Highlights on the Second Week of August, 2017. Mineral Exploration in Mexico

During the 32nd week of the year (August 7th to August 13th, 2017), at least 22 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, including eight second quarter reports. ON MEXICO ISSUES, two companies reported the receipt of VAT recovery from the government for $1.3 M and $2.4 M respectively. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Oceanus reported results from underground sampling at El Tigre, while Millrock presented an update on properties under its alliance with Centerra. In Zacatecas, Alset presented drilling results from its lithium property, La Salada. In Guanajuato, Golden Minerals informed on drilling by Electrum of its Celaya property.  ON MINING, Golden Minerals, Torex Gold, Premier Gold, Alio Gold, Pan American Silver, Americas Silver, Primero Mining and Argonaut Gold presented production and/or financial results for the second quarter of 2017. US Antimony reported cost reductions on its operations and Telson resources reported the first concentrates shipment from Tahehueto in Durango. ON FINANCING, no relevant news for the first time in the year.  ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Golden Minerals informed on the acquisition of three more claims and the incoming drilling campaign on its Santa Maria project in Chihuahua. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Santacruz Silver completed the sale of the Gavilanes project in Durango to Marlin Gold. Colibri completed the acquisition of Canadian Gold, along with its properties in Sonora. McEwen Mining reported on the next semi-annual return of capital instalment.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • On VAT recovery. The first company to announce a sizeable VAT recovery in years was Alio Gold, which received $1.3 M in cash before the end of the second quarter. Primero Mining received $2.4 M after the end of the second quarter.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Golden Minerals Co. announced that Electrum Global Holdings L.P. received results of drilling on Golden’s Celaya property in Guanajuato. Results from 5,600 m drilled in seven holes (800 m per hole?) show intercepts of epithermal quartz vein mineralization with Au, Ag, Zn grades that warrant further testing.
  • Alset Minerals Corp. reported partial results from phase one drilling at La Salada salar in Zacatecas, the first of 13 salars to be tested. At La Salada, one deep hole (51.35 m) and 40 auger holes (4.5 – 26.0 m in depth, average 14 m) were completed, both near surface brine samples and extensive lake sediment samples were recovered in the 1,800 m by 900 m salar. Results from five of the holes (the rest are pending) average 14.4 m @ 3.6% K, 975 ppm Li (up to,1860 pm) and 535 ppm B. Water samples average 1.3% K, 1.6% SO4, 258 ppm B, 9 ppm Li, 57 ppm Ca, 36 ppm Mg.
  • Oceanus Resources Corp. presented assay results from sampling at old underground exploration tunnels from the unmined Protectora, Aguilas, Fundadora and Caleigh veins on its El Tigre project in Sonora. The rock chip samples are said to be at least 0.5 m in width (no average width disclosed), and collected every 3-5 m along strike in 13 exploration tunnels. Average results include 3 samples on the Caleigh vein @ 19.9 g/t Au, 2,247 g/t Ag; On the Protectora vein: 20 samples @ 0.2 g/t Au, 437 g/t Ag; 18 samples @ 1.3 g/t Au, 290 g/t Ag; 4 samples @ 2.8 g/t Au, 337 g/t Ag; 16 samples @ 2.2 g/t Au, 473 g/t Ag; 5 samples @ 2.8 g/t Au, 680 g/t Ag; 19 samples @ 0.6 g/t Au, 480 g/t Ag. On the Fundadora vein: 5 samples @ 6.1 g/t Au, 307 g/t Ag; 12 samples @ 1.2 g/t Au, 254 g/t Ag.
  • Millrock Resources Inc. presented an update in exploration, including information on its three properties in Sonora. The La Navidad project was optioned on June, and immediately entered into a JV with Centerra Gold Inc. Presently underway are soil sampling, geological mapping, induced polarization and magnetic surveys. Also in June El Picacho project was optioned and made a “designated project” on the alliance between Centerra and Millrock. Soil sampling, geological mapping, induced polarization and mag surveys are currently being performed. Los Chinos and Los Cuarenta projects options were terminated by Centerra.

