By Jorge Cirett
During the 30th week of the year (July 20th to July 26th, 2020), at least 37 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. To note, six of those were exploration updates and strikingly twelve more were related to financing. These are either opening or closing rounds, and it is difficult to assign the total amount to any given week, but the announcements on this period add up to $23.4 M and C$168.5 M (dominated by Argonaut’s C$126.5 M and Discovery’s C$35 M). Clearly there is a spike in funds flowing to mining companies, probably supported by stronger metal prices on fears of an underperforming economy and heightened global tensions. ON MEXICO ISSUES, exploration is picking up in the country after the end of the Coronavirus lockdown, with several companies performing drilling programs. Alacero warned on excessive steel importation. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Carlyle Commodities commenced its field program on Cecilia. In Chihuahua, Radius updated on the geology and geochemistry of its Plata Verde project, an interesting play. In Sinaloa, Kootenay Silver released good drilling results on its Copalito project. In Durango, Mithril Resources is about to drill Coplaquín. In Guanajuato, VanGold Mining is to start an underground drilling campaign at El Pinguico. In Zacatecas, Defiance Silver resumed its field program at San Acacio. ON MINING, Premier Gold and Fresnillo PLC presented Q2 2020 reports. Premier Gold is reducing its daily output and workforce at Mercedes. Peñasquito informed on its dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. ON FINANCING, twelve companies made announcements regarding the opening or closing of financing rounds, or financing related news: Canasil Resources ($1.25 M), Orex Minerals ($1.1 M), VanGold Mining ($2.45 M), Golden Minerals ($7.5 M), VanGold Mining ($3.8 M), Sonoro Metals (C$5 M), Monarca Minerals (C$2 M), Discovery Metals (C$35 M), Advance Gold ($725 K), Argonaut Gold (C$126.5 M), Almaden Minerals ($2 M), Peal Mexico acquired $3.85 M of Magna Gold shares. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Discovery Metals released drill results from its Cordero project. Golden Tag Resources informed on strategic growth opportunities with its San Diego project in Durango. GoGold Resources released assay results from Los Ricos South project in Jalisco. GR Silver reported results from 17 historic drill holes from its Plomosas project in Sinaloa. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Prime Mining completed the acquisition of the Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Santacruz Silver sold its Zacatecas properties to Zacatecas Silver Corp.. Evrim Resources sold its La Lola and Cumaro projects to a Mexican private company for an NSR. Redstar Gold acquired all shares of Heliodor Metals, which holds the Oso Negro, La Lola and Cumaro projects in Sonora. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Alamos Gold Peñasquito, Grupo Mexico and Fresnillo PLC donated medical equipment to communities near its operations. A virtual immersion program for kids was held in San Luis Potosí.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Exploration is picking up speed in Mexico after the end of the Coronavirus induced lockdown. Drilling programs are beginning or already underway at Cordero, Chihuahua (Discovery Metals), Pánuco in Sinaloa (Vizsla Resources), Álamos Silver in Sonora (Minaurum), Los Reyes in Sinaloa (Prime Mining), Las Minas in Veracruz (Mexican Gold), Cerro Caliche in Sonora (Sonoro Metals), Copalquín in Durango (Mithril Resources), Rodeo in Durango (Golden Minerals) and Nora in Durango (Canasil Resources).
- Gold and silver prices are closing the week with highs not seen in several years. Gold was above $1,900 hundred an ounce by late Friday, while silver stood above $22.70 an ounce. The Coronavirus crisis, with the foreseen economic stimulus packages by several countries and the souring relations between China and the United States are seen as the reason for the continued upward trend.
- Alacero (Asociación Latinoamericana de Acero) warned against the excessive importation of steel, in a moment when sales are just recovering.
- Defiance Silver Corp. announced the resumption of its field program that includes core re-logging, surface and underground mapping, geochemistry and surface diamond drilling at its San Acacio project in Zacatecas.
