag over 2.8m; hole CG-19-S443 (step out) with 4.95% Cu, 0.15% Zn, and 104 g/t Ag; hole CG-19-S436 with 6.13% Cu, 0.24% Zn, and 98 g/t Ag over a true width of 1.7m; hole CG-19-S441(step out) with 3.35% Cu, 0.34% Zn, and 62 g/t Ag over a true width of 5.4m; hole CG-10-S455 (infill) with 7.65% Cu, 0.35%Zn, and 141 g/t Ag over a true width of 5.4m; hole CG-19-S437 (infill) with 1.94% Cu, 0.15% Zn and 45 g/t Ag over a true width of 19.3m, including 5.9% Cu, 0.33% Zn, and 134 g/t Ag over a true width of 2.80m; hole CG-19-S440 (infill) with 8.29% Cu, 0.25%Zn, and 133 g/t Ag over a true width of 4.9m, including 10.75% Cu, 0.32% Zn, and 166 g/t Ag over a true width of 3.4M; and hole CG-19-S444 (infill) with 3.31% Cu, 0.11% Zn, and 82 g/t Ag over a true width of 11.8m, including 7.89% Cu, 0.2%Zn, and 198 g/t Ag over a true width of 3.7m.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc., announced an updated resource estimate for its Media Luna project in Guerrero. It reported an indicated resource of 12.6M tonnes of 3.27 g/t Au, 38 g/t Ag, and 1.16% Cu for a total of 1.32 M Oz Au, 15.3M Ag, and 322M Lb Cu (2.24M Oz Au Eq at a grade of 5.5 g/t AuEq). Inferred resources are 33.5M tonnes of 2.49 g/t Au, 24 g/t Ag, and 0.93% Cu for a total of 2.68M Oz Au, 25.5M Oz Ag, and 686M Lb Cu (4.56M Oz AuEq at a grade of 4.23 g/t AuEq).
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc., announced it plans to release in Q1, 2020 in-fill and expansion drill results from Babi Sur, Babi Vista Discover, Babicanora Norte, Babicanora, Babicanora FW, and Area 118 Discovery veins. Drill results will be incorporated into the updated resource to be released in the FS in H1, 2020. SilverCrest plans to conduct a 125,000m of exploration drill program focused on expanding measured and indicated resources to be considered for inclusion in the initial reserve estimate with the FS. In anticipation of a positive construction decision based on the FS, and the approval from the government of the change of use of soil permit, the company will commence to construct offices, warehousing, water works, and roads access improvements in H1.
  • Minera Alamos Inc., commenced the construction of its Santana mine in Sonora. It plans to provide construction updates during the 6-8 months construction period. During January and February, the company along with members of the community will begin to prepare the areas designed for the leach pads and holding pods, as well as initiate road construction within the planned mine area.
  • Southern Silver Exploration Corp., announced that the metallurgical tests work at its Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango confirmed that a marketable Cu, Pb, and Zn concentrate can be produce, increasing its value compared with earlier batch testing. These results are highlighted by a 94.7% Zn recovery grading 54.0% Zn in the Zn concentrate and grades of 5,504g/t Ag and 65.1% Pb in the Pb concentrate. Ag strongly partitions into the Pb and Cu concentrates for a combined 83.8% Ag recovery into concentrates that traditionally receive favourable payable terms.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Sonoro Metals Corp., granted stock options to certain directors, officers and consultants of the company to purchase an aggregate of 3,040,000 common shares.
  • Radius Gold Inc., reported that it has signed a binding agreement to acquire the 800 Ha Palmillas property from a private family which hosts high-grade epithermal Au-Ag mineralization and is adjacent to Amalia project in Chihuahua. During due diligence evaluation, Radius sampled outcrops and old adits obtaining encouraging results, such as 9.5 g/t Au and 73 g/t Ag over 4m, and 1.54 g/t Au and 58 g/t Ag over 10.5m. The company can earn a 100% interest in the Palmillas property by making staged payments over a period of five years for a total USD $350K, of which USD $200K is a final payment at the end of five years.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • With an investment of MXP $9M, and a direct benefit for 1,200 residents of the area, Governor of Durango, José Rosas Aispuro Torres, delivered road infrastructure works, in compliance with one more commitment to the inhabitants of Tepehuanes. The state executive said that this is a work that was carried out thanks to the resource of the Mining Fund, which made it possible to build eight thousand square meters of pavement with hydraulic concrete, directly benefiting the inhabitants of four colonies of the Municipal head.