ON MINING

  • United States Antimony Corp. reported major cost reductions at its Mexican antimony smelter, as a result of metallurgical changes while increasing production rates. Production at Wadley, San Luis Potosi, is growing with more miners. USAC intends to use its Los Juarez explosives license at Soyatal, Queretaro, which will save money and time. Guadalupe is undergoing road work to re-establish the production of high-grade concentrates. The application for the cyanide permit for the Los Juarez project was resubmitted to SEMARNAT (EPA equivalent) at the end of July, after one item change requested by the agency.
  • Telson Resources Inc. announced that the first shipment of lead and zinc concentrates processed at the Atocha mill has been delivered to Mercuria Commodities Trading, S.A. de C.V.. As of August 1, 2017, the Company has processed approximately 1600 tonnes of ore through the Atocha toll mill producing approximately 66.1 dry tonnes of lead concentrate and 94.5 dry tonnes of zinc concentrate which have been delivered to Mercuria.
  • Golden Minerals Co. presented financial results for Q2 2017. Approximately $1.7 M revenue was received from the oxide plant lease to Hecla, and costs of $0.5 M to the services provided under the lease, for a net operating margin of $1.1 M. The company spent $0.5 M in exploration related primarily to work at the Santa Maria (Chihuahua), Rodeo (Durango) and other properties, as well as holding costs. Cash and cash equivalents balance of $2.7 M at the end of the period.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc. reported financial and operational results. At El Limón Guajes mine in Guerrero 74,487 Oz Au were produced, as ramp-up continues, with design throughput achieved in June. Plant throughput was 1.2 M tonnes, or 13,063 tonnes per day (tpd), while mine production was 8.4 M tonnes, or 92,044 tpd. The gold recovery rate was 86% on a 2.37 g/t Au average grade, at cash cost $709 per Oz Au and AISC $991. Cash balance of $77.2 M including restricted cash of $15.7 M at the end of the period.
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. announced its operational and financial results for the second quarter of 2017. At Mercedes in Sonora 177.9 K tones were milled (1,954 tpd) @ 4.03 g/t Au, 36 g/t Ag; with recoveries at 94.9% Au, 43% Ag, to produce 21,893 Oz Au, 89.5 K Oz Ag. By-product cash cost per Oz Au was CAD$550 and by-product AISC per Oz Au of CAD$688. Quarter end cash balance of $156.8 M (US$120.9 M).
  • Alio Gold Inc. reported second quarter 2017 results. Production at the San Francisco gold mine was 22,011 ounces during the period, at AISC $954 per Oz Au. The San Francisco mine revitalization plan was initiated and the definitive feasibility study (DFS) after the positive pre-feasibility study (PFS) was released and a CAD$50.4 M bought deal financing was completed. The pre-stripping campaign envisions moving 22 M tonnes of waste from the Main and La Chicharra pits over the next 20 months. Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period were $35.9 M.
  • Pan American Silver Corp. announced Q2 2017 results, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Dolores in Chihuahua the construction of the agglomeration plant was completed and development for underground mining advanced, with initial stope ore mining expected to initiate before the end of 2017. At La Colorada mine in Zacatecas production achieved 1,800 tpd rates during the last month of the quarter. At La Colorada 1.73 M Oz Ag, 0.94 K Oz Au were produced at cash cost $3.38 per Ag Oz. At Dolores 1.04 M Oz Ag, 22.44 K Oz Au were produced at cash cost $0.12 and at Alamo Dorado in Sonora 0.26 M Oz Ag, 0.69 K Oz Au were produced at cash cost $11.18. Cash and short-term investments of $198.2 M at the end of the period.
  • Americas Silver Corp. disclosed consolidated financial and operational results for the second quarter of 2017. The figures of its operations in Mexico were informed in a previous release. San Rafael in Sinaloa remains on budget and on time to start production by the end of Q3, 2017. Cash balance at the end of the period was $12.8 M.
  • Primero Mining Corp. reported operating and financial results for the second quarter, 2017, including figures form its Mexican operations. At San Dimas 11,903 Oz Au, 0.97 Oz Ag were produced at cash cost $1,144 per AuEq Oz, and AISC $1,650 per AuEq Oz, with operations being impacted by bad relations with unionized employees. “…the Company believes that labour disruptions may continue to adversely affect the Company’s ability to profitably operate the San Dimas…” and “Primero highlights the significant liquidity risk imposed by the pending RFC maturity date of November 23, 2017, and notes that it may not be able to fully repay its debt obligations…”. Cash stood at $12.1 M and $10.0 M available under its existing revolving credit facility (RFC) at the end of the period, with a $33.5 in VAT and $22.8 M income taxes receivable outstanding.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. announced its financial and operating results for the second quarter of 2017. The consolidated production was 29,730 AuEq Oz at cash cost $785 and AISC $906 per AuEq ounce. At El Castillo in Durango 2.0 M tonnes of ore @ 0.39 g/t Au and 2.65 M tonnes of waste were moved (51 K tpd) to produce 16,927 Oz Au at cash cost $893 per ounce. At La Colorada in Sonora 1.22 M tonnes of ore @ 0.64 g/t Au and 4.77 M tonnes of waste were moved (66 K tpd) to produce 12,098 Oz Au and 38.2 K Oz Ag at cash cost $590 per AuEq ounce. At San Agustin (10 km from El Castillo) mining commenced during the quarter, leach pad and pond construction was completed and the crushers installed, with ore beginning to be staked on the pad in late June. Construction was 75% complete by the end of July. Cash and cash equivalents stood at $53.8 M at the end of the quarter.

