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

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By Jorge Cirett

Amidst the Coronavirus widespread suspension of activities, including mining and exploration, decreed by the Mexican government, a record number of press releases was issued. During the 14th week of the year (March 30th to April 5th, 2020), at least 57 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, of which 20 were on how companies were dealing with the situation. ON MEXICO ISSUES, a national decree by the federal government suspended all non-essential activities, which include mining and exploration, until the end of April. The DGM (Mining Regulator) is to manage everything through electronic channels during the Coronavirus contingency (in practical terms, do not expect anything done during this period of time). Previous to the federal government decree, the Sonoran government ordered the stoppage of all work on the mines on the State. Mexico is well poised for a substantial growth in lead and zinc production in 2020 (although the work suspension on mines might prevent it).  ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Silver Viper released more drilling results on El Rubi zone of its La Virgina project. Tocvan Ventures commenced geophysical and soil survey programs at its Pilar project. In Chihuahua, Discovery Metals and Kootenay Silver announced the suspension of activities at its Cordero and Columba projects respectively. In Sinaloa, Kootenay Silver announced the suspension of activities at El Copalito. Advance Gold released drilling information on its Tabaqueña project.  ON MINING, Mag Silver, Excellon Resources and Odyssey Marine Exploration presented 2019 results. First Majestic plans to invest $46 M in capital expenditures at its Santa Elena project. GoGold completed the commissioning of a SART palnt at its Parral tailings facilities. Equinox plans to produce 170 K – 190 K Oz Au during 2020 at Los Filos, Guerrero, and invest a total of $75 M. ON FINANCING, Orla Mining closed a bought deal for C$75 M. Mithrill is to conduct a rights issue for share holders in Australia and New Zealand to raise $2.45 M. Southern Silver announced the exercise of 2015 and 2016 warrants and options, raising $1.25 M. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, First Majestic updated the mineral resource estimate on seven of its Mexican properties. Sierra Metals updated the mineral resource estimate on Bolivar, Chihuahua. Prime Mining produced a new resource estimate for its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Mag Silver has to obtain funding, or see its 44% JV participation in the Juanicipio project (Zacatecas) dwindle. Great Panther filed two technical reports on the Guanajuato mine complex. Bacanora Lithium granted a contract to GRES on the Sonora Lithium project. Golden Minerals presented a new PEA for its Velardeña properties. GR Silver Mining released underground channel results from the Plomosas project in in Sinaloa. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, GR Silver completed the acquisition of the Plomosas project in Sinaloa. Argonaut Gold and Alio Gold are merging. Orex Minerals and Pan American Silver are forming a JV on the Sandra project in Durango. Riverside is going ahead with the Peñoles project (Durango) spin-off. Mithrill Resources informed on the acquisition of Sun Minerals. Southern Silver entered into an agreement with Monarch Minerals to purchase a mineral concession adjacent to Cerro Las Minas project in Durango. Oroco Resources amended disclosures on the Santo Tomas project technical report. Odyssey Marine Exploration continues with the arbitration process for its offshore phosphate project in Baja California Sur. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Newmont GoldCorp Peñasquito donated 500 COVID-19 tests and delivered thousands of cleansing packages in the communities near the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas..