  • The Peñoles Community Center, will give a new human development workshop. It also announced that another of the Peñoles Community Center workshops with the highest demand is that of teaching English, which students attend to receive instruction three days a week in both morning and evening hours.

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, an epithermal quartz vein displaying boiling textures in a prospect in Zacatecas, Mexico.  Photo by Miguel A Heredia.

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

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By Jorge Cirett

During the 2nd week of the year (January 6th to January 12th, 2020), at least 34 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The IPN is to offer Metallurgy Engineering at the Zacatecas campus. Conagua and Minera Peñasquito reached an agreement to promote the recovery of the Mazapil aquifer in Zacatecas. Some highlights on three major Mexican ore deposits were shared by Camimex: Metates, El Arco and La Verde. The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador asserted the importance of mining in Mexico. In 2019 three Peñoles, Autlán and Frisco lost US$935 M in value on the stock exchange (BMV). Torex Gold and Leagold increased gold production on its mines in Guerrero. ON EXPLORATION, setting a weekly record, that we hope is a good omen for the industry in Mexico this year, eleven companies reported on exploration programs or results on their projects. In Sonora, Colibri disclosed surface sampling results from the Evelyin project; Tocvan and Colibri reported high Au and Ag values from the Pilar project near Suaqui Grande; Magna Gold released high grade Au results from surface mapping on several targets at the San Judas project. In Chihuahua, Kootenay Silver released high-grade Ag results from its Columba project. Sable Resources released low  grade but widespread Au results from the Vinata project. In Sinaloa, Vizsla Resources started drilling at its Pánuco project. In Durango, Gainey Capital has had successful meetings and communication with the local communities at Las Margaritas project. In Jalisco, GoGold Resources released results from five more holes at Los Ricos.  In Zacatecas, Pan American Silver is to continue the exploration, initial engineering and metallurgical tests at the La Colorada skarn ore deposit. Advance Gold commenced another drill hole at La Tabasqueña project. Alien Metals is submitting applications to drill its Los Campos and San Celso projects. ON MINING, US Antimony has begun production testing of the cyanide leach circuits at the Puerto Blanco mill in Guanajuato. Hecla Mining, Torex Gold, Leagold Mining and Endeavour Silver presented fourth quarter and full-year 2019 reports. Argonaut Gold informed its El Castillo mine in Durango is to cease operations in 2022. ON FINANCING, Silver Spruce closed the first tranche of a financing round. Agnico Eagle issued warrants in connection with the loan agreement with Orla Mining. Sierra Metals is to repurchase US$30 M of shares. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Prime Mining updated on work at Guadalupe de Los Reyes, in Sinaloa. Sierra Metals updated the mineral resource estimate for the Bolivar mine, in Chihuahua. Discovery Metals released some high-grade results from its current drill program at Cordero, Chihuahua, where it is aiming to enhance the high-grade component of the deposit. Azure Minerals recommenced RC drilling the Loma Bonita gold deposit at its Alacrán project in Sonora.  ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Goldplay signed a LOI with First Majestic to acquire the Plomosas property in Sinaloa. Goldplay is to change name to GR Silver Mining. Oroco Resource Corp. is now officially the owner of 56.7% net interest (that can be increased to 81%) on the core concessions of the Santo Tomás project in Sinaloa. The company also holds the rights to 77.5% of the concessions surrounding the said core. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Peñoles to aid on the reactivation of agriculture in Naica. Peñoles organizes a robot building contest in Torreón. Endeavour Silver summarized its sustainability work for 2019.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • The Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN) is to offer the Metallurgy Engineering at its Zacatecas campus. Students are to spend one week of every month gaining experience on local mining units, from the third semester onward.
