Galena-sphalerite-Ag sulfosalts in a quartz vein
By Miguel A Heredia
During the 38th week of the year (September 18th to September 24th, 2023), at least 18 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, and 4 news published by the media, with ten disclosing deals and corporate issues, three commenting on Mexican issues, three announcing financing issues, two reporting resources and development of their properties, two informing on exploration results, and two discussing social issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, According to El Financiero, there has been a 69% increase in the number of suspended projects during the López Obrador administration. According to information from the US Geological Survey, there are 82 lithium deposits in 18 states of the Republic, which can represent 1.7 million tons. ON EXPLORATION, In Chihuahua, Southern Empire received permitting from the Mexico´s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) for 30 drill hole sites at its Centauro project. In Zacatecas, Radius provided an update on drilling at its Tropico project. ON MINING, no relevant news. ON FINANCING, Equinox announced and completed a bought deal offering of convertible senior notes (Mina Los Filos, Guerrero). Excellon announced debenture restructuring to reduce the outstanding principal amount to CAD $7.5M (La Negra Mine, Queretaro). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Golden Tag announced the commencement of a 7,000m drilling campaign at its La Parrilla Mine Complex in Durango. Tocvan provided an update on the acquisition of Pilar project in Sonora and outlined target areas for the next phase of drilling. Silver Valley provided a corporate update on its MexiCan lithium-potassium projects located in Zacatecas-San Luis Potosi. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Luca Mining announced the appointment of its Director of Corporate Development (Tahuehueto project, Durango). Santacruz reported fatality at its Zimapan Mine, Hidalgo. GR Silver reported results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (Plomosas project, Sinaloa). Sierra Metals placed Cusi Mine in Chihuahua on care and maintenance and initiated sale process. Radius announced that it proposes to issue 500K common shares of the company to Bruce Smith (Tropico project, Zacatecas). Angel Wing announced the consolidation of its common shares (La Reyna project, Nayarit). Bear Creek announced results from its special meeting of shareholders (Mercedes Mine, Sonora). Colibri announced the retirement of its President and CEO, and its replacement (Evelyn project, Sonora). Orex announced a consolidation of its issued and outstanding common shares at a ratio of ten pre-consolidation shares to one post-consolidation share (Coneto project, Sonora). Pan American announced that it will host a conference call to discuss the company´s environmental, social, and governance efforts and development (La Colorada, Zacatecas). Silver Viper announced that it will present a live virtual corporate update hosted by Red Cloud Financial Services on September 28th, 2023 at 2:00 PM ET (La Virginia project, Sonora). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, MAG Silver published its second annual sustainability report (Juanicipio, Zacatecas). Ternium completed the restoration of the Cerro Náhuatl Mine and Jala Station Closure Plan in Coquimatlán, Colima, which covers a period from 2012 to 2022 in which reforestation works and programs were implemented.
ON MEXICO ISSUE
- According to El Financiero, the mining sector has experienced a series of obstacles set by the current administration. The number of suspended projects stood at 439 in 2018, while the current figure is 837, representing a 69% increase in the number of suspended projects during the López Obrador administration. Likewise, the Fraser Institute of Canada placed Mexico in 37th place out of 83 countries evaluated, a drop of three places compared to 2021 and 17 positions compared to 2010. The sector is worried that the USD $77.2M budget assigned to Mexican Geological Survey (SGM) for 2024 is 95.47% below the USD $1.7 B private companies invested just in exploration. “With this lack of budget for exploration, they are condemning the country and the mining sector, because mining will be halted for another six years. If the modifications to the Mining Law remain as they are, we will witness Mexico’s mining sector entering a clear decline,” said Alfredo Phillips, Vice President, Argonaut Gold, in an interview with El Financiero. In an interview with Mexico Business News (MBN), Ramón Luna, Director General of Servicios y Proyectos Mineros de Mexico (SPM), acknowledged that SGM has talented geologists and manages the most comprehensive database in Mexico. However, the public body does not match the infrastructure of a private company. “(The reform) would either force the more than 100 exploration companies in the country to work with the SGM or make the latter the only operator. This is not feasible because it lacks the necessary infrastructure,” he added. Similarly, Raúl García, President of College of Mining Engineers, Metallurgists and Geologists of Mexico (CIMMGM), said that we could see the first impacts of lacking exploration by 2025 and a drop in production within the next five years, if SGM does not maintain the current levels of exploration. According to data from the Secretariat of Economy (SE), in 1Q23, the total foreign direct Investment (FDI) in the mining sector amounted to USD $419M. In contrast, during the same period in 2013, this figure reached USD $2.036 B, reflecting a decline of 79.4%. During Enrique Peña Nieto’s initial five-year term, from 2012 to 2017, the country received mining FDI totaling USD $2.8 B and USD $1.9 B, respectively, representing a decrease of 32.1%. Meanwhile, during the first five years of López Obrador’s administration, covering the period from 2018 to 2023, FDI amounted to USD $1.9 B and USD $419M, marking a significant 78% decrease. However, it is important to note that data for 2023 is not fully available, which means that the percentages provided could vary.
- According to information from the US Geological Survey, there are 82 lithium deposits in 18 states of the Republic, which can represent 1.7 million tons. A few days ago, Héctor Usla, Economist and Reporter of the El Financiero Newspaper, reported that the 2024 Expenditure Law project plans to allocate MXP $9.77M to Litio para México (LitioMx), the entity created in August 2022, for the exploration, exploitation, benefit and use of lithium found in national territory. This is an amount that allows the administrative operation of the decentralized organization, but that seems insufficient to reliably establish the total amount of probable lithium reserves and initiate exploration and production in the most promising deposits. (Note of the writer.- Are you serious?…Obviously, it would be vastly insufficient to have a budget like that reported above to carry out exploration, exploitation, etc.).