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Mining halted in Mexico. A national decree by the Mexican federal government suspended all non-essential activities for 30 days on the wake of the fight on the propagation of the coronavirus. Mining is not considered essential thus all operations are due to shut down.
  • Mexico is well positioned for increased lead and zinc production, BNamericas. Supported by expected continued work at Newmont’s Peñasquito mine, Southern Copper’s San Martin mine and Peñoles operations, the lead and zinc Mexican production is poised to grow in 2020. Lead production could increase 27.8% to 194.9 K tonnes, with the expected production of 90.7 K tonnes at Peñasquito. Zinc production could increase 27% to 633.2 K tonnes, with its expected production of 192.8 K tonnes. Both zinc and lead face extremely low prices, with zinc at US$0.85/Lb and lead close to US$0.75/Lb.
  • To reduce coronavirus contagion risks, the Dirección General de Minas (DGM) initiated a protocol to process requests and information only through electronic media, for the time that the contingency lasts (in practical terms, the already slow pace of proceedings at the DGM is coming to halt for the time being).
  • The Mining Fund served its purpose at Jiapaz, Zacatecas, where solar panels were installed to power the water system on La Martinica de Guadalupe neighborhood.
  • The Sonora government issued orders to stop all non-essential activities, including mining, as a mean to reduce the propagation speed of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
  • Mining companies that presented press releases on Coronavirus related suspension of activities: Argonaut Gold, Sierra Metals, Pan American Silver, Premier Gold Mines, Equinox Gold, GoGold Resources, Gold Resource, Excellon Resources, Endeavour Silver, Azucar Minerals, Avino Silver & Gold Mines, Agnico Eagle Mines, Almaden Minerals, Alamos Gold, Fortuna Silver, Mithrill Resources, Vizsla Resources, Torex Gold, Great Panther, and Golden Minerals.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Silver Viper Minerals Corp. released drilling results at its La Virginia project in Sonora. The Rubi zone strike length increased by 100 m, to a total of 400 m, where a total of 6,103 m in 20 holes have been collared; a further 852 m in four holes were drilled at the Macho Libre target. The results for the last nine holes are still pending. Highlighted true width intervals comprise: 1.42 m @ 156 gpt Ag, 1.79 gpt Au; 2.84 m @ 249 gpt Ag, 1.55 gpt Au (including 0.36 m @ 1,584 gpt Ag, 5.56 gpt Au); 17.04 m @ 28 gpt Ag, 0.69 gpt Au; 1.07 m @ 52 gpt Ag, 1.27 gpt Au; 1.07 m @ 124 gpt Ag, 3.32 gpt Au; 4.26 m @ 38 gpt Ag, 0.64 gpt Au; 6.04 m @ 74 gpt Ag, 0.99 gpt Au (including 1.78 m @ 187 gpt Ag, 2.48 gpt Au. The company recently completed a 4,800-hectare; 718 line-km helicopter borne magnetic-radiometric geophysical survey centered on El Rubi zone.
  • Discovery Metals Corp. announced the temporarily suspension of all exploration activities at its Mexican operations due to the COVID-19 risks. “Discovery has already completed 48 holes totaling 17,500 metres of its planned 30,000 – 35,000 metre Phase 1 drill program. The Company will provide ongoing exploration updates for the 34 drill holes not previously press released once results have been received and validated”. Discovery had a cash balance of CAD$24 M by the end of 2019 (Cordero, Chihuahua).
  • Tocvan Ventures Corp. announced the commencement of the 2020 field program at the Pilar project in Sonora. The focus is to expand the known areas of mineralization, gain a better understanding of structural controls, identify mineralization targets and define drill targets. A multiple-task (?) geophysical survey is underway concurrently with a close-spaced soil sampling program. These surveys will be followed up with structural refining, XRF survey across the property and reviewing historical drill holes.
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. temporarily suspended the current drill programs at its Columba (Chihuahua) and Copalito (Sinaloa) projects, to reduce the propagation risks of the Coronavirus.
  • Advance Gold Corp. released information on drilling at its Tabasqueña project in Zacatecas. One hole was abandoned because of challenging drilling conditions; a second hole intercepted a black slate with small sulphide lenses 0.3 cm to 1 cm in thickness, this unit explains the chargeability anomaly detected by the geophysical survey. The best intercept was 1.25 m @ 2.79% Pb; the third hole also intersected the sulphide bearing black slate unit, assays pending. Teck’ San Nicolas VMS project is 11 kilometers East of Tabasqueña.