ON FINANCING

  • No relevant news.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Golden Minerals Co. entered into an agreement to acquire three additional claims at the Santa Maria project in Chihuahua for $0.7 M over four years, with an initial payment of $50 K and $30 K in six months. The targets in these claims are to be tested in an upcoming 2,000 m drill program in the third quarter of 2017, while the environmental study to obtain the permit to perform the 200 tpd underground mining envisaged on the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) has been completed.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. entered into a definitive agreement to sell 100% interest in the Gavilanes property in Durango to Marlin Gold Mining Ltd. Santacruz is to settle the outstanding balance on some of the claims by making a $500 k payment and issuing 1.25 M Santacruz shares to the property vendor. Gavilanes is a low sulphidation epithermal deposit in the San Dimas mining district with NI-43-101 compliant 6.1 M AgEq indicated ounces (953 K tonnes @ 200 g/t AgEq), and 28.2 M AgEq inferred ounces (5.4 M tonnes @ 163 g/t AgEq).
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. settled the outstanding balance owing on certain of the claims included in the Gavilanes project (in Sinaloa) by making a cash payment of US$500 K and 1.25 M Santacruz shares.
  • Colibri Resource Corp. completed the acquisition of Canadian Gold Resources Ltd. Colibri acquired all outstanding shares of Canadian Gold for $4 M, paid by way of issuance of 24.2 M shares to the vendor. Colibri now owns 100% interest in Minera Bestep S.A. de C.V., a private Mexican company that holds 100% (no NSR’s) of the Pilar and the Sun properties near Suaqui, in Sonora.
  • McEwen Mining Inc. reported a revised record date for the next semi-annual return of capital instalment of a ½ cent per share which will be distributed to shareholders of record on August 14, 2017. The distribution will be paid on August 17, 2017.

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 below, vuggy silica fragment within a felsic tuff in Chihuahua. Photo by Jorge Cirett.