  • Conagua (Water Use Agency) and Minera Peñasquito (Newmont Goldcorp) reached an agreement to promote the recovery of the Mazapil aquifer. The agreement was reached in negotiation tables with several parties. The company is to forfeit its rights to extract 5 M cubic meters of water. During 2020 and 2021 Minera Peñasquito will invest 100 M pesos (US$5.25 M) on water access, drainage and cleaning in town, as well to aid on the bettering of irrigation and promotion of water re-usage in agriculture. In 2023 the company will also cede another 4 M cubic meters of water.
  • Highlights on three giant mining projects in Mexico: Metates, in Durango, holds reserves for 18.3 M Oz Au, 502 M Oz Ag, 4 B Lb Zn. Chesapeake’s 2016 pre-feasibility study (PFS) calls for a capital spending of $3.5 billion for a 90 K tonnes per day (tpd) operation, and a mine life of 27 years producing 445 K Oz Au. Sustained prices over $1,400 per gold ounce would help to kick start the operations. El Arco, in Baja California, is a giant copper deposit owned by Grupo Mexico. The deposit displays reserves of 2,700 M tonnes @ 0.4% Cu, 0.1 gpt Au. The deposit is to be mined by open pit, with concentrator and leaching operations to recover copper by electro winning, and is expected to produce 190 K tonnes Cu and 105 K Oz Au per year, once it is developed. La Verde, in Michoacan, owned by Solaris Resources and Teck, had a preliminary evaluation assessment (PEA) in 2018 with an investment of US$1.16 billion to produce 7.17 M tonnes of concentrate @ 26.7% Cu for 19 years, or 100 K tonnes Cu per year.
  • The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador asserted the importance of mining in Mexico, on the strengthening of the country’s economy and the strong employment generation. He pointed that the ministers of environment and health are looking into the Rio Sonora spill (2014) and its consequences on the area inhabitants.
  • During 2019, mining companies like Industrias Peñoles, Autlán and Minera Frisco lost US$935 M in market cap on the Mexican Stock Exchange (Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, or BMV). The three companies saw a reduction on its operations, same that were reflected on its cash flow (EBITDA) and share price. During the year Peñoles lost US$861.4 M, Autlán US$39.8 M and Frisco US$34 M in value. On the other hand, Grupo Mexico registered an increment of US$4.617 billion on its value for the same period, due to good results on copper extraction and the expansion on its transport branch.
  • Gold production increased in 2019 for Torex and Leagold in Guerrero. In 2019 Torex produced 454,810 Oz Au at its El Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero, compared with 354,000 Oz Au produced in 2018. Leagold produced 200,856 Oz Au at its Los Filos mine, in the same region.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Pan American Silver Corp. is planning to continue the exploration program, initial engineering and more metallurgical tests at the world class skarn mineralization discovered at La Colorada, Zacatecas. The inferred resources stand at 72.5 M tonnes @ 44 gpt Ag, 0.17% Cu, 2.0% Pb, 4.4% Zn, with the deposit open in several directions. In 2020 PAS is to drill 44,000 m to define and expand the inferred resources.
  • Colibri Resource Corp. disclosed rock chip sample results from its Evelyn project in Sonora. Highlighted results include 0.75 m @ 14.45 gpt Au, 16 gpt Ag; 1.5 m @ 12.45 gpt Au, 3 gpt Ag; 1.5 m @ 8.6 gpt Au, 5 gpt Ag; chip samples @ 22.3 gpt Au, 28 gpt Ag; 40.1 gpt Au; 3.12 gpt Au at the Cerro Rojo corridor and 2.97 gpt Au; 0.5 gpt Au, 0.4 gpt Au, 0.46 gpt Au; 2.74 gpt Au, 73 gpt Ag at the El Sahuaro corridor. Colibri is now planing to pursue a 1,000 m drilling campaign.
