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

 

Colloform-banded quartz vein

By Miguel A Heredia

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

ON MEXICO ISSUES

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

ON EXPLORATION

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

ON MINING

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

ON FINANCING

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

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

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

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

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

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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

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

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

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

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By Jorge Cirett

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

ON MEXICO ISSUES

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

ON EXPLORATION

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

ON MINING

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

ON FINANCING

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

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

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

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

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

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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

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

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

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

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By Jorge Cirett

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

ON MEXICO ISSUES

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

ON EXPLORATION

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

ON MINING

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

ON FINANCING

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

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

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

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

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

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

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

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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

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

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

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

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By Jorge Cirett

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

ON MEXICO ISSUES

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

ON EXPLORATION

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

ON MINING

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

ON FINANCING

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

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

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

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

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

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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

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

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

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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 Fourth Week of January, 2020

204

By Jorge Cirett

During the 4th week of the year (January 20th to January 26th, 2020), at least 22 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Highlights on some advanced projects were shared, including Ermitaño, Santana, Media Luna and La Colorada skarn. A good week for Mexican mining companies on the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV), with share price increments for Grupo Mexico, Industrias Peñoles, Orbia (Mexichem) and Cemex. The president of Mexico stated no mining concessions for lithium have been granted under his term.  ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Riverside reported good surface sampling results from its El Cuarenta project; Minaurum completed the phase I drilling program at its Alamos Silver project, testing 19 of 25 identified vein systems; Mexus Gold is looking to JV its Mabel and Ures properties. In Zacatecas, Advance Gold released results from the first hole at a chargeability anomaly in its Tabasqueña project. In Hidalgo, Santacruz Mining staked the Lechuga property.  ON MINING, Argonaut Gold, Coeur Mining, Gold Resource, Premier Gold, Sierra Metals, and First Majestic released production results for Q4 and full year 2019.  ON FINANCING, Silver Spruce filed an amendment at the TSX regarding the Cocula project in Jalisco. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Minera Alamos announced construction is ongoing at its Santana project in Sonora. Argonaut Gold informed it is reviewing its option on the San Antonio project in Baja California Sur, whereas at Cerro del Gallo in Guanajuato the company is to produce a corrected bundle of documents to re-submit to the authorities for authorization. Silver Crest released high grade results from the Babi Sur vein at its Las Chispas property in Sonora. Impact Silver released good surface sampling results on two veins at an open pit at its Zacualpan property in Estado de Mexico. Mexus Gold started mining a new zone at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. GoGold released results from nine more holes at its Los Ricos project in Jalisco. Mexican Gold released drilling results from its Las Minas project in Veracruz. Prime Mining announced surface results from road cuts and trenches from its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. GR Silver Mining updated on its exploration results at its San Marcial project in Sinaloa.   ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Leagold was advised to vote favorably on a proposed merge with Equinox. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. The Mining Fund allocated the resources for rehabilitation of a sports field in Santa Barbara, Chihuahua. Esperanza Silver is to apply a new model of mining on the development of the Esperanza mine, in Morelos. Minera San Xavier formalized the transference of its silver’s jewelry shop to one of its employees in Cerro San Pedro, San Luis Potosi. The Guerrero government, the Municipality of Cocula and Torex Gold are to pave a road in Cocula.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Some new projects highlights: First Majestic initiated a 3,000 m development program designed to get the Ermitaño project in Sonora into production by early 2021. Ermitaño is 4 km from First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine. Minera Alamos has started construction of its Santana mine in Sonora, where it expects to start producing gold later in the year from heap leach operations. Torex Gold released a new resource estimation for its Media Luna project in Guerrero, with 12.6 M tonnes @ 5.55 gpt Au Eq containing 2.24 M Oz AuEq as indicated resources, and 33.5 M tonnes @ 4.23 gpt Au Eq containing 4.56 Oz AuEq as inferred resources. The capital needed to take this project into production is estimated at US496 M, to reach a yearly production of 170 K Oz Au, 1.7 M Oz Ag and 21 K tonnes Cu. The giant La Colorada skarn discovery by Pan American Silver in Zacatecas has an initial inferred resource base of 73.5 M tonnes containing 102 M Oz Ag, 3.2 M tonnes Zn, 1.5 M tonnes Pb and 121 K tonnes Cu. The project is to see 44,000 m of drilling during 2020, with a cost of US$7.5 M.
  • Listed mining companies in the Mexican Stock Exchange (Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, or BMV) had a good week. Grupo Mexico was up 5.9%, Industrias Peñoles 1.9%, Orbia (Mexichem) 5.75% and Cemex 8.91%.
  • The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (also known as AMLO) assured this week that no concession has been delivered on his term for lithium exploitation. (In fact, the delivery of all mining concessions has been halted indefinitely by the actual government).

