By Jorge Cirett
During the 42nd week of the year (October 14th to October 20th, 2019), at least 29 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The Congress dominated by Morena approved a bill dramatically changing the rules od operation of the Mining Fund for 2020 . ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Magna Gold released drilling results for its Mercedes project, and announced new exploration targets. In Sinaloa, Oroco Resource commenced work at the Santo Tomas project. In Durango, Gainey Capital commenced drilling at Las Margaritas. In Veracruz, Azucar Minerals discovered another mineralized center at El Cobre. ON MINING, Sierra Metals, Fortuna Silver, Avino Silver, Gold Resource and McEwen Mining released third quarter 2019 production results. Argonaut Gold reported an accident that resulted in the death of two contractor’s employees at La Colorada, in Sonora. ON FINANCING, Kootenay Silver closed a $2 M private placement. Gainey Capital granted options to directors, officers, employees and consultants. Candelaria Mining discontinued a private placement due to unfavorable market conditions. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, SilverCrest Metals reported development mining sampling has returned less tonnage but more AgEq ounces at its Las Chispas property in Sonora. Azure minerals is planning a two-stage drill program at the Loma Bonita gold target of its Alacran property in Sonora. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Tamino Minerals elaborated on the company’s history and incoming work at its El Volcan project in Sonora. Bacanora Lithium presented the current situation of Ganfeng’s investment on the company. Megastar Development entered into an option agreement regarding the Cerro Minas concession in Oaxaca. Riverside Resources released information on its BHP financing agreement for generative copper exploration in NW Sonora. Golden Minerals entered into an option agreement with Magellan Gold to sell its interest in the Santa Maria project in Chihuahua. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. The Grupo Mexico Foundation donates 175 K trees in Queretaro. Ternium granted scholarships to 145 students. Esperanza Silver presented a sustainable project in Morelos.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- The Camara de Diputados (Deputies Chamber, or Congress) approved legal reforms concerning the use of the Mining Fund. The changes were approved only by the Morena party and allied members, taking away the planning and overseeing of funds (generated by a special tax on mining) from local mining municipalities, enforcing what is seen as federal discretional use.
- Gainey Capital Corp. commenced a diamond drilling campaign at the Las Margaritas project in Durango. This initial phase comprises 1,080 m of drilling in 11 holes focused on the best mineralization exposed at the surface, where sampling has returned up to 73.7 gpt Au.
- Azucar Minerals Ltd. Announced the discovery of another mineralized center at its El Cobre project in Veracruz. Two holes tested the El Primo target area, defined by a gold, copper and molybdenum soil anomaly. Relevant intervals comprise 5.25 m @ 0.60 gpt Au, 0.26% Cu and 8.45 m @ 0.20 gpt Au, 0.29% Cu in one hole and 200 m @ 0.40 gpt Au, 0.24% Cu in another hole, including 86.50 m @ 0.70 gpt Au, 0.42% Cu; which includes 55.60 m @ 0.94 gpt Au, 0.56% Cu; which includes 10 m @ 1.44 gpt Au, 0.85% Cu. This target is at least a kilometer away from other already identified mineralized centers within the property.
- Oroco Resource Corp. commenced technical field work, initial environmental baseline studies and permitting at its Santo Tomas project in Sinaloa. This work is to be followed by a 3D induced polarization geophysical survey and the first phase of confirmation diamond drilling. The company holds an option to acquire a 56.7% interest in the 1,173 ha core concessions of the project, and might increase that interest up to an 81.0% interest with a project investment of up to CAD$30 M. Oroco also holds a 77.5% interest in 7,808 ha surrounding and adjacent to the core concessions.
- Argonaut Gold Inc. informed on an accident involving a contractor that resulted in death by electrocution of two individuals while performing maintenance work on a haul truck at La Colorada mine in Sonora. Operations were suspended on October 11 and resumed on October 12, 2019.