- Southern Empire Resources Corp., received permitting from the Mexico´s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) for 30 drill hole sites at its Centauro project in Chihuahua. “The Centauro Gold Project exhibits significant potential to host “Carlin-style” and/or epithermal precious metal mineralization based on extensive brecciation, silicification and argillization of the Tertiary-age Ahuichila Formation conglomerate, a strongly coincident gold (“Au”), arsenic (“As”), antimony (“Sb”), mercury (“Hg”), thallium, silver, barium soil geochemical signature associated with a silicified mesa “cap” covering 2.5 km along the strike of the main zone, outcrops containing arsenopyrite, realgar, orpiment and stibnite, and low to non- anomalous base metal values”.
- Radius Gold Inc., provided an update on drilling at its Tropico project in Zacatecas. The initial hole TDD-001 plan for 300m to intersect the Tropico breccia pipe encountered difficult ground conditions and was abandoned at 56m. “The hole from 19m to 56m is intensely altered with clay, silicification, variable zones of hydrothermal breccias and repeated sets of banded silica veins with fine sulphides and stockwork veining. Banded veining had not previously been seen on the property”. “The drill rig has been stepped back from the target an additional 25m and a new hole drilled deeper under hole TDD-001, this time using large diameter PQ sized core and casing which is expected to alleviate the drilling difficulties”.
- No relevant news.
- Equinox Gold Corp., announced that it has entered into an agreement to buy, on a bought deal basis, 4.75% unsecured convertible senior notes due 2028 in an aggregate principal amount of $150M. The company has granted the initial purchasers up to an additional $22.5M aggregate principal amount of notes. The notes will be issued at par value. Later on, the company announced that it had closed its previously announced bought deal offering of $172.5M aggregate principal amount of 4.75% unsecured convertible senior notes due 2028, which includes exercise of the full amount of the option to purchase an additional $22.5M aggregate principal amount of notes Net proceeds will be used for repayment of debt and for general corporate purposes (Mina Los Filos, Guerrero).
- Excellon Resources Inc., announced debenture restructuring to reduce the outstanding principal amount to CAD $7.5M representing a reduction of CAD $10.4M (58% reduction), and to amend the terms of the remaining debentures to, among other things, further extend the maturity date to August 31, 2026. In exchange for CAD $10.4M aggregate principal amount of the debentures, Excellon to pay CAD $3.5M in equity, 25% interest in Silver City Project, plus additional non-dilutive contingency and royalty payments (La Negra Mine, Queretaro).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Golden Tag Resources Ltd., announced the commencement of a 7,000m drilling campaign at its La Parrilla Mine Complex in Durango. The 7,000m phase 1 drilling program will focus on infill and step-out drilling in proximity to underground mining infrastructure and existing development in three key areas: a) Rosarios and Cuerpo 340 Veins (3,000 m of drilling to test the east, west and central down-dip extensions; b) Quebradillas Underground (3,000 m of drilling to test the strike and down-dip extensions of three key zones including Cuerpo 460, Norte-Sur, and San Nicolas; and c) San Marcos (1,000 m of drilling to test the extension of San Marcos and Cuerpo 1100 at depth.
- Tocvan Ventures Corp., provided an update on the acquisition of the Pilar project in Sonora and outlined target areas for the next phase of drilling. The company has exercised notice to Colibri Resources Corp., to purchase the remaining 49%. It also is completing a due diligence expected to finalize in coming weeks to acquire over 21 square-kilometers of land surrounding the Pilar, which contain recent placer activity, historic workings, and prospective geology, indicative that the area is highly prospective for gold and silver. “Tocvan plans to restart field operations at the close of the expansion acquisition to advance new target areas already identified quickly towards drill targeting. Drilling at Pilar and within the new expansion area is planned to total 2,000-meters before year end”.
- Silver Valley Metals provided a corporate update on its MexiCan lithium-potassium projects located in Zacatecas-San Luis Potosi. Highlights of this project include that significant grades of lithium, potassium sulphate, and boron are located on surface in unconsolidated sediments; the brine potential has not been tested to date; deep basin large aquifer brine potential defined by regional geophysics surveys, remains to be tested; he inferred resource has been tested from surface to an average 5 metres depth; the company anticipates the sediment basin could range from 40m to greater than 100m deep, so the prospect of expanding the sediment resource at depth is substantial; and 12.3M tonnes of Potassium Sulphate and 243K tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent defined thus far. The company declared that discussions are active and advancing with LitioMX and near-term plans are in place to come together to potentially finalize a partnership agreement.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Luca Mining Corp., announced the appointment of its Director of Corporate Development. The company also granted incentive stock options to its employees and consultants to purchase an aggregate 225K share in the capital stock of the company (Tahuehueto project, Durango).
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., reported that an employee was fatality injured at its Zimapan Mine, Hidalgo. The fatality was the result of rockfall from a stope face.
- GR Silver Mining Ltd., reported results from its annual general meeting of shareholders. Incumbent director Laura Diaz chose not to stand for re-election and was not a nominee (Plomosas project, Sinaloa).
- Sierra Metals Inc., placed Cusi Mine in Chihuahua on care and maintenance and initiated a process to sell the mine. Ernesto Balarezo Valdez, Sierra Metals’ CEO, stated that “Sierra Metals is transitioning to become a copper-focused mining company, and the planned divestiture of Cusi will allow us to focus on our two key mines, Yauricocha in Peru and Bolivar in Mexico, where we have significant potential to continue growing our copper production”.