- VanGold Mining Corp. intends to initiate an underground drilling campaign to target extensions of high-grade mineralization at its Pinguico project in Guanajuato. The company also is to clear the El Pinguico shaft and sample the bottom of the backfill, with the aim to ship it to a nearby mill for processing.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. released assay results from three more holes at its Copalito project in Sinaloa. Core length highlighted intervals comprise 56.0 m @ 58 gpt Ag (including 22 m @ 106 gpt Ag, which include 5.0 m @ 250 gpt Ag, 0.247 gpt Au); 10.3 m @ 80 gpt Ag, 0.90 gpt Au; 7.1 m @ 30 gpt Ag, 0.31 gpt Au; 13.1 m @ 347 gpt Ag, 0.22 gpt Au (including 3.2 m @ 1,297 gpt Ag, 0.28 gpt Au, which includes 1.0 m @ 2,830 gpt Ag, 0.14 gpt Au). To date 1,600 m of the 3,000 m program have been completed.
- Radius Gold Inc. released results of recent detailed rock chip sampling and geological mapping at its Plata Verde project in Chihuahua. Multiple sub-horizontal breccia zones cemented by barite-calcite-silver chlorides, up to 75 m in diameter have been sampled in different levels, bounded by stockwork and fracture fill of massive to crustiform banded barite-calcite with silver chlorides, sulphosalts and native silver, and disseminated mineralization of sulphosalts within the volcanic host rock. The mineralization is exposed on the sides of a small creek, and covered by felsic volcanic rocks in three directions. The average silver value of 255 samples is 156 gpt Ag, while 74 samples on the breccias average 258 gpt Ag.
- Mithril Resources Ltd. presented its quarterly activities report, in which the acquisition of Sun Minerals Pty Ltd. was completed, $5.92 M were raised and the drilling equipment moved to site at the Copalquín project in Durango. The next move is the completion of a 5,000 m diamond drilling campaign at Copalquín.
- Carlyle Commodities Corp. mobilized crews for exploration of its Cecilia project in Sonora. “The Phase 1 exploration program has been designed to refine targeting at Cerro Magallanes which is a large rhyolite flow dome complex, host of several historic workings and multiple high-grade gold mineral occurrences”. Programmed work includes property scale mapping, a detailed structural mapping, processing and interpretation of Aster images, surface sampling and a 10 line-km induced polarization survey. Road rehabilitation and drill pad building to support a drill program on the phase 2 is also contemplated.
- Premier Gold Ltd. reported production results for the second quarter of 2020. Its Mercedes mine operations in Sonora were halted at the end of March due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and a phased re-start commenced in June. An optimization plan was developed, including the consolidation of five mine portals to one, reducing the mining rate form to 2,000 to 1,200 tonnes per day and operation of the processing plant on a campaign basis, reduction of 40% of the employee base and 75% of the mining related contractors.
- Fresnillo PLC presented its second quarter 2020 production report. During the period the company produced 13.6 M Oz Ag, 184.4 K Oz Au, 16,180 tonnes Pb, 26,726 tonnes Zn. On exploration, 135,000 m were drilled at the mines, as part of a 440,000 m program to convert resources into reserves. Additionally 39,000 m of exploration drilling was carried out as part of the 228,000 m program at projects. Interesting results were obtained at Fresnillo and Guanajuato, while negotiations continue with communities in other projects to obtain access for drilling.
- Minera Peñasquito informed 15,000 COVID tests have been applied since the re-commencement of activities on June 1, resulting seven positive cases during the past week and the protocol was followed to identify all persons they had contact with. The use of face masks has been agreed with the union, on all public spaces, with the exception of the dining room.
- Peal Mexico S.A. de C.V. announced the acquisition of 11 M shares of Magna Gold Corp. under the terms of a settlement for an aggregate deemed consideration of $3.85 M in an agreement to settle an existing arbitration proceeding between the parties in relation to Magna’s San Francisco mine in Sonora. Peal now owns 16.9% of Magna’s issued and outstanding shares.
- Canasil Resources Inc. announced a non-brokered private placement aiming to raise up to $1 M, same placement that was oversubscribed for total gross proceeds of $1.25 M (Nora, Durango).