ON MINING

  • First Majestic Silver Corp. plans to invest US$46.3 M in capital expenditures at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. Exploration, the installation of an autogenous mill, exploration and development of the Ermitaño West, mine access preparation and prefeasibility studies are among the use of the funds involved.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. reported the completion of commissioning of the SART plant at its Parral Tailings facility in Chihuahua. “The main economic drivers are the recovery of a high-grade saleable copper sulfide product, the re-generation of cyanide, which is the largest single operating cost at Parral, and improve the leaching efficiency of the heap”. GoGold reduced the need to purchase cyanide by $200 K in March.
  • Excellon Resources Inc. reports 2019 annual and Q4 financial results. At Platosa, in Durango, 19.8 K tonnes @ 435 gpt Ag, 4.84% Pb, 6.39% Zn were processed, recovering 91.7% Ag, 80.2% Pb, 76.5% Zn to produce 259.2 K Oz Ag, 1.69 M Lb Pb, 2.06 M Lb Zn during the quarter. For the full year 75.2 K tonnes @ 409 gpt Ag, 4.75% Pb, 6.82% Zn were processed , recovering 89.9% Ag, 79.2% Pb. 77.7% Zn to produce 1.05 M Oz Ag, 6.1 M Lb Pb, 8.4 M Lb Zn, or 1.93 M Oz AgEq.
  • Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. reported results for the full year 2019.
  • Equinox Gold Corp. provided production guidance for 2020, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At the Los Filos mine in Guerrero, production is set to range between 170 K to 190 K Oz Au, at an AISC of $1,000 to $1,050 per Oz Au, sustaining capital of $24 M and Non-sustaining capital of $51 M. “The Company is advancing an expansion of the Los Filos mine complex including enlarging the Los Filos open pit, developing a second underground mine (Bermejal), adding a new open pit (Guadalupe) and constructing a new carbon in leach (“CIL”) plant to process higher-grade ore…….. Equinox Gold has budgeted a total capital spend of $75 million at Los Filos during 2020. Non-sustaining capital of $51 million relates primarily to the expansion project and includes $20 million for pre-stripping of the Guadalupe open pit and $23 million allocated to Bermejal underground development”.

ON FINANCING

  • Newmont Corp. has announced expiration and final results of the tender offers for its 3.5% senior notes due 2022 and Goldcorp’s 3.7% notes due 2023. (Peñasquito, Zacatecas).
  • Mithrill Resources Ltd. will be conducting a pro-rata non-renounceable rights issue to allow shareholders, of ordinary shares with a registered address in Australia or New Zealand, to apply for one share for every ordinary share held, to raise $2.45 M (Copalquin, Durango).
  • Southern Silver Exploration Corp. informed recent warrant and option exercised during the current fiscal period. Warrants and options issued in 2015 and 2016 were exercised for $1.25 M in gross profits (Cerro La Mina, Durango).
  • Orla Mining Ltd. closed its previously announced bought deal financing with a syndicate of underwriters led by Stifel GMP and including Desjardins Capital Markets, Paradigm Capital and Cormark Securities Inc. for aggregate gross proceeds of C$75 M.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • First Majestic Silver Corp. updated mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates for the San Dimas (Durango), Santa Elena (Sonora) and La Encantada (Coahuila) producing mines, as well as from its San Martín (Jalisco), La Parrilla (Durango), Del Toro (Zacatecas) and La Guitarra (Estado de Mexico) properties.

First Majestic Reserves and Resources 2019

  • Sierra Metals Inc. updated mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates for its Bolivar mine in Chihuahua. Mineral reserves decreased by 2.5 M tonnes on mining depletion from 2017, but measured, indicated and inferred resources have significantly grown.