  • Advance Gold Corp. has commenced the second drill hole of the current drilling program at its Tabaqueña project in Zacatecas. This second hole is to test the large IP anomaly that underlies the intersection of 1.70 m @ 9.46 gpt of a previous drilling campaign. The second  hole on this campaign was collared 300 north of the location of the first one, with results pending. A second rig is being brought to the site to expedite drilling, now that the IP anomaly has been seen to correspond with a sulphide system.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. released results from five more drill holes at its Los Ricos project in Jalisco. Highlighted intersections include 22 m @ 0.22 gpt Au, 60 gpt Ag (1.01 gpt AuEq); 16.5 m @ 4.29 gpt Au, 336 gpt Ag (8.77 gpt AuEq); 5.2 m @ 1.10 gpt Au, 67 gpt Ag (2.01 gpt AuEq); 13.5 m @ 0.82 gpt Au, 215 gpt Ag (3.73 gpt AuEq); 17.4 m @ 0.77 gpt Au, 152 gpt Ag (2.80 gpt AuEq), including 6.1 m @ 2.07 gpt Au, 373 gpt Ag (7.05 gpt AuEq), 23.5 m @ 0.17 gpt Au, 43 gpt Ag (0.75 gpt AuEq). The holes were drilled north and south of the historical stopes to test the continuation of the structures.
  • Gainey Capital Corp, has had successful meetings and communication with the local communities at Las Margaritas project, Durango. “Discussions with State and Federal government representatives have been held to ensure that exploration on the property continues to the benefit of all stakeholders”.
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. released assay results from seven more drill holes completed at its Columba property in Chihuahua. Highlighted intervals comprise: 11.35 m @ 103 gpt Ag, including 2.28 m @ 405 gpt Ag; 23.0 m @ 60 gpt Ag, including 3.0 m @ 274 gpt Ag, including 1.35 m @ 494 gpt Ag; 7.05 m @ 114 gpt Ag, including 1.0 m @ 547 gpt Ag (the three intercepts in one hole); 10.0 m @ 175 gpt Ag, including 4.63 m @ 301 gpt Ag, including 1.5 m @ 628 gpt Ag; 4.9 m @ 194 gpt Ag, including 0.88 m @ 808 gpt Ag; 39.90 m @ 159 gpt Ag, including 7.45 m @ 650 gpt Ag and 1.15 m @ 919 gpt Ag, and 1.0 m @ 953 gpt Ag, and 1.0 m @ 527 gpt Ag, and 1.0 m @ 860 gpt Ag, and 1.8 m @ 715 gpt Ag. High Ag grades have been intercepted over 700 m of strike length on the F vein, and also 650 m from old workings on the B vein.
  • Sable Resources Ltd. provided an update on the ongoing drilling campaign at its Vinata property in Chihuahua. Six drill holes have been completed, amounting to 1,753 m of core, with results for 530 samples on the first five holes. Highlighted results comprise 51.3 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, including 30.3 m @ 0.44 gpt Au; 61.8 m @ 0.079 gpt Au, including 12.4 m @ 0.24 gpt Au; 198.25 m @ 0.063 gpt Au, including 8.9 m @ 0.24 gpt Au and 22.1 m @ 0.11 gpt Au; 30.45 m @ 0.035 gpt Au. Low grade gold argillic stratabound alteration in volcanic rocks is open in every direction, except to the East. The drilling program has been increased from 2,000 to 4,000 m to define the limits and grade on the argillic alteration, and also for the existence of a high-grade feeder with more classical epithermal textures.
  • Tocvan Ventures Corp. and Colibri Resource Corp. reported high Au and Ag values from two new showings that extend known mineralization at its Pilar project in Sonora. Highlighted results comprise 4.3 gpt Au, 172 gpt Ag, 1.1% Pb; 23.7 gpt Au, 116 gpt Ag; 4.4 gpt Au, 44 gpt Ag; 7.5 gpt Au, 42 gpt Ag; 0.5 gpt Au, 323 gpt Ag; 1.4 gpt Au, 2 gpt Ag; 2.2 gpt Au, 15 gpt Ag; 5.6 gpt Au, 84 gpt Ag, 1.7% Pb; 0.7 gpt Au, 20 gpt Ag; 9.3 gpt Au, 76 gpt Ag, 2.2% Pb. The new assays support additional areas to develop and define mineralization east and south east of the main areas that have seen over 17,700 m of drilling.