- Orex Minerals Inc. closed the final tranche of its non-brokered private placement for aggregate gross proceeds of $1.11 M, bringing the total aggregate proceeds to $2.1 M. (Sandra, Durango).
- VanGold Mining Corp. has arranged a non-brokered private placement financing to raise up to $2.45 M (El Pinguico, Guanajuato).
- Golden Minerals Co. is increasing its previously announced offering to raise up to $7.5 M in gross proceeds (Rodeo, Durango).
- VanGold Mining Corp. expanded due to increased demand the size of its non-brokered private placement financing, for gross proceeds of $3.8 M (El Pinguico, Guanajuato).
- Sonoro Metals Corp. is to undertake a non-brokered private placement to raise up to C$5 M in gross proceeds (Cerro Caliche, Sonora).
- Monarca Minerals Inc. announced a non-brokered private placement to raise up to C$2 M (San Jose, Chihuahua).
- Discovery Metals Corp. arranged a non-brokered institutional private placement to raise C$35 M, “ Eric Sprott has agreed to invest C$15,000,000 in the Private Placement,” (Cordero, Chihuahua).
- Advance Gold Corp. announced it proposes to increase to $725 K its previously announced non-brokered private placement (Tabasqueña, Zacatecas).
- Argonaut Gold Inc. closed its previously announced bought deal public offering for aggregate gross proceeds of C$126.5 M, thorough a syndicate of underwriters led by BMO Capital Markets (San Agustín, Durango).
- Almaden Minerals Ltd. announced a proposed non-brokered private placement financing intended to raise up to $2 M (Ixtaca, Puebla).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Discovery Metals Corp. released results from eight holes at its Cordero project in Chihuahua. Highlighted core length intercepts comprise 5.3 m @ 225 gpt Ag 0.7 gpt Au, 5.1% Pb, 5.5% Zn (including 1.4 m @ 700 gpt Ag, 0.74 gpt Au, 16.1% Pb, 14.0% Zn); 4.3 m @ 365 gpt Ag, 0.55 gpt Au, 2.1% Pb, 4.0% Zn (including 1.5 m @ 489 gpt Ag, 0.82 gpt Au, 2.9% Pb, 11.1% Zn); 120.4 m @ 30 gpt Ag, 0.11 gpt Au, 0.4% Pb, 1.5% Zn; 134.6 m @ 23 gpt Ag, 0.05 gpt Au, 0.5% Pb, 1.1% Zn; 44.8 m @ 35 gpt Ag, 0.10 gpt Au, 0.7% Pb, 1.7% Zn; 0.8 m @ 1,992 gpt Ag, 0.79 gpt Au, 16.1% Pb, 14.2% Zn.
- Golden Tag Resources Ltd. informed on strategic growth opportunities with its San Diego project in Durango. The project with 31.6 M Oz in indicated resources is fully permitted for drilling four key high priority target zones: 1849, Fernandez, Trovador and Arroyo. Drill intercepts in the Fernandez zone include 212 m @ 54 gpt Ag, 0.5% Pb, 1.3% Zn; 238 m q 64 gpt Ag, 0.8% Pb, 1.6% Zn; 257 m @ 66 gpt Ag, 0.7% Pb, 1.7% Zn; 186 m @ 53 gpt Ag, 0.5% Pb, 1.2% Zn. Mergers, strategic, corporate and project acquisitions are being evaluated, with a focus on silver.
- GoGold Resources Inc. released the assay results from six diamond drill holes at the Los Ricos South project. Two holes were drilled at Rascadero, two at San Juan and two more at Las Lamas. Highlighted core length intersections comprise: 0 m @ 0.25 gpt Au, 59 gpt Ag; 16.7 m @ 1.32 gpt Au, 268 gpt Au (including 5.4 m @ 3.33 gpt Au, 673 gpt Ag); 21.5 m @ 0.21 gpt Au, 26 gpt Ag; 7.7 m @ 0.45 gpt Au, 65 gpt Ag; 8.9 m @ 0.8 gpt Au, 31 gpt Ag.