Vuggy quartz at Moreno

Highlights on the Second Week of June, 2017. Mineral Exploration in Mexico

During the 23rd week of the year (May 5th to June 11th, 2017), at least 25 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, the Mexican government owes more than US$360 M on tax returns to Canadian mining companies. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora Riverside released assays from recent sampling at Cecilia; Colibri received drill results from its partner at the Pitaya property; and Millrock is to explore the Picacho project. In Chihuahua Sierra Metals released high-grade drilling results from a new structure at its Cusi property; Golden Goliath is to start a field program at San Timoteo and Harvest Gold is to begin a field program at the recently optioned Cerro Cascaron property. In Sinaloa Santana commenced an RC drill program at its Cuitaboca project. Defiance released results from the first hole of the season at the San Acacio property. In Jalisco Plata Latina announced an incoming drill program at Vaquerias.  ON MINING, Pan American Silver continues the expansion at La Colorada and Dolores mines in Zacatecas and Chihuahua. ON FINANCING, New Gold announced the redemption of $200 M in senior notes, and Agnico Eagle made a $9.76 M strategic investment in Candelaria. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, US Antimony started pilot production at Los Juarez pit in Queretaro, and Oceanus disclosed high grade intercepts from a step-out hole in El Tigre, Sonora. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Endeavour Silver bought the Calicanto and Veta Grande properties from Arian Silver and Impact Silver respectively. Candelaria issued 4.6 M shares to Minera Apolo as partial payment for 65 concessions in Zacatecas, Durango and San Luis Potosi. Mexican Gold made a definitive agreement to acquire three important concessions within its Las Minas project in Veracruz. Millrock optioned El Picacho project in Sonora, and the property has now become a “designated project” under its alliance with Centerra.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • The Mexican government plays deaf on tax returns to Canadian companies. The SAT (IRS equivalent) holds more than US$360 M on tax returns to six Canadian mining companies, including US$230 M to Goldcorp, which declined to comment. Other affected companies include Torex Gold (US$66.5 M), Alamos Gold (US$26 M), Agnico Eagle (US$18 M) Endeavour Silver (US$15.6 M) and McEwen Mining (US$6.2 M). The issue was raised by the mining companies with Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr, who contacted the Secretaria de Economia regarding the VAT tax returns. The matter is to be “investigated”.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Sierra Metals Inc. completed the first phase of systematic drill campaign on the Santa Rosa de Lima structure at its Cusi mine in Chihuahua. The drilling encompassed 36 holes in an approximate grid covering an area 1,000 m long by 400 m depth, with average true width and grade of 4.1 m @ 371 g/t AgEq. Intercepts include 12.0 m @ 757 g/t Ag; 1.8 m @ 709 g/t Ag; 2.0 m @ 1,152 g/t Ag; 3.5 m @ 414 g/t Ag; 3.2 m @ 1,034 g/t Ag; 4.3 m @ 690 g/t Ag; 11.0 m @ 575 g/t Ag. A 24 hole, 13,200 m definition drilling program is to be completed during June. The 12 km long Santa Rosa de Lima structure presents no hydrothermal alteration on the surface, and presents a NW-SE orientation that contrasts with the NE-SW orientation of the structures currently being mined in the district.