  • Alien Metals Ltd. is submitting applications for drill permits at its Los Campos and San Celso projects in Zacatecas. At Los Campos a six hole program that could grow to 47 holes and 3,250 m of drilling is planned. At San Celso a grid based drilling plan has been designed, with a total of up to 30 drill holes for 2,550 m, aiming to start with four to six key holes.
  • Magna Gold Corp. reported assay results from surface sampling at its San Judas project in Sonora. Several targets have been delineated: Santa Lucia-Las Palomas is a bulk mining target in sheared granite with quartz veins and stockworks, on which samples returned up to 0.5 m @ 26.4 gpt Au, 1.5 m @ 14.6 gpt Au, 0.7 m @ 12.9 gpt Au, 0.8 m @ 7.3 gpt Au, 1.0 m @ 6.14 gpt Au, 0.8 m @ 5.54 gpt Au; At San Martin there is a quartz stockwork in granite and gneiss that opens the possibility to a high volume bulk deposit, in an area 1,250 m x 750 m, on which samples returned up to 1.5 m @ 13.7 gpt Au, 2.0 m @ 9.20 gpt Au, 1.0 m @ 7.12 gpt Au, 1.0 m @ 6.7 gpt Au, 1.0 m @ 6.23 gpt Au, 2.0 m @ 5.16 gpt Au, 1.9 m @ 4.1 gpt Au; Represo Seco displays a high-grade sheeted and brecciated quartz system with three generations of quartz, two meters thick and exposed over 65 m, where samples returned up to 0.5 m @ 7.4 gpt Au, 1.9 m @ 6.0 gpt Au, 1.8 m @ 5.1 gpt Au; Cueva del León hosts argillic altered intrusive felsic rocks, with assays of up to 1.1 m @ 4.99 gpt Au, 1.0 m @ 4.28 gpt Au, 1.2 m @ 2.03 gpt Au, 1.5 m @ 1.9 gpt Au. All the areas are strongly anomalous in Pb (up to 1.45%), Zn (up to 0.35%) and Cu (up to 0.12%).
  • Vizsla Resources Corp. has started its drilling program at the Pánuco project in Sinaloa. The company plans to drill 14,500 m in 19 prospects, starting with the Vetas Animas corridor. Ten geologists are mapping and sampling in the district at the time being.

ON MINING

  • United Sates. Antimony Corp. reported that production testing of the cyanide leach circuit at the Puerto Blanco mill in Guanajuato has begun. “The Los Juarez mineralization is disseminated in jasperoid pipes that are present over a strike length of 3.5 kilometers, up to 1 kilometer in width, and are believed to be continuous below 400 meters”. “A global assay” of shallow drilling, sampling and mill testing is @ 1.09 gpt Au, 102 gpt Ag and 0.65% Sb (or 2.6 gpt AuEq), with individual assays of over 1 Oz/t Au, 47 Oz Ag/t and 10% Sb.
  • Hecla Mining Co. released preliminary results for the fourth quarter 2019, including figures from its Mexican operations. At the San Sebastian mine in Durango, 1.9 M Oz Ag, 15,673 Oz Au were produced during 2019, and 422.4 K Oz Ag,  3,897 Oz Au during the fourth quarter. With the Hugh Zone production included, AgEq production for the year is the same as 2018. The mill operated at an average of 479 tpd in 2019.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc. announced 2019 production of 454,810 Oz Au (Q4 2019: 125,150 Oz) at El Limón Guajes mine in Guerrero. During the fourth quarter plant throughput averaged 12,120 tpd, with 1,060 tpd ore mined underground and 16,030 tpd ore mined by open pit, with a pit strip ratio of 7.3:1.