- Radius Gold Inc., announced that it proposes, subject to TSX Venture Exchange approval, to issue 500K common shares of the company to Bruce Smith. The common shares will be issued at a deemed price of $0.24 per share, for a total deemed value of $120K (good for you Bruce!) (Tropico project, Zacatecas).
- Angel Wing Metals Inc., announced the consolidation of its common shares on the basis of one post- consolidation common share for every two pre-consolidation shares issued and outstanding as of the close of business on September 20, 2023. (La Reyna project, Nayarit).
- Bear Creek Mining Corporation announced results from its special meeting of shareholders (Mercedes Mine, Sonora).
- Colibri Resource Corporation announced the retirement of its President and CEO, and its replacement (Evelyn project, Sonora).
- Orex Minerals Inc., announced a consolidation of its issued and outstanding common shares at a ratio of ten pre-consolidation shares to one post-consolidation share. The reasons for the consolidation are to increase the company’s flexibility and competitiveness in the marketplace and to attract new equity investment in the company (Coneto project, Sonora).
- Pan American Silver Corp., announced that it will host a conference call to discuss the company ´s environmental, social, and governance efforts, and development on October 19, 2023 at 11:00 am ET (8:00 am PT) (La Colorada, Zacatecas).
- Silver Viper Minerals Corp., announced that it will present a live virtual corporate update hosted by Red Cloud Financial Services on September 28th, 2023 at 2:00 PM ET (La Virginia project, Sonora).
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- MAG Silver Corp., published its second annual sustainability report. , which provides a comprehensive overview of the company’s environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) commitments, practices, and performance for the 2022 year. Highlights of the 2022 sustainability report include zero fatalities at the Juanicipio project, Zacatecas or at MAG´s exploration projects; a lost time injury frequency rate of 1.92; over 62,000 hours dedicated to safety training; zero significant environmental incidents at the Juanicipio and other projects; 66% of MAG Silver´s workforce is hired from local communities; over 13 community engagement initiatives across 4 different project streams at the Juanicipio project: health, education, capacity buildings, and microenterprise projects; 38% of Board directors are female, surpassing the 30% target established in MAG´s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy; and Code of Conduct and Social Responsibility Policy refreshed and updated to specifically articulate the importance of engaging with Indigenous communities through meaningful dialogue, cooperation, and deepening of the shared-value approach to local development activities to promote sustainable and lasting economic and social benefits.
- Ternium completed the restoration of the Cerro Náhuatl Mine and Jala Station Closure Plan in Coquimatlán, Colima, which covers a period from 2012 to 2022 in which reforestation works and programs were implemented. With this project, the forest area was increased by 88 hectares and the area was repopulated with 180 species of native fauna. It is a component of the company’s commitment to sustainability in the communities where it operates, according to a statement.
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, galena, sphalerite, and silver sulfosalts in a quartz vein from an intermediate sulphidation epithermal vein system in Sonora, Mexico Photo by Miguel A Heredia.
By Jorge Cirett
During the 37th week of the year (September 11th to September 17th, 2023), 21 companies working in Mexico posted news releases. Two companies reported exploration advances on their properties, and one company reported quarterly results. Six companies informed on the opening or closing of private placements, their assistance to investor conferences, the amendment of terms on subscriptions and information circulars. Five companies presented drilling results from their properties, one presented an updated mineral resource for its property, another two presented updated PEAs and three more updated on exploration activities on their projects. One company intends to change name and one other informed on litigation advances against the federal government. ON MEXICO ISSUES, no relevant news. ON EXPLORATION, In Oaxaca, Vortex Metals updated on exploration work in Zaachila. In Zacatecas, Radius Gold commenced drilling at Tropico. ON MINING, Starcore International Mines reported results for its first quarter 2023. ON FINANCING, Colibri Resource informed on the closing of a financing round for US$687 K. Sailfish Royalty declared a quarterly dividend. Fortuna Silver and Regency Silver are to attend investor conferences. Sierra Madre Gold and Silver amended the terms of subscription receipts. Bear Creek Mining updated on the convertible promissory notes for the payment of US$25 M on the acquisition of the Mercedes mine in Sonora. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Vizsla Silver reported drilling results from Panuco, in Sinaloa. Prime Mining announced expansion drilling results from Los Reyes, in Sinaloa. Silver Tiger Metals presented an updated mineral resource estimate for its El Tigre project in Sonora. GoGold Resources released the updated PEA on Los Ricos Sur project in Jalisco. Gold Resource updated on expansion and infill drilling at its Don David mine in Oaxaca. Alamos Gold released excellent drilling results from two target areas on its Mulatos property in Sonora. Sierra Madre Gold and Silver updated on exploration at recently acquired La Guitarra property in Estado de Mexico. Avino Silver & Gold Mines released results from deep drilling at Avino, in Durango. Orex Minerals informed on hyperspectral alteration studies being carried out at Coneto, in Durango. Golden Minerals filed an updated PEA for Velardeña, in Durango. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Golden Tag Resources intends to change name to Silver Storm Mining. Almaden Minerals reported the Mexican Federal Administrative Court granted a provisional injunction to Almaden, on its fight to get their mining concessions back into good standing. Argonaut Gold reached an agreement with four ejidos to operate for three more years at El Castillo and San Agustín properties in Durango. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, no relevant news.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- No Relevant News.
- Radius Gold Inc. commenced drilling at its Tropico project in Zacatecas. The company envisages a 2,000 m drill program on the hot spring type sinter and breccia pipe system, targeting a “Fresnillo-style” mineralized system at depth, and near-surface bulk mineable gold mineralization on a 450 m by 250 m breccia pipe.