Bolívar Reserves and Resources to 201911

  • Mag Silver Reported 2019 annual results. Development of the Juanicipio mine (Zacatecas) and processing plant continue, with the plant expected to commence commissioning in mid-2021. Underground development is ongoing, exceeding now 26 Km. Remaining pre-operative initial capital is estimated at $305 M, although this figure can be reduced by cash in hand of the operator of the JV (Fresnillo 56%, Mag 44%) and expected cash flow from mineralized material extracted and processed at the Fresnillo’s mine facilities commencing in mid-2020. “The Company needs to raise additional capital in the future in order to meet its full share of initial capital required to develop the Juanicipio Project. Mag does not generate operating cash flow at this time to fund such obligations, and accordingly, future liquidity will depend upon its ability to arrange debt or additional equity financings. The Company is currently evaluating several proposals. The inability of MAG to fund its 44% share of cash calls would result in dilution of its ownership interest in Minera Juanicipio in accordance with the shareholders’ agreement”. At the end of the year Mag had $71.86 M including cash and cash equivalents of $72.36 M AuEq.
  • Great Panther Mining Ltd. filed two technical reports regarding the Guanajuato mine complex. “The reports are titled “NI 43- 101 Mineral Resource Update Technical Report on the Guanajuato Mine Complex, San Ignacio Mine, Guanajuato State, Mexico”, dated March 17, 2020, and “NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Update Technical Report on the Guanajuato Mine Complex, Guanajuato Mine, Guanajuato State, Mexico”, dated March 27, 2020”.
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc. released protocols to minimize exposure to coronavirus, in order to decrease the risk to employees, contractors, families and communities near Las Chispas project in Sonora.
  • Evrim Resources Corp. updated the resource on the Ermitaño project in Sonora, of which it holds a 2% NSR. Property owner First Majestic Silver Corp. announced a 15% increase in grade and a 345% increase in contained AgEq ounces in the indicated resources compared to the previous estimate. The indicated resources are 2.1 M tonnes @ 4.59 gpt Au, 70 gpt Ag, containing 311 K Oz Au and 4.73 M Oz Ag; the inferred resources stand at 3.73 M tonnes @ 3.08 gpt Au, 58 gpt Ag, containing 370 K Oz Au, 6.98 M Oz Ag.
  • Bacanora Lithium. Announced the granting of a contract to GR Engineering Services for engineering, acquisition and construction services on the Sonora lithium project.
  • Prime Mining Corp. released a new resource estimate for its Los Reyes project (formerly Guadalupe de Los Reyes) in Sinaloa. The pit constrained resources range from 19.75 M tonnes @ 1.31 gpt AuEq measured and indicated resources (M&I) containing 833.1 K Oz AuEq and 7.1 M tonnes @ 1.14 gpt AuEq in inferred resources containing 261.1 K Oz AuEq at a 0.22 gpt AuEq cutoff; to 5.91 M tonnes @ 2.72 gpt AuEq M&I resources and 1.68 M tonnes @ 2.59 gpt AuEq containing 516.2 K Oz AuEq and 140.5 K Oz AuEq respectively, at a cutoff grade of 1.0 gpt AuEq. The pit strip ratio is calculated as 4.6 to 1 waste to ore in six separate pits.
  • Golden Minerals Co. announced positive results from the updated mineral resource estimate and preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its Velardeña properties in Durango. The PEA states a pre-tax net present value of $85.9 M at an 8% discount rate, an internal rate of return of 138.6%, pre-production capital cost of $10.27 M, post production and working capital $15.93 M and a life of mine of 10 years to produce 10.2 M Oz Ag, 119 K Oz Au. The resource estimate including sulfide and oxide ore comprises 1.35 M tonnes @ 307 gpt Ag, 4.92 gpt Au, 1.54% Pb, 1.78% Zn in measured and indicated resources, containing, 13.34 M Oz Ag, 214 K Oz Au, 45.8 M Lb Pb, 53 M Lb Zn; and 1.76 M tonnes @ 354 gpt Ag, 4.73 gpt Au, 1.72% Pb, 1.86% Zn, containing 20.1 M Oz Ag, 268 K Oz Au, 67.1 M Lb Pb, 72.3 M Lb Zn.
  • GR Silver Mining Ltd. released assay results from initial underground channel sampling from the San Juan workings at the Plomosas Silver project. San Juan is one of six priority areas with underground development not yet exploited by previous owners. Some of the highlighted composites comprise 2.1 m @ 0.30 gpt Au, 552 gpt Ag, 0.7% Pb, 1.0% Zn (including 0.40 m @ 1.2 gpt Au, 3,003 gpt Ag, 2.9% Pb, 3.1% Zn); 5.0 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 816 gpt Ag, 0.9% Pb, 0.5 % Zn; 2.0 m @ 0.51 gpt Au, 1,145 gpt Ag, 0.9% Pb, 0.4% Zn; 2.8 m @ 0.42 gpt Au, 482 gpt Ag, 0.4% Pb, 0.4% Zn; 9.3 m @ 0.13 gpt Au, 346 gpt Ag, 0.7% Pb, 1.0% Zn; 3.0 m @ 0.11 gpt Au, 485 gpt Ag, 0.2% Pb, 0.3% Zn.