- Sierra Metals Inc. reported third quarter 2019 production, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Bolivar in Chihuahua, 331.8 K tonnes were processed at a 3,792 tonnes per day rate (tpd) @ 0.86% Cu, 20.5 gpt Ag, 0.31 gpt Au, recovering 81.3% Cu, 79.0% Ag, 62.3% Au to produce 5.115 M Lb Cu, 173 K Oz Ag, 2,173 Oz Au. At Cusi, also in Chihuahua, 70.4 K tonnes were processed at an 805 tpd rate @ 141.5 gpt Ag, 0.15 gpt Au, 0.14% Pb, recovering 84.6% Ag, 39.6% Au, 78.3% Pb to produce 271 K Oz Ag, 135 Oz Au, 168 K Lb Pb.
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. disclosed production results for the third quarter 2019, including figures from its Mexico operations. At San Jose in Oaxaca, 268 K tonnes were milled @ 219 gpt Ag, 1.40 gpt Au, recovering 82.4% Ag, 90.6% Au, to produce 1.71 M Oz Ag, 10,942 Oz Au, at a cash cost per ton of US$70.80.
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. released third quarter 2019 production results from its Avino property in Durango. Consolidated figures comprise 202.7 K tonnes processed @ 44 gpt Ag, 0.33 gpt Au, 0.33% Cu, recovering 76% Ag, 67% Au, 68% Cu to produce 221.9 K Oz Ag, 1,448 Oz Au, 1.38 M Lb Cu. At the Avino mine 122.2 K tonnes were processed @ 41 gpt Ag, 0.31 gpt Au, 0.58% Cu to produce 139.4 K Oz Ag, 900 Oz Au, 1.3 M Lb Cu; 17.8 K tonnes were processed from the San Gonzalo mine stockpiles (the mine is now closed) @ 56 gpt Ag, 0.41 gpt Au to produce 29.6 K Oz Ag, 194 Oz Au; From historic above ground stockpiles 62.6 K tonnes were processed @ 47 gpt Ag, 0.33 gpt Au, 0.33% Cu to produce 232.1 K OZ Ag, 1,528 Oz Au, 311 K Lb Cu.
- Gold Resource Corp. reported preliminary production for the third quarter 2019, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At the company’s Oaxaca Mining Unit, a total of 7,462 Oz Au, 473.8 K Oz Ag, 492 tonnes of copper, 2,459 tonnes of lead and 6,057 tonnes of zinc were produced.
- McEwen Mining Inc. released production details for the third quarter 2019, including figures from its Mexican operations. At its El Gallo property in Sinaloa, 3,018 Oz Au were produced by residual leaching of the heap leach pad.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. closed its non-brokered private placement of $2 M that was fully subscribed by Ninepoint Silver Equities Class with Sprott Asset Management LP acting as sub-advisor. (Columba, Chihuahua).
- Candelaria Mining Corp. announced that a private placement previously announced has been discontinued due to unfavorable market conditions. The company intends to conduct an offering on a non-brokered private placement basis for aggregate gross proceeds of up to $700 K. Closing of the new private placement is expected to be on November 30, 2019 (Caballo Blanco, Veracruz).
- Gainey Capital Corp. granted 1.5 M incentive stock options to its directors, officers employees and consultants (Las Margaritas, Durango).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. informed development work has intersected better grades than those in the resources estimate for the Babicanora vein at its Las Chispas property in Sonora. Underground mining along 180 m of the Babicanora vein (20% of the mineralized length on area 51) reported 33% less tonnes, but 65.7% more AgEq ounces for the interval. In total 4,170 tonnes were extracted @ 15.18 gpt Au and 1,071 gpt Ag (2,209 gpt AgEq), while the resource estimate in this zone graded 4.48 gpt Au and 556 gpt Ag (892 gpt AgEq). Underground sampling returned up to 2.8 m @ 94.52 gpt Au, 8,320 gpt Ag (15,409 gpt AgEq). SilverCrest plans to have a stockpile of 25-30 K tonnes of high-grade material containing 800 K to 1 M Oz AgEq, extracted by development work to the end of 2019.