- GR Silver Mining Ltd. reported high-grade results from 17 historical drill holes from the San Juan area of its Plomosas property in Sinaloa. These results define a mineralized strike length of up to 1,000 m. Some of the highlighted true width intercepts comprise: 3.8 m @ 563 gpt Ag, 0.3 gpt Au, 1.6% Pb, 2.7% Zn; 2.5 m @ 846 gpt Ag, 0.8 gpt Au, 2.7% Pb, 6.0% Zn (including 0.9 m @ 2,300 gpt Ag, 2.1 gpt Au, 7.6 % Pb, 16.3% Zn); 3.3 m @ 335 gpt Ag, 0.1 gpt Au, 0.1% Pb, 0.2% Zn; 5.6 m @ 363 gpt Ag, 0.1 gpt Au, 0.8% Pb, 1.9% Zn; 10.7 m @ 226 gpt Ag, 0.3% Pb, 0.3% Zn; 2.8 m @ 141 gpt Ag, 0.3% Pb, 0.7% Zn.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Prime Mining Corp. completed the acquisition of the Los Reyes project (formerly Guadalupe de Los Reyes) in Sinaloa. The company made a US$1.5 M payment to Vista Gold Inc., after which Vista no longer retains two separate 2% net smelter royalties on production from open-pit or underground mining, or a back-in right to assume a 49% non-carried interest in any underground mining. “Prime is required to pay Vista an additional US$2,100,000 through two payments of: (i) US$1,100,000 no later than six months from the Acquisition Date; and (ii) US$1,000,000 no later than twelve months from the Acquisition Date. If the Company fails to make the two payments, Vista’s net smelter royalties and back-in right will be reinstated”.
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. entered into an agreement with Zacatecas Silver Corp. for the sale of a 100% interest in the Zacatecas properties for consideration of US$1.5 M and the issuance of 5 M shares of Zacatecas Silver. The Zacatecas properties comprise 149 mining concessions totaling approximately 7,826 ha in the Fresnillo Silver Belt, and include the Panuco deposit, which has an inferred resource of 3.95 M tonnes @ 153 gpt Ag, or 19.5 M Oz Ag, remaining open along strike.
- Evrim Resources Corp. entered into an agreement with a private Mexican company to sell two non-core exploration properties in exchange of NSR royalties. La Lola is a 6,301 ha land package that covers the La Barra fluorite vein and El Cumaro is a 620 ha claim covering a low sulfidation epithermal field. Evrim will transfer 100% interest in the La Lola and Cumaro properties in exchange for 2% and 1% NSR respectively, and a 0.5 % NSR right on 7,053 ha of the Picachos claims, should the claims be acquired by the Mexican private company. Half of the La Lola NSR can be bought for US$1.75 M and half of the El Cumaro NSR by US$1.0 M.
- Redstar Gold Corp. entered into a binding agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of Heliodor Metals Ltd., in which Redstar has agreed to issue 86.5 M shares for 100% of the outstanding Heliodor shares. Heliodor has interest in: the Oso Negro 1,500 ha project, which has three main veins and no drilling; The La Lola 5,400 ha land package which contains the 5 km long La Barra epithermal vein (see previous entry under Evrim); Cumaro “is the downthrown block of a large low sulphidation vein field”. Redstar has agreed to conduct a C$6.0 M private placement
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Alamos Gold donated medical equipment to the Sahuaripa municipality in Sonora.
- Peñasquito donated medical equipment to several authority bodies in Zacatecas.
- Grupo Mexico donated protection equipment to general hospitals in Cuautla and Axochiapan in Morelos.
- The Instituto de Metalurgia de San Luis Potosí carried out a virtual immersion program for kids.
- Fresnillo PLC continues to provide cleaning and medical supplies in Guadalupe y Calvo (Chihuahua), Caborca (Sonora) and Fresnillo (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: Silicified rocks signaling the paleo water table of a low sulfidation epithermal system in Queretaro. Picture by Jorge Cirett.