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • GR Silver Mining Ltd. Has completed the acquisition of the Plomosas silver project in Sinaloa, from First Majestic Silver Corp. .GR Silver paid CDN$100 K, granted First Majestic a 2% NSR, of which half could be bought for US$1 M, and issued First Majestic 17.1 M shares of GR Silver. The project comes with six areas at the drilling/resource stage, with 563 drill holes totalling over 100,000 m of core drilling and the mining infrastructure of the Plomosas mine, that produced over 2.5 M tonnes of Pb-Zn-Ag ore.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. and Alio Gold Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement for an at-market merger whereby Argonaut will acquire all of Alio shares. The transaction creates an intermediate producer with four operations rendering 235 K Oz AuEq per year from four mines and presence in Mexico, Canada and USA, and a pipeline that includes Ana Paula (Guerrero), Cerro del Gallo (Guanajuato) and Magino (Canada).
  • Orex Minerals Inc. entered into an agreement to form a JV with Pan American Silver Corp. to explore and develop the Sandra (formerly Sandra Escobar) project in Durango. Orex and Pan American will own a 40% and 60% interest in the JV.
  • Riverside Resources Inc. has received requisite shareholder approval for the spin-out of the Peñoles Project (Durango) to its shareholders. “Once the Arrangement becomes effective, Riverside shareholders will own shares in two public companies: Capitan, which will focus on the development of the Peñoles Project, and Riverside, which will continue to generate prospective mineral properties”.
  • Mithhrill Resources Ltd. Informed on the proposed acquisition of Sun Minerals Pty Ltd., which holds an option to earn up to 100% interest on the Copalquin project in Durango. Due diligence was completed, a formal share agreement for the acquisition of all issued share capital of Sun Minerals was executed and shareholder approval received. On view of recent market developments, Mithrill and Sun Minerals agreed that Mithrill is to raise a minimum of A$1.5 M.
  • Southern Silver Exploration Corp. entered into an agreement with Monarch Minerals Inc. to purchase the El Sol mineral concession in Durango, near the Sothern Silver and Electrum Global Holdings L.P. Cerro Las Minas JV project. The purchase will not form a part of the Cerro Las Minitas JV. Acquisition cost is $US300 K payable in three equal installments on signature, 12 and 18 months, with the vendor retaining a 2% NSR that can be bought by Southern Silver at any time for US$1 M.
  • Oroco Resource Corp. wishes to clarify and amend its disclosures with respect to its Santo Tomas project in Sinaloa. “The BCSC reviewed the Company’s October, 2019 and March, 2020 corporate presentations (the “Presentations”) and its current technical report dated August 22, 2019 and titled “Technical Report Geology, Mineralization, and Exploration of the Santo Tomas Cu-(Mo-Au-Ag) Porphyry Deposit Sinaloa, Mexico” authored by D. A. Bridge, P. Geol.” (the “Report”). Both the current Presentation and the Report have been removed from the Company’s website pending revision. The disclosure issues in the Presentations and the Report with respect to National Instrument 43-101 (the “Instrument”) and Form 43-101F1 are summarized in the following discussion”.
  • Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. has launched a NAFTA arbitration process on its “Exploraciones Oceánicas” phosphate project off the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur. “The Arbitral Tribunal, consisting of three international arbitrators well-versed in international investment treaties, has been constituted and the parties are now in the process of finalizing the arbitration schedule and procedures with the Tribunal……..“We intend to continue to work diligently and in good faith with Mexico’s current administration to achieve an equitable resolution of this dispute and to help Mexico provide fertilizer to its farmers, but we are prepared to proceed with the full NAFTA arbitration process if necessary, and have recently received increased litigation funding specifically to support this case”. The Exploraciones Oceánicas project contains an estimated 588 M tonnes of phosphate, at a depth of 70-90 m, lying 25 to 40 km from the coast, with almost no overburden.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Newmont Goldcorp donates 500 COVID-19 tests in Zacatecas. The donation amounts to more than $2 M pesos.
  • Newmont Peñasquito delivered 3,000 cleansing packages, in the communities near the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas, amidst the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus. The packages are to be delivered in and by local health institutions.