- Vortex Metals Inc. completed the phase I geologic field program for the environmental study at Zaachila, in Oaxaca. “A total of 13 trenches have been excavated … across exposures of weakly metamorphosed Upper Jurassic sedimentary, volcanic and intrusive rocks where historical surface sampling identified copper mineralization. A total of 387 meters of trench have been cut yielding a total of 271 chip samples” with results pending. Copper mineralization has been observed as malachite, azurite, chalcopyrite and bornite, associated to silica-rich exhalite beds, as quartz-carbonate veinlets cutting silicified and chloritized meta-sediments and volcanics (green schist facies) and as bedded units in the metasediments. “In a few of the less oxidized exposures, sericite was widely observed”.
- Starcore International Mines Ltd. reported results for its first quarter ended July 31, 2023. At the San Martín Mine in Querétaro, 57.7 K tonnes were milled, averaging 1.14 gpt Au, 14.4 gpt Ag, recovering 84.0% Au, 45.8% Ag, to produce 1,800 Oz Au, 12.3 K Oz Ag, at cash cost $2,158 per Oz AuEq. At the end of the period cash on hand was $5.7 M, and working capital $6.2 M. “Our quarterly production reflects our recent difficulties in reaching our higher-grade ore bodies or stopes….. We expect to achieve our targets over the remainder of the year as we are currently completing the development to the high-grade zones”.
- Sailfish Royalty Corp. declared the company’s third quarterly dividend for 2023, in the amount of US$0.0125 per common share (Gavilanes, Durango).
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. announced it is going to be present at the Gold Forum Americas in Colorado Springs, Colorado (USA), from September 17 to September 20, 2023 (San Jose, Oaxaca).
- Regency Silver Corp. announced its chairman is to be present at the 2023 Kinvestor Days Virtual Conference on September 19, 2023 (Dios Padre, Sonora).
- Colibri Resource Corp. closed a second and final tranche of its non-brokered private placement, for gross proceeds of US$200 K, which combined with the first tranche proceeds total US$687 K (Evelyn, Sonora).
- Sierra Madre Gold and Silver Ltd. amended the terms of 5.12 M subscription receipts in order to extend the escrow release conditions and termination for an additional 30-day period (La Guitarra, Estado de México).
- Bear Creek Mining Corp. updated on the convertible promissory note intended to be issued to defer a US$25 M current liability originally payable to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Equinox Gold Corp. and is issuing an amendment to its management information circular dated August 9, 2023. “The Company further announces that it has closed an unsecured and non-convertible demand loan (the “Loan”) from EquinoxGold in the amount of US$1.3 million, the proceeds of which will be used for working capital purposes and further optimization of the Mercedes Mine”. The amendment refers to an exemption of formal valuation requirement described on section 5.5(b) of Multilateral Instrument 61-101 – Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions (Mercedes, Sonora).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Vizsla Silver Corp. reported results from 13 new holes targeting the La Luisa vein on its Panuco project, in Sinaloa. Highlighted true-width intervals comprise 11.20 m @ 7.14 gpt Au, 229 gpt Ag 0.3% Pb, 1.6% Zn; 8.90 m @ 2.85 gpt Au, 61 gpt Ag, 0.1% Pb, 2.2% Zn (including 0.77 m @ 10.35 gpt Au, 98 gpt Ag, 0.4% Pb, 15.8% Zn); 7.70 m @ 1.90 gpt Au, 67 gpt Ag, 0.7% Pb, 0.3% Zn (including 0.54 m @ 12.35 gpt Au, 250 gpt Ag, 5.6% Pb, 10.4% Zn and 1.08 m @ 1.48 gpt Au, 171 gpt Ag, 1.6% Pb, 11.2% Zn); 5.00 m @ 2.49 gpt Au. 155 gpt Ag, 0.9% Pb, 4.5% Zn. 8.85 m @ 0.98 gpt Au, 67 gpt Ag, 0.1% Pb, 1.0% Zn; 1.16 m @ 1.12 gpt Au, 76 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 14.9% Zn. To date Vizsla Silver has reported 33 holes from La Luisa outlining a mineralized footprint 700 m long, 400 m down dip and 3.07 m in width, averaging 175 gpt Ag, 3.40 gpt Au, 0.28 % Pb, 1.33 % Zn (or 449 gpt AgEq).
- Prime Mining Corp. reported expansion drill results from Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. “This drilling targeted areas extending materially beyond the mineral resource envelope at the Z-T, Guadalupe and Central Zones” which are the ones with defined resources. Highlighted true width intervals comprise 20.50 m @ 3.16 gpt Au, 55 gpt Ag (including 4.0 m @ 9.71 gpt Au, 85 gpt Ag); 2.20 m @ 10.10 gpt Au, 264 gpt Ag (including 1.20 m @ 17.80 gpt Au, 437 gpt Ag); 0.95 m @ 18.20 gpt Au, 2,024 gpt Ag; 1.0 m @ 5.47 gpt Ag, 615 gpt Ag.
- Silver Tiger Metals Inc. announced an updated Mineral Resource Estimate for its El Tigre project in Sonora. “A total of 482 drill holes (124,851 metres) and 3,160 surface and adit channel samples (6,473 metres) were used in the Mineral Resource Estimate”, which includes the South Zone In Pit, South Zone Out-of-Pit, North Zone Out-of-Pit, Vein (S & N) Total, Low Grade Stockpile and Tailings Zones. Indicated Resources comprise 46.4 M tonnes @ 0.39 gpt Au, 25 gpt Ag, 0.01% Cu, 0.03% Pb, 0.06% Zn, containing 575 K Oz Au, 37.2 M Oz Ag, 9.4 M Lb Cu, 35.5 M Lb Pb, 64.3 M Lb Zn. Inferred resources comprise 20.9 M tonnes @ 0.56 gpt Au, 78 gpt Ag, 0.04% Cu, 0.13% Pb, 0.22% Zn, containing 373 K Oz Au, 52.6 M Oz Ag, 18.1 M Lb Cu, 59.7 M Lb Pb, 103.4 M Lb Zn.