- Azure Minerals Ltd. is planning a two-stage drill program on resource expansion at Loma Bonita, within the Alacrán project in Sonora. High-grade intersections on the resource boundary, like 47 m @ 2.8 gpt Au, 33 gpt Ag and 67 m @ 1.6 gpt Au, 21 gpt Ag (both from surface) favor the continuity of the ore body. First pass sampling of historical workings south of Cerro Alacrán returned up to 3,675 gpt Ag, 21.1 gpt Au, 2.3% Cu, 33.5% Pb, 21.0% Zn. Applications for environmental approval have been submitted.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Tamino Minerals Inc. elaborated into the long and convolute company history and financing (El Volcan, Sonora).
- Bacanora Lithium PLC. Announced the completion of the “Invested Agreement and Offtake Agreement” which together make the “Strategic Investment” of Ganfeng Lithium Co.. The relevant approvals have been completed and Bacanora has now received £21.96 M of funds from Ganfeng, for a 29.99% equity interest in Bacanora Lithium PLC and a 22.5% JV investment directly in the Sonora Lithium Project. The vice-president of Wangfeng was appointed a director of Bacanora. “The Bacanora project team in Mexico continues to progress the final design work for the mine, concentrator and kiln sections of the processing plant. The Ganfeng technical team has initiated work on the hydrometallurgical circuit…”
- Tamino Minerals Inc. informed it is going to present a NI 43-101 report on its El Volcan property in Sonora once a registration statement is filed to the SEC and the company becomes fully reporting.
- Megastar Development Corp. has entered into an option agreement with Gunpoint Exploration Ltd. to acquire 100% interest in the 899 ha Cerro Minas mining concession (title (234333) in Oaxaca. The agreement entails the payment of US$10 K and 100 K Megastar shares on the effective date, US$20 K and 150 K shares on the first anniversary, US$30 K and 250 shares on the second anniversary and US$40 K and 300 K shares on the third anniversary, with Gunpoint retaining a 1.5% NSR royalty, of which 0.5% can be bought by US$1.0 M.
- Riverside Resources Inc. informed that the first two to three quarters of the exploration financing agreement with BHP for generative copper exploration in NW Sonora will be centered on regional prospect generation. The program envisages a minimum two-year US$2 M budget, and upon advancing projects to the operation phase (Phase II), BHP has the option to fund up to US$5 M for drilling and other exploration expenditures. Riverside is to receive US$200 K by project that makes it to the second phase.
- Golden Minerals Co. entered into an option agreement with Magellan Gold Corp. to sell its rights to acquire a 100% interest in the Santa Maria project, in Chihuahua. Magellan has a 150 days due diligence period to decide whether to execute the option, on which it has to pay $1 M cash, with Golden Minerals retaining a 6.5% royalty until a total of $3 M has been paid as royalty, with Golden retaining a 3% NSR royalty for the life of the mine. If Magellan fails to get the mine to production within one year from closing the deal, Golden will get back the property.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- The Grupo Mexico Foundation donates 175 plants and trees in Queretaro. Grupo Mexico is aiding to reach the goal of planting 250 thousand trees in the Queretaro municipality. Grupo Mexico is the number one producer of tree saplings in the country.
- Ternium delivers scholarships and supports education in a mining zone. The Roberto Rocca Education Program and the Universidad de Colima granted this year scholarships to 145 students from universities in Mexico City, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Veracruz, Puebla, Colima and Michoacan. Since its inception in 2006, the Roberto Rocca Education Program has granted 3,000 scholarships.
- Esperanza Silver (Alamos Gold) presented a sustainable project for the Esperanza project in Morelos. The project involves the company’s involvement in the remediation of a nearby community landfill, and the collaborative support on the Lagunas de Zempoala, the national park Tepozteco, the biological corridor Ajusco-Chichinautzin as well as the state parks El Texcal, Sierra Montenegro and the biosphere reserve Sierra de Huautla.
Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.
On the image below: Gneiss hosted quartz-feldspar veinlet from a project in Oaxaca. Picture by Jorge Cirett.