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: Hematite-goethite stained quartz vein in an orogenic gold system, Oaxaca. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

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

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By Jorge Cirett

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

ON MEXICO ISSUES

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

ON EXPLORATION

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

ON MINING

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

ON FINANCING

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

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

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

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

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

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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

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

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

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

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By Jorge Cirett

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

ON MEXICO ISSUES

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

ON EXPLORATION

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

ON MINING

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

ON FINANCING

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

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

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

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

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

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

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

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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

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

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

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

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By Jorge Cirett

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

ON MEXICO ISSUES

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

ON EXPLORATION

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

ON MINING

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

ON FINANCING

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

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

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

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

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

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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

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

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

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

225aBy Jorge Cirett

During the 6th week of the year (February 3rd to January 9th, 2020), at least 28 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, CAMIMEX urged the Mining Fund to be used on the grounds it was meant to (infrastructure on Mining localities), as this year these funds will flow to the Education Secretariat for use in school’s remodelling. Mexico’s mining production decreased year on year during November 2019 by 1.9%. UNAM offers an Earth Science’s degree at its Juriquilla facilities, in Queretaro. The Sonora Mining Cluster presented its annual report and 2020 program. The San Martin mine (Zacatecas) legal duel between two Unions continues with a recent ruling by the Supreme Court. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Minera Alamos released drill results which confirm long intervals of significant mineralization at its Santana property; Canuc Resources surface rock sample results confirm the extension of mineralization within its concessions in San Javier. Minaurum Gold released historical drill intercepts that confirm extensions of wide, high-grade mineralization on the veins that were mined in the past on its Alamos Silver project. Colibri Resource prepares to drill two mineralized corridors on the Evelyn project. In Zacatecas Advance Gold completed the third phase geophysical survey at the Tabasqueña project. ON MINING, GoGold, Consolidated Zinc and Hecla Mining presented Q4 and full year 2019 results. Americas Gold and Silver installations on the Copalá complex in Sinaloa have seen its access blocked. Mexus Gold continues leaching operations at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. US Antimony initiated pilot plant production at its Los Juarez property in Queretaro. ON FINANCING, Sonoro Metals is discussing financing options with Chinese companies. Ridgestone Mining ($1.05 M), San Marco Resources (C$500 K), Advance Gold ($250 K), First Mining ($5 M) and GoGold (C$5 M) released information on its planned or undergoing financing rounds. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Argonaut Gold filed the PFS report on the Cerro del Gallo in Guanajuato. Azure Minerals released good drilling results from the Loma Bonita deposit at its Alacrán property in Sonora. Prime Mining released good results of road cuts and trenches at its Guadalupe de Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Premier Gold Mines reported on the development of the Lupita Extension ore body at its Mercedes mine in Sonora. Starcore International is drilling the Santa Elena target at its San Martin mine in Queretaro.    ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Consolidated Zinc is dealing with a legal issue regarding claims for compensation from a former mining contractor. Sierra Metals announced the settlement on an outstanding litigation regarding mining concessions within its Bolivar mine in Chihuahua. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Minera San Xavier donated two water concessions to the Cerro San Pedro municipality in San Luis Potosí. Minera Peñasquito donated agriculture equipment to farmers in Mazapil, Zacatecas, valued at over $9 M pesos ($480 K).