- GoGold Resources Corp. released the updated preliminary economic assessment (PEA) and mineral resource estimate for its Los Ricos South project in Jalisco. The report foresees commodity prices of $23.75 per Oz Ag and $1,850 per Oz Au, an After-Tax (5%) net present value of US$458 M, an After-Tax IRR of 37%, and an 11-year mine life (LOM) producing 88 M Oz AgEq (47 M Oz Ag, 493 K Oz Au, 14 M Lb Cu), with initial capital costs of $148 M, expansion capital of $69 M and sustaining capital of $72 M during LOM, producing 8 M Oz AgEq per year at cash cost $8.15 per Oz AgEq and all-in sustaining costs of $9.02 per Oz AgEq. The new resource estimate envisages 11.1 M tonnes averaging 1.43 gpt Au, 151 gpt Ag, 0.11% Cu in the measured and indicated resources category and 1.4 M tonnes at 1.22 gpt Au, 120 gpt Ag, 0.28% Cu in the inferred category, containing 511 K Oz Au, 53.8 M Oz Ag, 27.3 M Lb Cu (1.26 Moz AuEq) and 54.1 K Oz Au, 5.3 M Oz Ag, 8.5 M Lb Cu (140.9 K Oz AuEq) respectively.
- Gold Resource Corp. provided an update on expansion and infill diamond drilling on the Arista, Three sisters, Gloria and Switchback vein systems at its Don David mine in Oaxaca. Highlighted true width intervals comprise 5.63 m @ 1.87 gpt Au, 279 gpt Ag, 0.2% Cu, 0.9% Pb, 1.6% Zn; 6.49 m @ 1.33 gpt Au, 21 gpt Ag, 0.17% Cu, 0.4% Pb, 2.1% Zn; 6.13 m @ 0.32 gpt Au, 214 gpt Ag, 0.76% Cu, 4.3% Pb, 3.0% Zn; 4.87 m @ 0.09 gpt Au, 47 gpt Ag, 0.47% Cu, 1.1% Pb, 7.2% Zn; 2.49 m @ 0.96 gpt Au, 27 gpt Ag, 1.01% Cu, 1.1% Pb, 9.7% Zn; 3.46 m @ 0.24 gpt Au, 198 gpt Ag, 0.74% Cu, 0.6% Pb, 4.9% Zn; 6.33 m @ 0.14 gpt Au, 60 gpt Ag, 0.62% Cu, 0.1% Pb, 2.2% Zn; 2.62 m @ 1.93 gpt Au, 73 gpt Ag, 0.81% Cu, 1.6% Pb, 10.4% Zn; 6.56 m @ 1.06 gpt Au, 27 gpt Ag, 0.22% Cu, 0.7% Pb, 2.1% Zn; 6.49 m @ 0.11 gpt Au, 78 gpt Ag, 0.64% Cu, 1.5% Pb, 2.9% Zn. “Five underground diamond drill rigs are currently operating … more than 100 drill holes and 25,000 meters of core has been drilled year-to date in 2023…. These drill results will be incorporated into a 2023 resource estimate update”.
- Alamos Gold Inc. released drilling results from the Puerto del Aire deposit and the Capulin target at its Mulatos property in Sonora. Puerto del Aire is a high-grade underground deposit adjacent to the Mulatos pit, not included in the mineral resources, and the Capulin target is four km east of the Mulatos pit. Highlighted true width core intervals comprise 7.05 m @ 41.46 gpt Au; 9.50 m @ 18.32 gpt Au; 9.45 m @ 13.62 gpt Au; 1.20 m @ 85.80 gpt Au; 17.60 m @ 5.58 gpt Au; 18.70 @3.30 gpt Au; 6.0 m @ 10.42 gpt Au; 15.10 m @ 3.86 gpt Au; 11.50 m @ 3.21 gpt Au; 9.45 m @ 3.84 gpt Au in Puerto del Aire, and core length intercepts of 120.85 m @ 2.73 gpt Au (including 29.05 m @ 9.31 gpt Au); 6.0 m @ 3.65 gpt Au; 8.80 m @ 0.99 gpt Au in the Capulin target. Three drill rigs are currently working on the Capulin target, two defining the limits of known mineralization and one testing along the 2 km long Capulin fault. The 2023 exploration budget has been increased to 24.5 M, including 50,000 m of drilling at Puerto del Aire and 24,000 m of drilling on several high priority targets including Refugio, Halcon West, Carricito, Bajios, and Cerro Pelon West.
- Sierra Madre Gold and Silver Ltd. Updated on its exploration activities at the past producing La Guitarra mine in Estado de México. In February 2023 the company started a 2,000-scale geologic mapping program, delineating to date nearly 53 km of mineralized quartz veins, breccias and stockwork zones hosted in metasediments and andesites, with hundreds of old shafts, cross cuts, adits, and prospect pits having been located. “ The La Guitarra Mine is a permitted, past-producing underground mine which includes a 500 t/d processing facility that operated until mid-2018”.