ON EXPLORATION

  • Riverside Resources Inc. reported on surface sampling and field work at its El Cuarenta project in Sonora. Three prospective targets were identified: Santa Rosalía, Santa Rosalía Sur and El Sombrero, with sampling returning five samples of sixteen above 5 gpt Au, and a best result of 25.7 gpt Au. The Santa Rosalía target consists of multiple sub-parallel low sulfide quartz veins on a fault zone 1 Km long in volcanic rocks. At Santa Rosalía Sur there is an 800 m long structural zone in volcanic rocks with shallow dipping sheeted quartz veins showing banded quartz and lattice textures. El Sombrero displays extensive alteration and high temperature alteration minerals like dickite, pyrophyllite and kaolinite, as well as a highly silicified cap.
  • Minaurum Gold Inc. completed its phase I drill program at the Alamos Silver project in Sonora, testing 19 of the 25 identified vein systems with 18,810 m in 40 holes.. Fourteen of the nineteen vein systems returned high-grade silver intercepts, on a 10 km long by 6 km wide corridor. Highlighted intervals from the last round of drilling comprise: 7.60 m @ 155 gpt Ag, including 2.15 m @ 470 gpt Ag; 0.20 m @ 367 gpt Ag, 6.75 gpt Au, 1.35% Cu, 0.59% Pb, 0.56% Zn at the Púlpito and Cotera veins. 6.60 m @ 1.94% Cu, 0.5% Pb, 1.5% Zn at the Alessandra vein. 1.1 m @ 729 gpt Ag, 1.73 gpt Au, 0.13% Cu, 3.0% Pb, 5.7% Zn at the Promontorio vein. 0.50 m @ 160 gpt Ag at La Dura vein. 1.05 m @ 245 gpt Ag, 0.74% Cu, 0.4% Pb, 0.7% Zn at Las Animas vein. And 7.35 m @ 47 gpt Ag on the Rosario vein. “Phase II is expected to commence in late-March and will include a minimum of 20,000 m of drilling”.
  • Mexus Gold US. is to look for a JV on its Mabel and Ures properties in Sonora. The Mabel property has 611 holes in 6 drilling campaigns since 2002. In the Ures property the targets are a porphyry copper system and high grade silver.
  • Advance Gold Corp. released drill results from one drill hole at its Tabasqueña project in Zacatecas. The first hole into a 1000 x 500 m chargeability anomaly returned 78 m of continuous zinc mineralization, including 1.10 m @ 1.88% Zn, 1.40% Pb, 77 gpt Ag, 0.20 gpt Au and 34 m @ 23 gpt Au, and 1.10 m @ 101 gpt Ag, 0.59% Pb, 0.74% Zn.