  • Leagold Mining Corp. reported 2019 production results, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Los Filos, in Guerrero, quarterly production was 64,028, 44,896, 40,922 and 51,010 Oz Au for the Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 respectively, adding to 200,856 Oz Au in the year. The Los Filos Expansion Feasibility study was completed during the year, commencing expansion during the third quarter.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. informed its mining unit El Castillo, in Durango, is to stop operations in 2022, after 12 year of work. These operations had $900 M of economic impact which includes investments, operation costs and $82 in taxes paid. To date the company has 347 employees and 249 contractors. Starting this month the crushing operations have been decommissioned, impacting on personnel numbers, and another reduction in the labor force will take place in April.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp. delivered production reports for the fourth quarter and full year 2019. Gold and silver production decreased 27% in the year, to 38,907 Oz Au, 4.02 M Oz Ag. The El Cubo mine suspended mining operations on Q4 2019, as reserves were exhausted. During the first quarter Endeavour plans to update the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) for Terronera, in Jalisco, and deliver an initial Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) in Parral, Chihuahua.Endeavour Prod 2019 Table1

ON FINANCING

  • Silver Spruce Resources Inc. closed the first tranche of its non-brokered financing on December 31, 2019, for gross proceeds of $237 K (Pino de Plata, Chihuahua).
  • Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. announced the issuance of common share purchase warrants in connection with the loan agreement of December 2019 between Agnico and Orla Mining Ltd (Camino Rojo, Zacatecas).
  • Sierra Metals Inc. announced it has approved a plan to return up to US$30 M to shareholders. Sierra Metals intends to launch a substantial issuer bid pursuant to which the Company will offer to repurchase for cancellation up to US$15 M of its common shares from shareholders for cash (Bolivar and Cusi, Chihuahua).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Prime Mining Corp. updated on work at is Guadalupe de los Reyes project in Sinaloa, pointing its aim to become a gold producer. The acquisition was completed in August 2019, the due diligence concluded, a team was assembled, and an initial financing of CAD$8.7 M and USD$4.5 M of property payments were made, with only a payment of USD$1.5 M remaining, due October 2021. The long term land access agreement was signed and led to the implementation of 5,000 m of road cut and trenching that aided defining wider and longer structures than anticipated. The project is being evaluated at a mining rate of 4,500 tpd of mineralized material from five to seven pit locations, with Prime aiming to make the initial mining permitting submissions during 2020.
  • Sierra Metals Inc. updated the mineral resource estimate for its Bolivar mine in Chihuahua. The mineral resource update includes 13,698 m of infill drilling and 41,553 m of exploration drilling, with 11.63 M tonnes @ 0.95% Cu, 18 g/t Ag, and 0.24 g/t Au (or 1.16% CuEq) for a total of 244.3 M Lb Cu, 6.8 M Oz Ag, 90.4 K Oz Au (300.1 M Lb CuEq) as indicated resources, and 16.69 M tonnes @ 0.93% Cu, 17 g/t Ag, 0.30 g/t Au (or 1.16% CuEq) adding to 342.1 M Lb Cu, 9 M Oz Ag, 162.7 K Oz Au (428.1 M Lb CuEq) as inferred resources.
  • Discovery Metals Corp. announced results from the last four diamond drill holes at the Cordero project in Chihuahua. The program is designed to look for high grade and to test other areas of the 35,000 ha property. Highlighted intervals comprise: In hole 295, 81.82 m @ 63 gpt Ag, 0.35 gpt Au, 0.9% Pb, 0.9% Zn, including 4.1 m @ 517 gpt Ag, 1.32 gpt Au, 7.6% Pb, 5.7% Zn; 68.1 m @ 117 gpt Ag, 1.96 gpt Au, 1.7% Pb, 1.1% Zn, including 34.7 m @ 200 gpt Ag, 3.04 gpt Au, 2.9% Pb, 1.6% Zn, including 3.7 m @ 512 gpt Ag, 21.52 gpt Au, 6.9% Pb, 0.2% Zn; 11.5 m @ 284 gpt Ag, 0.88 gpt Au, 4.1% Pb, 2.8% Zn; In hole 296, 47.1 m @ 71 gpt Ag, 0.45 gpt Au, 1.0% Pb, 1.2% Zn; 61.6 m @ 42 gpt Ag, 0.39 gpt Au, 0.6% Pb, 0.4% Zn; in hole 294, 94.3 m @ 47 gpt Ag, 0.27 gpt Au, 0.7% Pb, 0.6% Zn; 10.8 m @ 93 gpt Ag, 0.46 gpt Au, 1.3% Pb, 1.2% Zn; in hole 293, 59.9 m @ 37 gpt Ag, 0.06 gpt Au, 0.9% Pb, 1.5% Zn; 4.3 m @ 111 gpt Ag, 0.10 gpt Au, 2.2% Pb, 2.9% Zn. “Discovery believes that definition of these veins has the potential to significantly enhance the high-grade component of the deposit”.