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. released the results from four holes drilled on the deepest part of the Avino mine, in Durango. The known depth extent of the mineralization is of at least 750 m vertically, which is assessed as unusual for Mexican epithermal deposits. Highlighted true width intercepts comprise 44.40 m @ 0.21 gpt Au, 31 gpt Ag, 0.70% Cu (including 9.85 m @ 0.58 gpt Au, 42 gpt Ag, 1.10% Cu); 27.15 m @ 0.07 gpt Au, 36 gpt Ag, 0.39% Cu; 13.20 m @ 0.09 gpt Au, 59 gpt Ag, 0.47% Cu; 6.60 m @ 0.12 gpt Au, 27 gpt Ag, 0.92% Cu. “Four holes totalling 2,040 meters, were drilled below Level 17 in this drill campaign … The persistence of silver and copper grade continuity from surface down a plunge distance of over 1,100 metres with increasing copper grades supports the possibility of a deeper mineralized system which may be linked to a porphyry centre”.
- Orex Minerals Inc. announced that hyperspectral alteration studies are now underway on the Coneto project in Durango, by JV partner Fresnillo PLC. “Both direct Corescan of selected drill core from silver and gold mineralized zones, plus a SpecTIR Survey covering district scale mapping, will be conducted. These methods aid in mineral identification through Short-Wave Infra-Red (SWIR) and Visible Near Infra-Red (VNIR) analysis”. The 4,800 hectares project displays low to intermediate sulfidation Au-Ag epithermal mineralization, with 38,613 m of drilling in 106 diamond holes.
- Golden Minerals Co. filed an updated preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the Velardeña property in Durango.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Golden Tag Resources Ltd. intends (subject to regulatory and shareholders approval) to change the company name from Golden Tag Resources Ltd. to Silver Storm Mining Inc. “(La Parrila, Durango).
- Almaden Minerals Ltd. reported that the Mexican Federal Administrative Court granted a provisional injunction to Almaden “relating to the submission issued by Mexico’s Ministry of the Economy (“Economia”) to the district court (the “District Court”) which is overseeing the implementation of the February 2022 decision of Mexico’s Supreme Court (“SCJN”) requiring indigenous consultations prior to the granting of mineral titles to the Ixtaca project ……. It is expected that the Court will decide on the grant of a permanent injunction within the coming weeks, which if received would continue in effect until the Court has ruled on the revocation of the Economia Submission” (Ixtaca, Puebla).
- Argonaut Gold Inc. reached an agreement with four local Ejidos to operate for three more years in the El Castillo and San Agustín properties in Durango.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- No relevant news.
On the image below: Silicified structure ridge on a project in the Sonoran Desert. Picture by Jorge Cirett.
Slickensides on a fault plane
By Miguel A Heredia
During the 36th week of the year (September 4th to September 10th, 2023), at least 19 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with 10 reporting resources and development of their properties, four disclosing deals and corporate issues, two commenting on Mexican issues, two informing on exploration results, and one announcing financing issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Silver Bull secured USD $9.5M litigation funding to pursue damages claim against the Mexican government (Sierra Mojada property, Coahuila). Torex Gold, Fortuna Silver, Reyna Silver, and Prime Mining reported the best drilling intercepts in Mexico on the fourth week of August, 2023. ON EXPLORATION, In Chihuahua, Reyna Silver reported results from three initial holes of its 2023 drilling campaign being conducted at its Batopilas project in Chihuahua. In Oaxaca, Vortex Metals completed an environmental study at its Zaachila project. ON MINING, no relevant news. ON FINANCING, Aura Minerals announced that its common shares are now eligible for trading in the United States on the OTCQX® Best Market under the symbol “ORAAF” (Aranzazu Mine, Zacatecas). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Gatos Silver announced that it will report an updated mineral reserve estimate, mineral resource estimate and life of mine plan for its Cerro Los Gatos Mine, Chihuahua. Kootenay reported that it has initiated a new phase of diamond drilling at its Columba project in Chihuahua. Fortuna released drilling results and announced the discovery of the Yessi Vein, a new blind mineralized structure at its San Jose mine in Oaxaca. SilverCrest filed an updated independent technical report for its Las Chispas mine operation in Sonora. Torex reported results from the 2023 drilling program at its EPO deposit at its Media Luna project, Guerrero. Prime Mining released drill results from its ongoing 60,000m drilling program conducted at its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Sierra Madre provided an update of its activities at the recently acquired, past-producing La Guitarra Mine in the State of Mexico. Chesapeake provided a metallurgical and mineralogical update for its Metates deposit in Durango. Heliostar released drill results of three new holes completed, expanded the limits of the High Grade Panel, and defined new growth targets at its Ana Paula project in Guerrero. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Argonaut appointed its new Vice President, Exploration (San Agustin mine, Durango). Plata Latina announced management changes (El Naranjillo, Guanajuato). Gatos announced results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (Los Gatos Mine, Chihuahua). Argonaut appointed its new VP Exploration (El Castillo mine, Durango). Tarachi Gold announced Directors changes (Tarachi project, Sonora). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, no relevant news.
ON MEXICO ISSUE
- Silver Bull Resources Inc., secured USD $9.5M litigation funding to pursue damages claim against the Mexican government under the agreement between the United States of America, Mexico, and Canada and the North American Free Trade Agreement. The arbitration arises from Mexico’s unlawful expropriation and other unlawful treatment of Silver Bull and its investments resulting from an illegal blockade of Silver Bull’s Sierra Mojada project that began in September 2019 and continues to this day.