ON MINING

  • Argonaut Gold Inc. released production results for 2019 and the fourth quarter 2019. During 2019 the company produced 186,615 Oz AuEq, with 47,521 Oz AuEq produced during the Q4. During the same quarter production at El Castillo complex in Durango was 34,899 Oz AuEq (13,896 Oz AuEq from El Castillo and 21,003 Oz AuEq from San Agustin), and 12,622 Oz AuEq at La Colorada, in Sonora. For 2019, total production was 131,727 Oz AuEq at El Castillo Complex and 55,338 Oz AuEq at La Colorada.
  • Coeur Mining Inc. announced production results for full year 2019 and fourth quarter 2019, including figures from Mexico. At Palmarejo, in Chihuahua, 1.76 M tonnes were milled @ 2.49 gpt Au, 151 gpt Ag, recovering 84.3% Au, 79.3% Ag, to produce 111,932 Oz Au, 6.84 M Oz Ag during the year. During the last quarter 486.8 K tonnes were milled @ 2.18 gpt Au, 159 gpt Ag, recovering 84.9% Au, 81.7% Ag, to produce 28,702 Oz Au, 1.98 M Oz Ag.
  • Gold Resource Corp. provided full-year 2019 and fourth quarter 2019 production results, including figures from its Mexican operations. Production for 2019 in its Oaxaca Mining Unit was 29,435 Oz Au, 1.7 M Oz Ag, 1,859 tonnes Cu, 9,202 tonnes Pb, 23,683 tonnes Zn; during the first quarter 7,554 Oz Au, 417.9 K Oz Ag were produced.
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. released production results for the fourth quarter and full year 2019, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Mercedes, 12,274 Oz Au, 44.8 K Oz Ag were produced during the fourth quarter, adding up to 59,901 Oz Au, 191.3 K Oz Ag for the year. The production Guidance for 2020 is 65-75 K Oz Au at cash cost $850-$875 per Oz and all-in sustaining costs of $1,125-$1,275 per Oz.
  • Sierra Metals Inc. reported fourth quarter and full year 2019 production results, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Bolivar, in Chihuahua, 348.4 K tonnes were processed at a 3,982 tpd rate and a grade of 0.87% Cu, 21 gpt Ag, 0.32 gpt Au, recovering 84.8% Cu, 78.7% Ag, 62.3% Au to produce 5.66 M Lb Cu, 185 K Oz Ag, 2,216 Oz Au during the fourth quarter; and 1.27 M tonnes were processed at a rate of 3,628 tpd @ 0.85% Cu, 20 gpt Ag, 0.27 gpt Au, recovering 83% Cu, 79.2% Pb, 63.5% Zn to produce 19.83 M Lb Cu, 640 K Oz Ag, 6,794 Oz Au during the year. At Cusi, in Chihuahua, 61.4 K tonnes were processed at a rate of 702 tpd, at a grade of 210 gpt Ag, 0.14 gpt Au, 0.23% Pb, 0.23% Zn, recovering 79.8% Ag, 28.4% Au, 74% Pb, 0% Zn to produce 190 K Oz Ag, 78 Oz Au, 232 K Lb Pb during the quarter; and 285.2 K tonnes processed at a daily rate of 815 tpd at a grade of 129 gpt Ag, 0.15 gpt Au, 0.2% Pb, 0.2% Zn, recovering 79.1% Ag, 36.1% Au, 75.4% Pb, 0% Zn, to produce 936 K Oz Ag, 493 Oz Au, 904 K Lb Pb for the year.
  • First Majestic Silver Corp. announced 2020 production and cost guidance. San Dimas (Durango), La Encantada (Coahuila) and Santa Elena (Sonora) are the mines to continue in operation, while production has been halted at San Martin (Jalisco) and Del Toro (Zacatecas). The projected AISC is to be in the $13.37-$15.46 range per Oz Ag. At San Martin the mine is closed since mid-2019 due to security concerns, while at Del Toro, 22,450 m of exploration drilling are planned to develop new resources.First Majestic 2020 Guidance1