  • Santana Minerals Ltd. has commenced a reverse circulation (RC) drilling program at its Cuitaboca property in Sinaloa. The 16 hole, ~2,500 m RC program is to test the vertical and horizontal continuity of mineralisation across the Las Animas and Evangelina zones of the Mojardino prospect.
  • Riverside Resources Inc. released assay results from the first phase exploration program at its Cecilia project in Sonora. The company is targeting epithermal Au-Ag mineralization hosted by a felsic flow-dome complex. The sampling to date has concentrated at the North Breccia and Central zones, where 36% of the samples assayed more than 0.5 g/t Au. Rock sample results are up to 113.7 g/t Au, 288 g/t Ag; 58 g/t Au, 207 g/t Ag; 8.42 g/t Au, 88 g/t Ag. More than 20% of the samples assayed more than 200 g/t Ag, with the highest one returning 310 g/t Ag.
  • Golden Goliath Resources Ltd. is about to start the 2017 field program at its San Timoteo project in Chihuahua, which is deemed to expand “the Terraspec coverage and acquire and incorporate geological, geochemical and structural data from other workings to select specific drill targets in areas further away from the San Martin mine targets”.
  • Colibri Resource Corp. announced drill results received from its JV partner Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. from its Pitaya property in Sonora, on which Agnico currently holds a 66% interest. Drill results cover 1,543 m in six holes, with drilling on going and further 4,700 m of drilling to be completed. Results include 5.4 m @ 0.5% Cu; 3.6 m @ 0.81 g/t Au; 1.1 m @ 2.2 g/t Au; 3.3 m @ 0.48 g/t Au; 6.4 m @ 0.32 g/t Au; 2.2 m @ 21 g/t Au, 57 g/t Ag; 1.0 m @ 0.48 g/t Au, 34 g/t Ag, 3.1% Cu; 7.0 m @ 0.5 g/t Au; 1 m @ 2.4 g/t Au; 7 m @ 0.36 g/t Au; 4 m @ 0.94 g/t Au.
  • Defiance Silver Corp. released results from the first hole of the ongoing drill program at the San Acacio project in Zacatecas. The drill hole targeted the Esperanza zone and intersected high grade silver, with 27 .03 m of hydrothermal breccia and veins assaying 203 g/t AgEq. The 27.03 m intercept @ 148 g/t Ag, 0.29 g/t Au, 0.1% Pb, 0.7% Zn includes 7.58 m @ 213 g/t Ag, 0.3% Zn; 5.00 m @ 231 g/t Ag, 0.51 g/t Au, 0.4% Pb, 1.7% Zn and 6.05 m @ 122 g/t Ag, 0.74 g/t Au, 1% Zn.
  • Millrock Resources Inc. is to explore the El Picacho project as a designated project on its strategic alliance with Centerra Gold Inc. in Sonora. The project is an orogenic gold target, where Jurassic rocks are juxtaposed in a thrust fault relationship with much older Precambrian age rocks, being located 18 km W-SW from Alio Gold’s San Francisco mine.
  • Harvest Gold Corp. is to start a first phase two-month field program on the recently optioned Cerro Cascaron project with a budget of $225 K, including the opening of two historic adits, detailed mapping, sampling and prospecting of the main vein field, La Cascarita, and the eastern extension across a river valley.
  • Plata Latina Minerals Corp. announced that Fresnillo PLC has initiated drilling at the Naranjillo property in Guanajuato, which it optioned from Plata Latina. The focus of the company is now the Vaquerias project, where previous drilling intersected up to 727 g/t Ag, 0.24 g/t Au over 0.55 m. Drilling is to re-initiate at Vaquerias, Jalisco, in late summer of 2017.