- Torex Gold Resources inc., Fortuna Silver Mines Ltd., Reyna Silver Corp., and Prime Mining Corp., reported the best drilling intercepts in Mexico on the first week of September, 2023. Details are shown in the table below:
- Reyna Silver Corp., reported results from three initial holes of its 2023 drilling campaign being conducted at its Batopilas project in Chihuahua. Drilling highlights include hole BA23-58 collared on the San Roberto-Roncesvalles Vein/Structure with 218 g/t Ag over 30m, including 616 g/t Ag over 9m, including 1,405 g/t Ag over 1.45m, including 936 g/t Ag over 1.50m; hole BA23-57 collared on the Escritorio Vein with 1,360 g/t Ag over 0.25m, and 6,440 g/t Ag over 0.20m; and hole BA23-60 collared also on the Escritorio Vein with 1,342 g/t Ag over 0.80m.
- Vortex Metals Inc., completed an environmental study at its Zaachila project, Oaxaca. “The outcomes of the now-completed study will form the basis of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report, to be submitted to the Federal Environmental Office, SEMARNAT. This report will support Vortex Metals’ application for advanced mineral exploration activities, including drilling, as it advances its pursuit of high-grade copper targets identified in earlier geochemical targeting analyses”.
- No relevant news.
- Aura Minerals Inc., announced that its common shares are now eligible for trading in the United States on the OTCQX® Best Market under the symbol “ORAAF”. The DTC is a subsidiary of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, a U.S. company that manages the electronic clearing and settlement of publicly traded companies (Aranzazu Mine, Zacatecas).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Gatos Silver Inc., announced that it will report an updated mineral reserve estimate, mineral resource estimate and life of mine plan for its Cerro Los Gatos Mine, Chihuahua. The company will host a conference call and webcast to discuss the 2023 updates.
- Kootenay Silver Inc., reported that it has initiated a new phase of diamond drilling at its Columba project in Chihuahua. To date Kootenay has drilled 135 holes for just over 27,000m on the project. The new phase will consists of a minimum of 3,000m in 12-15 holes focused on expanding wide high-grade intercepts hit to date in the west-northwest trending D-Vein, and was designed “to culminate in a maiden resource for the third quarter of next year as financing will allow at which point a decision on a PEA can be made”.
- Fortuna Silver Mines Ltd., released drilling results of three infill holes totalling 1,118m, and announced the discovery of the Yessi Vein, a new blind mineralized structure at its San Jose mine in Oaxaca. Drilling highlights (true widths reported) include hole SJOM-1387 with 2.25 g/t Au and 243 g/t Ag (412 g/t AgEq) over 0.5m, plus 2.27 g/t Au and 229 g/t Ag (400 g/t AgEq) over 0.9m, plus 6.40 g/t Au and 820 g/t Ag (1,299 g/t AgEq) over 9.9m, including 27.52 g/t Au and 3,516 g/t Ag (5,580 g/t AgEq) over 0.9m; hole SJOM-1391 with 5.92 g/t Au and 779 g/t Ag (1,223 g/t AgEq) over 0.4m, plus 3.13 g/t Au and 386 g/t Ag (621 g/t AgEq) over 5m, including 3.51 g/t Au and 455 g/t Ag (718 g/t AgEq) over 1m, including 4.32 g/t Au and 488 g/t Ag (852 g/t AgEq) over 0.5m, plus 10.36 g/t Au and 1,525 g/t Ag (2,302 g/t AgEq) over 0.3m; and hole SJOM-1396 with 2.5 g/t Au and 295 g/t Ag (483 g/t AgEq) over 0.7m. “Extension drilling intersected a new blind zone of alteration and brecciation (the Jessi Vein), approximately 200m further east of the Victoria Mineralized Zone, resulting in the intersection of 1,299 g/t AgEq over 9.9m in hole SJOM-1387 and 621 g/t AgEq over 5m in hole SJOM-1391, highlighting the potential size and strength of San Jose´s mineralized system.”
- SilverCrest Metals Inc., filed an updated independent technical report for its Las Chispas mine operation in Sonora. The report titled “Las Chispas Operation Technical Report” is dated September 5, 2023, and has an effective date of July 19, 2023.
- Torex Gold Resources Inc., reported results from the 2023 drilling program at its EPO deposit at its Media Luna project, Guerrero. “Results from the 2023 program continue to highlight the potential to upgrade Inferred resources to the Indicated category and expand Inferred resources through step-out drilling to the north and south of the deposit”. Drilling highlights from the 2023 resource categorization and resource expansion program are shown in the tables 1 and 2:
Through the end of July, approximately 24,140 m and 54 holes were drilled as part of the 2023 drilling program at EPO, with assays received for 34 holes. This represents 72% of the approximately 35,000 m of total drilling planned at EPO in 2023.