ON FINANCING

  • Silver Spruce Resources Inc. filed an amendment on the TSX Venture Exchange about the letter of agreement signed with ProDeMin, under which Silver Spruce is required to issue 1.7 M shares. Of those, 1.5 M shares are to be issued to ProDeMin and 200 K shares to the land owners of the Cocula project, in Jalisco (Pino de Plata, Chihuahua).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Minera Alamos Inc. informed that construction is ongoing at its Santana project in Sonora. The estimated construction time is six to eight months. During January and February is to start preparing the surfaces for leach pads and tailings dam, as well as roads on the mining area.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. provided an update on its development projects. At San Antonio in Baja California Sur, Argonaut is looking at a probable non-monetary, book value decrement due to the uncertainty of obtaining the needed permits for development. The company is reviewing its options, like looking for zoning regulations changes, a revised environmental application and legal action options. At Cerro El Gallo, in Guanajuato, a “Documento Técnico Unificado” (several studies bundled together, needed to start development of the project) during the second quarter 2019. SEMARNAT asked for several minor changes and re-submittal, which is to be done during 2020 first quarter. SEMARNAT is to have 60 days to present its decision afterwards. Argonaut is also evaluating the possibility of producing fewer ounces in 2020, while improving the cash flow.
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc.released additional in-fill and expansion drill results from 71 holes on the Babi Sur vein at its Las Chispas project in Sonora. The current drilling has augmented the vein averages from 0.95 m (true width) @ 4.10 gpt Au, 268 gpt Ag (575 gpt AgEq) to 1.7 m tw @ 9.82 gpt Au, 382 gpt Ag (1,119 gpt AgEq). These results suggest a wider and higher grade vein than estimated in the previous resources, still open on strike and at depth. Currently there are 17 drill rigs working from the surface, and two from underground. The best drill holes returned true widths of 2.5 m @ 90.98 gpt Au, 108 gpt Ag (6,931 gpt AgEq); 7.8 m @ 10.53 gpt Au, 79 gpt Ag ((877 gpt Ag); 2.8 m @ 12.91 gpt Au, 1,141 gpt Ag (2,109 gpt AgEq).
  • Impact Silver Corp. announced results of a sampling program in the Veta Negra area on its Zacualpan property in Estado de Mexico. At Veta Negra two parallel veins averaging 14 m in width at an historic open pit, with a 650 m strike length. At the open pit about 50 m of vein strike were sampled, averaging 22.70 m @ 206 gpt Ag, 0.02 gpt Au, 0.14% Pb, 0.31% Zn on the El Socorro vein, and 16.02 m @ 208 gpt Ag, 0.13 gpt Au, 0.41% Pb, 0.56% Zn on the Veta Negra vein. A sub parallel vein 120 m from the Veta Negra returned up to 1.20 m @ 59 gpt Ag, 2.11 gpt Au, 0.19% Pb, 0.11% Zn; 1.30 m @ 286 gpt Ag, 1.07 gpt Au, 0.27% Pb, 0.05% Zn; 0.80 m @ 1,595 gpt Ag, 0.64 gpt Au, 0.19% Pb, 0.06% Zn; 0.80 m @ 309 gpt Ag, 1.53 gpt Au, 0.31% Pb, 0.06% Zn; 0.80 m @ 70 gpt Ag, 13.85 gpt Au, 0.21% Pb, 0.09% Zn; 1.90 m @ 215 gpt Ag, 1.04 gpt Au, 0.22% Pb, 0.08% Zn.
  • Mexus Gold US. began mining on the Julio vein/shear zone  via a 300 x 20 m open pit at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (not to mistake with First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora). Mined material was crushed and added to the heap leach facilities, with ore assaying 4 gpt Au, and as high as 16 gpt.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. released results from nine more drill holes at Los Ricos project in Jalisco. Highlighted hole length intervals comprise 16.8 m @ 0.36 gpt Au, 86 gpt Ag (1.51 gpt AuEq); 17.1 m @ 0.21 gpt Au, 60 gpt Ag (1.01 gpt AuEq), including 4.5 m @ 0.60 gpt Au, 104 gpt Ag (1.99 gpt AuEq); 18.9 m @ 2.01 gpt Au, 496.4 gpt Ag (8.63 gpt Au), including 5.0 m @ 7.30 gpt Au, 1,833 gpt Ag); 22.7 m @ 0.63 gpt Au, 65 gpt Ag (1.49 gpt AuEq), including 6.7 m @ 1.76 gpt Au, 114 gpt Ag (3.28 gpt AuEq); 12.9 m @ 0.57 gpt Au, 96 gpt Ag (1.86 gpt AuEq), including 6.5 m @ 1.08 gpt Au, 175 gpt Ag (3.41 gpt AuEq); 13.9 m @ 0.62 gpt Au, 80 gpt Ag (1.69 gpt AuEq), including 5.8 m @ 1.34 gpt Au, 141 gpt Ag (3.23 gpt AuEq).
  • Mexican Gold Corp. released drilling results on its Las Minas project, Veracruz. The 13 holes targeted a TEM anomaly, infill at El Dorado, Cinco Señores and Pueblo Nuevo zones. One hole at the TEM anomaly intersected endo skarn and is a good guide to further drilling; Two holes on El Dorado infill intersected higher grade mineralization than expected, a third one did not reach the sought contact zone; The two holes at Cinco Señores did not intersect the contact; At Pueblo Nuevo, drilling intersected several gold bearing veins, without the high gold and base metal values sampled at surface. Highlighted results comprise: 19.5 m tw @ 0.95 gpt Au,4 gpt Ag, 1.30% Cu; 6.0 m tw @ 1.36 gpt Au, 5 gpt Ag, 1.08% Cu; 5.2 m @ 8.94 gpt Au (including 2.0 m @ 21.37 gpt Au); 0.7 m @ 3.23 gpt Au; 0.9 m @ 2.69 gpt Au; 0.95 m @ 2.71 gpt Au.
  • Prime Mining Corp. announced surface results from trenches and road cuts from its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. These samples show gold grades over significant widths in an area outside the historical resource at El Zapote North and South. Road cut sampling returned 24.5 m @ 7.94 gpt Au, 59 gpt Ag; 13.5 m @ 12.17 gpt Au, 71 gpt Ag; 27.0 m @ 1.53 gpt Au, 25 gpt Ag; 37.5 m @ 0.76 gpt Au, 18 gpt Ag. Surface trenching at Zapote Central returned 30.0 m @ 3.93 gpt Au, 40 gpt Ag; 7.5 m @ 8.71 gpt Au, 60 gpt Ag; 10.5 m @ 0.88 gpt Au, 62 gpt Ag; 25.5 m @ 0.33 gpt Au, 15 gpt Ag.
  • GR Silver Mining Ltd. (Goldplay Exploration Ltd.) updated on its exploration results for 2019 at its San Marcial project in Sinaloa. Late 2019 drill holes returned up to 28.7 m @ 92 gpt Ag, including 13.75 m @ 154 gpt Ag and 0.6 m @ 138 gpt Ag, 0.56 gpt Au. High-grade depth extensions are to be sought by underground drilling below the current resource. XRF litho-geochemistry for target generation has re-commenced and due diligence work started on the potential acquisition of the Plomosas and La Trinidad projects.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Santacruz Mining Ltd. acquired by staking the La Pechuga property in Hidalgo. The mining concession (application??) covers 3,025 ha 25 km SE from the Zimapan mine. Several historic mines are developed in 3-8 m wide carbonate replacement or skarn mineralization hosted on El Doctor Formation limestone. Previous sampling by the SGM (Servicio Geológico Mexicano) reported up to 770 gpt Ag, 0.50 gpt Au, 21.9% Pb, 13.4% Zn, 0.47% Cu.
  • Leagold Mining Corp. announced a recommendation by advisory firms for a favorable vote on a proposed merger with Equinox Gold Corp., on the special meeting to be held on January 28, 2019 (Leagold: Los Filos, Guerrero. Equinox: Mesquite, California, USA).