ON MINING

  • Pan American Silver Corp. is continuing with the expansion at its La Colorada and Dolores mines. At La Colorada (Zacatecas) the goal is to rise mine production to 1,800 tonnes per day (tpd) and 7.7 M Oz Ag and significant Pb and Zn. At Dolores (Chihuahua), the goal is to load 17.6 – 18 K tpd on the heap leach pads to obtain 4 – 4.5 M Oz Ag and 109.1 – 115 K Oz Au.

ON FINANCING

  • New Gold Inc. completed the previously announced redemption of its outstanding $300 M 7.0% senior notes due 2010. “The redemption was funded from the net proceeds of its recent issue of $300 million aggregate principal amount of 6.375% Senior Notes due in 2025 and cash on hand.” (San Pedro, San Luis Potosi).
  • Candelaria Mining Corp. announced that Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. is making a strategic investment of $9.76 M in Candelaria. “Upon completion of the Private Placement, Agnico will own approximately 9.95% of the common shares of Candelaria.”

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • United States Antimony Corp. started pilot production from the Los Juarez pit at it Los Juarez property in Queretaro. Approximately 400 metric tons were trucked to the Puerto Blanco mill in Guanajuato. “The permit for a cyanide leach circuit for the Puerto Blanco mill tailings has been reviewed by SEMARNAT (Mexican equivalent of EPA), and USAC is changing the location and design of the tailings pond to comply with their request.”
  • Oceanus Resources Corp. reported a high grade drill intercept from a step-out hole at its El Tigre property in Sonora. The hole in the Protectora vein intersected 3.15 m @ 10.1 g/t Au, 1,991 g/t Ag, including 0.85 m @ 37.2 g/t Au, 7,339 g/t Ag, and a deeper intercept of 1.5 m @ 1,107 g/t Ag. “The mineralized zone consists of several vuggy quartz veins and veinlets carrying galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, stromeyerite and pyrite.” This hole is collared some 800 m North of the El Tigre mine, from where the unmined Protectora vein extends for 1,500 m to the North.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Endeavour Silver Corp. has acquired 100% interest in the Calicanto and Veta Grande properties in Zacatecas. Calicanto was bought from Arian Silver Corp. for US$400 K, is subject to a 3% royalty and covers five >1 km long veins, 1-3 m thick and grades of 100-300 g/t Ag, 1-3 g/t Au, 1-3% Pb+Zn. The Veta Grande property (10 concessions, 152 hectares) was bought from Impact Silver Corp. for US$500 K in shares, covering six Ag-Au-Pb-Zn veins and 14 hectares of surface land on which an idle 200 tpd processing plant is located.
  • Candelaria Mining Corp. announced that it issued 4.6 M shares to Minera Apolo S.A. de C.V., meeting the obligations required to complete the acquisition of 60% of the shares of Minera Apolo. Candelaria holds a right of first refusal to purchase the remaining 40% of the shares of Minera Apolo, which are currently held by four individuals resident in Mexico. Minera Apolo holds 65 claims over 20,475 has in the states of Zacatecas, Durango and San Luis Potosi, including properties in the Pinos district, Lucifer, Km66, Guadalcazar, Cascabel, El Gato and the Noria tailings.
  • Mexican Gold Corp. entered into a definitive purchase and sale agreement to acquire 100% interest in the Pepe, Pepe Tres and San Jose concessions at its Las Minas project. The concessions form the core of the Las Minas property, encompassing six strongly mineralized zones. The agreement states a $433 K payment (plus VAT) upon execution, six monthly equal payments of $22 K (plus VAT) commencing on December 2017 and a final payment of $867 K (plus VAT) on December 2018. The vendors retain a 1.5% NSR, of which one third can be bought by US$500 K, with Mexican Gold having the right of first refusal on the rest.
  • Millrock Resources Inc. entered an option agreement to purchase the El Picacho project in Sonora. The project was identified to Centerra Gold Inc. by Millrock, and it is now to become a “designated project” under the strategic alliance between the companies. An initial payment of US$21,375 has been made on the US$1.723 M option payments due over a four year period. “Seven equal option payments of US$21,375 will be due at six-month intervals. A final option payment of US$1,552,000 would be made to complete the purchase of the mineral rights.”
  • Evrim Resources Corp. optioned its Cerro Cascaron project in Chihuahua to Harvest Gold Corp., which will have the right to earn up to 80% interest. Under the agreement Harvest can earn 70% by investing $6 M in the property, making a 900 K payment and issuing 2 M shares to Evrim over a four year period. Harvest can earn an additional 10% by paying $200 K (or 200 K shares, Evrim’s election), fund a 43-101 compliant feasibility study (FS) and make further $2 M expenditures.

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

Winding dirt road in the Sierra Madre, at Cañada del Güerachi, Chihuahua. Photo by Jorge Cirett.

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Esto le debe el SAT a mineras canadienses

http://www.elfinanciero.com.mx/empresas/este-es-el-monto-que-el-sat-le-debe-a-mineras-canadienses.html

Goldcorp, McEwen Mining y Alamos Gold son algunas de las mineras canadienses a las que el órgano tributario no les ha devuelto impuestos, por lo que funcionarios de ese país presionan a México para que solucione el problema.

El Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT) retiene más de 360 millones de dólares en devoluciones de impuestos a seis mineras canadienses, incluyendo 230 millones de dólares a Goldcorp, según fuentes y documentos oficiales vistos por Reuters, un hecho que eleva la tensión entre el gobierno y las firmas que operan en el país.

En una serie de reuniones, funcionarios canadienses han presionado a México para que solucione el problema, que afecta la capacidad de inversión en operaciones y es particularmente difícil para las mineras y exploradores más pequeños con escasez de efectivo, dijeron personas familiarizadas con el asunto.