  • Azure Minerals Ltd. recommenced reverse circulation drilling (RC) at its Alacrán project in Sonora. The program is aimed at resource expansion of the Loma Bonita deposit, which currently extends for 600 m, and is up to 200 m in width and up to 100 m in depth. Early drilling is located east of two holes that intersected 47.2 m @ 2.79 gpt Au, 33, gpt Ag and 67.1 m @ 1.56 gpt Au, 23 gpt Ag. Drilling is also planned on Cerro San Simon, where previous drilling has intercepted up to 29.6 m @ 0.56 gpt Au, 27 gpt Ag; 12.6 m @ 0.37 gpt Au, 8 gpt Ag; 63.0 m @ 0.47 gpt Au, 27 gpt Ag.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Goldplay Exploration Ltd. entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with First Majestic Silver Corp. to acquire the 8,514 ha Plomosas silver project in Sinaloa. The terms of the transaction are expected to include a $100 K cash payment to First Majestic and a 2% NSR royalty to First Majestic, with 1% of the NSR subject to a buyback option for $1 M, and the issuance of 19.9% of the total issued common shares of Goldplay. In December 2019 Goldplay announced another LOI with Mako Mining Corp. on a significant land position in the region (San Marcial, Sinaloa).
  • Goldplay Exploration Ltd. announced name change to GR Silver Mining Ltd., effective January 13, 2020 (San Marcial, Sinaloa).
  • Oroco Resource Corp. registered at the Public Registry of Mining (Registro Público de Minería) the transfer of the seven core concessions of the Santo Tomás copper porphyry project to Xochipala Gold, S.A. de C.V., which is now the registered holder of 100% interest on these concessions. Oroco “holds an irrevocable option to acquire, via the ownership of Altamura Copper Corp., a net 56.7% interest in the collective 1,172.9 ha seven core concessions of the Santo Tomás Project in NW Mexico, and may increase that majority interest up to a net 81.0% interest with project investment of up to CAD$30 million”. The company also holds a 77.5% interest in 7,807.9 ha of mining concessions surrounding the previously mentioned core claims.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Peñoles open to support the reactivation of agriculture in Naica, directly cooperating with the Naica ejido (communal land) by providing the pumping equipment and its maintenance. The water is to be extracted from the Naica mine, in care and maintenance for the last five years.
  • Peñoles organizes a robot building contest (FIRST robotics competition), supporting more than 1,500 students. The event is to take place in the Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey, on the Torreon Campus.
  • Endeavour Silver summarized its sustainability work for 2019, which includes: 1) Guanacevi, Bolañitos and El Cubo received the annual “Socially Responsible Company” distinction from CEMEFI (Mexican Philanthropy Center); 2) Ceased operations at the El Cubo Mine in a collaborative manner with the employees, provided a social plan to mitigate risks and addressed community concerns resulting from the suspension of mining operations. 3) Made community donations including a recreational sports facility at El Cubo and partnered with the local Municipal Government to open a cultural community center at Bolañitos. 4) Carried out a Social Impact Study at Parral to identify and address important issues to the local community. 5) Continued to engage with the surrounding communities of the Terronera Project including San Sebastian Del Oeste, San Felipe De Hijar, and Santiago De Pinos, and hosted multiple events and programs during 2019 to which over 1,000 locals attended. 6) Invested in its scholarship program at Guanacevi, Bolañitos and El Cubo, benefitting over 100 students from high school and university levels. 7) The Company planted 52,000 trees to reclaim disturbed ground at all its mines and projects.

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 veining in an orogenic gold system of Oaxaca. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

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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.