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • The Mining Fund allocated the resources needed for the rehabilitation of the sports field in Santa Barbara, Chihuahua. The facilities were inaugurated by Antonio Bilbao, president of the Municipality, where 336 square meters were rehabilitated, with lighting and other improvements performed, counting on a total investment of $796,381 pesos. Approximately 500 inhabitants benefit with the resources provided by the Mining Fund..
  • Esperanza Silver (Alamos Gold) is to start operations at its Esperanza project in Tetlama, Morelos, by the end of 2020 or early 2021. The company has initiated to inform the communities on the permits obtained and the remaining, in the high margination zone. The project is proposed as “Nuevo Modelo de Minería Social y Ambientalmente Responsable” (A New Model on Socially and Environmentally Responsible Mining), promoting community development, with the respect to human rights and social and environmental issues standing prominently in the company model. By this approach the project would stick by the rules set by the UNO 2030 schedule, with plans for Social Management, Cultural Management and Economic Management. To eradicate poverty, mining can pay taxes and royalties, develop local supply lines, strengthen local value chains, promote inclusive employment, preserve land access, conservation and recycling of water, water management, improve energy efficiency, incorporate renewable energy and keep the public aware of opportunities and limitations.
  • Minera San Xavier formalized the delivery of the company’s silver jewelry shop, “La Victoria”. The shop is located on the historic down town of Cerro San Pedro, in San Luis Potosí, with the sale were included the machinery, tools and silver inventory. The shop was offered to employees and workers of Minera San Xavier through an open bid, of which Mónica Daniela Fierros obtaining the shop by presenting a plan with continuing local team, sustainability, innovation, creativity, quality and leadership.
  • Guerrero’s Governor, Héctor Astudillo, signed an agreement with Minera Media Luna and the Cocula Municipalty, to pave 5 km of road between Real del Limón-La Fundición, benefiting more than 1,200 inhabitants. Each of the agreement signers is to deliver $5 M pesos for the construction work.