- Prime Mining Corp., released drill results from its ongoing 60,000m drilling program conducted at its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. The reported drill results are from Las Primas and Fresnillo generative targets. Las Primas is outside of the previously reported 2023 Mineral Resource Estimate, while Fresnillo is a highly prospective earlier stage target, where drilling intercepted thick mineralized structures, between the Z-T and Central Zones. Drilling highlights (true widths reported) at Las Primas include hole 23LP-14 with 10.85 g/t Au and 115 g/t Ag (12.34 g/t AuEq) over 2.45m, including 15.4 g/t Au and 162 g/t Ag (17.5 g/t AuEq) over 1.70m; hole 23LP-06 with 1.7 g/t Au and 2 g/t Ag (1.73 g/t AuEq) over 9.6m, including 4.88 g(/t Au and 5 g/t Ag (4.94 g/t AuEq) over 2.95m, including 8.2 g/t Au and 8 g/t Ag (8.3 g/t AuEq) over 1.5m; and hole 23LP-07 with 0.36 g/t Au and 19 g/t Ag (0.6 g/t AuEq) over 4.45m, plus 0.87 g/t Au and 26 g/t Ag (1.2 g/t AuEq) over 14.60m, including 1.87 g/t Au and 33 g/t Ag (2.29 g/t AuEq) over 2.95m, plus 0.94 g/t Au and 21 g/t Ag (1.21 g/t AuEq) over 7.95m. Drilling highlights (true widths reported) at Fresnillo include hole 23FRE-12 with 0.56 g/t Au and 14 g/t Ag (0.74 g/t AuEq) over 23.8m, plus 0.41 g/t Au and 5 g/t Ag (0.41 g/t AuEq) over 20.8m; hole 23FRE-19 with 1.06 g/t Au and 45 g/t Ag (1.65 g/t AuEq) over 10.9m, including 6.63 g/t Au and 438 g/t Ag (12.3 g/t AuEq) over 0.85m, plus 0.48 g/t Au and 13 g/t Ag (0.65 g/t AuEq) over 13.7m, plus 0.31 g/t Au and 9 g/t Ag (0.43 g/t AuEq) over 11.05m; and hole 23FRE-20 with 0.31 g/t Au and 7 g/t Ag (0.4 g/t AuEq) over 10.2m, plus 0.87 g/t Au and 40 g/t Ag (1.39 g/t AuEq) over 7.45m, including 2.12 g/t Au and 109 g/t Ag (3.43 g/t AuEq) over 0.9m, plus 0.33 g/t Au and 7 g/t Ag (0.42 g/t AuEq) over 13.75m.
- Sierra Madre Gold and Silver Ltd., provided an update of its activities at the recently acquired, past-producing La Guitarra Mine in the State of Mexico. The company is currently working on completing a new resource estimate by year-end in accordance with NI 43-101, concurrent with evaluating historic cost data that would feed into a Mine Restart Study. “Sierra Madre is focused on preparing the mine, plant, and equipment for a prompt restart”. “The Company anticipates that, given adequate funding and assuming project execution tracks internal projections, restart of production at La Guitarra could be feasible within 20-22 months”.
- Chesapeake Gold Corp., provided a metallurgical and mineralogical update for its Metates deposit in Durango. The latest results from this phase of metallurgical testwork are very encouraging. “A systematic, methodological approach individually testing several parameters under different conditions is being undertaken in 42 columns. The results have identified certain parameters that provide the conditions where the leach technology oxidizes mineralization at a faster rate than our previous testwork. Under these conditions, we believe the targeted oxidation curve will be achieved and provide the foundation for preparing the pre-feasibility study early next year”. “Chesapeake will continue to advance the metallurgical program. As the columns meet the oxidation curve target and switch to cyanide leaching, additional columns will be loaded and tested to confirm the improved oxidation rates. At the completion of this process, the results will be released outlining the oxidative curves and precious metal recoveries through cyanide leaching. Once sufficient metallurgical work is available, management plans to commence a pre-feasibility study to further de-risk Metates and advance the project toward our goal of developing one of America’s largest gold and silver deposits”.
- Heliostar Metals Ltd., released drill results of three new holes completed, expanded the limits of the High Grade Panel, and defined new growth targets at its Ana Paula project in Guerrero. These holes are the first to assess mineralization down-plunge of the high grade panel at the core of Ana Paula. Drilling highlights include hole AP-23-303 with 1.31 g/t Au over 64m, plus 6.46 g/t Au over 98m, including 16.39 g/t Au over 33m; hole AP-23-304 with 4.73 g/t Au over 85.5m, including 25.56 g/t Au over 9.5m; and hole AP-23-305 with 3.2 g/t Au over 47.6m, including 22.9 g/t Au over 22.9m, and including 16.15 g/t Au over 2.8m, plus 2.14 g/t Au over 33.1m, including 4.77 g/t Au over 7.4m. These intercepts expand the High Grade Panel to 280m of total length from near surface. It will grow the size of the High Grade Panel in the resource update due in November. The company also defined new growth targets through a combination of new data and review of historic information. Drill results identified a Parallel Panel target located 50m north of the High Grade Panel with multiple high grade intercepts. Drilling highlights include hole AP-23-299 with 6.95 g/t Au over 38m, including 23.3 g/t Au over 6m; hole AP-23-304 with 10.7 g/t Au over 4m, plus 4.13 g/t Au over 5.5m; and hole AP-23-296 with 13.6 g/t Au over 2m. The company also identified the Deep Expansion Zone beneath the High Grade Panel, with open intercepts. Selective drill intercepts include hole AP-11-70 with 29.1 g/t Au over 13.5m, and hole AP-13-215 with 6.3 g/t Au over 40m. In addition, Heliostar also identified two new targets: the West Breccia target, with gold mineralization and a pathfinder element signature as strong as the High Grade Panel, and San Luis target, a large jasperoid/vein zone with open gold drill intercepts and untested high gold grades (3.0 m grading 11.35 g/t gold) on surface. The company plans to commence the drill test of these new targets in September, 2023.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Argonaut Gold Inc., appointed its new Vice President, Exploration (San Agustin mine, Durango).
- Plata Latina Minerals Corporation announced the retirement of its President and CEO and Chair of the Board of Directors, and the appointment of its replacement, effective immediately (El Naranjillo, Guanajuato).
- Gatos Silver Inc., announced results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (Los Gatos Mine, Chihuahua).
- Tarachi Gold Corp., announced the appointment of a new member to its Board of Directors, as well as the retirement of a former Director (Tarachi project, Sonora).
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- No relevant news.
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, slickensides on a fault plane in an epithermal vein-bx system in a project in Durango, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.