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: Underground picture of a quartz vein in an orogenic gold system of Oaxaca, by Jorge Cirett.

204

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.

IMG_0812

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

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

By Miguel A Heredia

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

ON MEXICO ISSUES

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

ON EXPLORATION

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

ON MINING

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

ON FINANCING

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

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

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

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

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

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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

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

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

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

IMG_3901 - copiaBy Jorge Cirett

During the 52nd week of the year (December 23rd to December 29th, 2019), at least 11 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Alamos Gold announced the Esperanza mine in Morelos is to be converted into a touristic attraction once decommissioned. In response to federal government criticism on the daily presidential conference, Grupo Mexico stated it dealt in due time and form with the 2014 leak on the Sonora river. The San Pedro mine decommissioning in San Luis Potosi has erected into a benchmark for the industry. Camimex corrected the federal government statement on how much terrain is concessioned for mining, from 113.8 million hectares (government) to 20.97 million hectares (corrected figure). ON EXPLORATION, Advance Gold informed on the mineralization intersected by the first hole into a chargeability anomaly at the Tabasqueña project in Zacatecas. ON MINING, No relevant news. ON FINANCING, Goldplay issued shares for $48 K to a drilling contractor for services provided.   ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Consolidated Zinc recommenced definition drilling at its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Dyna Resources announced a favorable final ruling on its legal battle with Goldgroup, which establishes its ownership of the San Jose de Gracia project in Sinaloa. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Minera Media Luna formalized the delivery of infrastructure works for US$100 K in Cocula, Guerrero. Minera Peñasquito realized a Christmas party on a primary school in Mazapil, Zacatecas.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Esperanza Silver de México (Alamos Gold), which is developing the Esperanza project in Morelos, announced that once the project accomplishes its mine life it is going to be turned into a thematic park touristic attraction run by local inhabitants. Other touristic sites on former mines highlighted in the news release include the Mineral de Rayas, Mina el Nopal and Mina La Valenciana in Guanajuato.
  • Grupo México announced that it dealt in due time with the 2014 leak on the Rio Sonora. The announcement was made as response to the remarks made by the head of the Health Secretariat in the morning presidential conference on Monday 23 of December, conference in which he said that Grupo Mexico did not comply with its responsibility towards the region inhabitants. The company stated that the leak of an acidified solution from the Buenavista del Cobre tailings dam was treated strictly under all applicable law, and the operation of the Fideicomiso Río Sonora, under the instructions and supervision of Semarant, Profepa and Cofepris. It was added that there is no scientific proof tying health or environmental damages in the region, with water quality measurements even lower than those made ten or more years before the incident.
  • The decommissioning of the San Pedro mine in San Luis Potosí by Minera San Xavier has constituted itself into a national and international benchmark on its merits. The Plan Integral, Participativo e Incluyente de Cierre de Mina (Mine Closure Integral Plan) sticks to all regulations by PROFEPA and SEMARNAT. The Mine closure plan is compliant with the instructions of other international regulators, like the EPA in Nevada and California, and as well as the NOM-155-SEMARNAT-2007 that established the environmental protection norms for gold and silver leaching systems.
  • Camimex informed on a document called “Mitos y Realidades de la Minería” (Myths and Realities of Mining) that 25,221 current mining concessions cover 20 million 970 thousand hectares, or 11% of the Mexican territory. This is contrasted against the Economy Secretariat information presented on one of the Mexican president daily morning conferences, where it was stated that the ground under mining concessions reached 113.8 million hectares between 1998 and 2018. The president said that the granting of concessions is to be halted because the terrain already granted would suffice for thousands of years of work, also assuring that no mining concessions are to be cancelled and that all mining has to be done respecting the environment. According to Camimex there are 596 exploration projects with foreign capital, 99 in production, 50 in development, 439 under review and five in closure. It was also highlighted that 182 protected areas that represent 90.8 million hectares where no mining projects can be developed.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Advance Gold Corp. informed on the first hole drilled at a big chargeability anomaly at its Tabasqueña project in Zacatecas. An interval of 78 m of disseminated to massive sulfides associated with quartz was intercepted starting at 226 m of depth, and a second interval of 10 m of quartz veins with disseminated sulfides on the hosting andesites at 405 m of depth. .

ON MINING

  • No Relevant News.

ON FINANCING

  • Goldplay Exploration Ltd. made a final issuance of shares to a drilling contractor engaged under the shares for services previously announced on May 2019, for services valued at $48 K (San Marcial, Sinaloa).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. announced that exploration and delineation drilling has recommenced at its Plomosas project in Chihuahua. Six holes are planned to extend the resource down dip and to the south, and seven holes for the Tres Amigos resource extension.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Dyna Resources Inc. informed that the 11th Federal Circuit Collegiate Court in Mexico issued a favorable final ruling that denies the Amparo challenge of Goldgroup Resources Inc., the subsidiary of Goldgroup Mining Inc., ruling that is not subject to further appeals. Dyna states the following four points are a consequence of the ruling: 1) The 2015 USD$48.28 M damages award against Goldgroup Resources Inc. is now final; 2) The lien against the shares of Dyna Mexico owned by Goldgroup Resources Inc. is now fully confirmed, final and enforceable; 3) Ownership of the shares of DynaMéxico currently held by Goldgroup Resources (~20%) are subject to the Lien against Goldroup shares; 4) DynaMexico owns 100% of the San José de Gracia project in Sinaloa.  

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Minera Media Luna formalized the delivery of infrastructure works valued at $1.93 M pesos (US$100 K) in Cocula, Guerrero. These investments included the rehabilitation of the Nuevo Balsas water deposit, the construction of a wall in Real de Limón and the rehabilitation of the road between Cocula and Nuevo Balsas.
  • Minera Peñasquito realized a Christmas party on the Ignacio López Rayón primary school in Mazapil, Zacatecas. The “Christmas road” will continue for two more weeks in which toys are to be delivered to children in the communities neighbouring the mine.

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: San Felipe mine in Baja California. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

IMG_3901 - copia

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

Phyllic alteration

By Miguel A Heredia

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

 ON MEXICO ISSUES

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

ON EXPLORATION

  • No relevant news.

ON MINING

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

ON FINANCING

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

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

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

 ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

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

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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

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

On the picture above, phyllic alteration in an IOCG project in Jalisco, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.