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Fernando Alanís Ortega, Camimex president, urged that the use of the Mining Fund should stick for its creation purpose, like helping municipalities on infrastructure. In 2019 a change was approved by Congress, by which in March 2020 the funds are to be delivered to the Secretaría de Educación Pública (Education Secretariat) for school remodelling. Camimex is to stay working in keeping the mining sector united, better the industry public perception and to find the way to develop a public policy that incentives mining.
  • Mexico’s Mining production decreased during November 2019. Mining production decreased 1.9% from November 2018 to November 2019, gold decreased 5.2%, silver 1.7%, lead 3.8%, zinc 3.4%, fluorite 11.4%, coke 19.2%, coal 9%, while copper production increased by 1.8%.
  • UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) has a new major at its Juriquilla unit in Queretaro. This Earth Sciences studies at this facilities are focused on two themes: The Solid Earth and Environmental Geology.
  • The Cluster Minero de Sonora presented its annual report and guidelines for 2020, in Hermosillo. The event counted with the participation of members, industry leaders and state and federal level officials, which were exposed to the different objectives the Sonora Mining Cluster has planned for the year.
  • The Supreme Court discarded the amparo review that acknowledges the strike in Sombrerete, Zacatecas. According to the publication, the ruling obliges Grupo Mexico to recognize the strike that started on the San Martin mine in July 2007.
  • The Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Exploración, Explotación y Beneficio de Minas en la República Mexicana posted a letter on the San Martin mine in Zacatecas. In this letter the union states that the Supreme Court ruling that debunks its representativeness is not final, and can be appealed. Furthermore, the ownership procedure is independent of the termination of the strike dated august 2018, and that it is false that the mine facilities have to be surrendered. The Union has the solid commitment to fight all the legal battles needed to make the voice of hundreds of miners to be heard.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Advance Gold Corp. completed the third phase of a geophysical study campaign at its Tabasqueña property in Zacatecas. The survey expanded the length of a chargeability anomaly to 3,200 x 500 m. “The second hole currently being drilled on the chargeability anomaly has intersected 24 metres of quartz vein above the anomaly”.
  • Minera Alamos Inc. provided confirmation of significant disseminated mineralization at the Divisadero discovery at its Santana project in Sonora. Significant drill intersections from 2018-2019 comprise: 95.7 m @ 0.85 gpt Au, 10 gpt Ag, 0.33% Cu; 96.4 m @ 0.42 gpt Au, 4 gpt Ag, 0.12% Cu; 133.6 m @ 0.56 gpt Au, 6 gpt Ag, 0.16% Cu.
  • Canuc Resources Corp. released results from surface rock samples at its San Javier property in Sonora. Highlighted results comprise: 0.6 m @ 1.8 gpt Au, 11 gpt Ag; 0.6 m @ 0.33 gpt Au, 114 gpt Ag; 0.8 m @ 17.9 gpt Au, 11 gpt Ag; 1.1 m @ 11.6 gpt Au, 99 gpt Ag; 0.4 m @ 3.1 gpt Au, 138 gpt Ag; 1.1 m @ 4.13 gpt Au, 197 gpt Ag; 0.6 m @ 0.65 gpt Au, 170 gpt Ag; 0.5 m @ 0.02 gpt Au, 182 gpt Ag; 0.4 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 262 gpt Ag; 0.9 m @ 0.02 gpt Au, 192 gpt Ag; 0.3 m @ 0.19 gpt Au, 399 gpt Ag; 1.5 m @ 0.13 gpt Au, 239 gpt Ag; 1.4 m @ 0.02 gpt Au, 705 gpt Ag; 1.6 m @ 0.02 gpt Au, 578 gpt Ag. These results confirm the extension of the mineralized structures over the three kilometers of strike length of the mining concessions held by Canuc.
  • Minaurum Gold Inc. acquired historical data including mine maps, sections and results of 40 holes (6,099 m) drilled at its Alamos Silver project in Sonora. The holes were drilled between the 1960’s and 1980’s, and focused on the Promontorio and Minas Nuevas underground mines. The results indicate that the deposits included multiple veins and continue at depth and along strike. It is estimated that 200 M Oz Ag were mined from the Quintera, Promontorio and Minas Nuevas mines. Highlighted results from the Promontorio mine comprise 1.2 m @ 5,588 gpt Ag; 1.2 m @ 1,008 gpt Ag; 4.6 m @ 2,838 gpt Ag; 4.6 m @ 305 gpt Ag; 1.4 m @ 377 gpt Ag; 12.2 m @ 710 gpt Ag; 7.6 m @ 747 gpt Ag; 11.3 m @ 785 gpt Ag; 1 m @ 2,177 gpt Ag; 1.2 m @ 854 gpt Ag, 23 gpt Au. Highlighted results from the Promontorio mine include 1.7 m @ 452 gpt Ag, 2 m @ 367 gpt Ag, 1.8 m @ 839 gpt Ag. The results indicate that the deposits included multiple veins and continue at depth and along strike. It is estimated that 200 M Oz Ag were mined from the Quintera, Promontorio and Minas Nuevas mines.
  • Colibri Resource Corp. has contracted Major drilling for the maiden drilling program at Evelyn, in Sonora. Drilling is to test to main corridors, Cerro Rojo and El Sahuaro. Activities are to start as soon as the relevant permit is received.

ON MINING

  • GoGold Resources Inc. released financial results for Q4 2019. During the period the company had revenue of $9.3 M, net income of $535 K, producing 585 K Oz Ag at cash cost $12.54 and AISC $14.59 per AgEq Oz. By the end of the period the company had $5 M in cash.
  • Americas Gold and Silver Corp. announced that a group of individuals, including a small minority of the company’s unionized workers, illegally blockaded access to facilities at its Cosalá operations in Sinaloa. “The Company has already filed the legal motions with the Government of Mexico at the state and federal levels but remains receptive to having good‐faith discussions with the proper representatives of the certified union”. Mining and processing operations have been temporarily halted.
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. presented its quarterly activities report for Q4 2019. During the period 9,062 tonnes @ 16.1% Zn, 8.4% Pb were mined, 11,712 tonnes @ 16.1% Zn, 8.4% Pb were processed. Cash cost per Lb Zn was $1.48. The cash balance at the end of the period was US$556 K plus concentrate receivables of US$617 K.
  • Hecla Mining Co. presented fourth quarter and full year 2019 financial and operating results, including figures from its Mexican operations. At San Sebastian, in Durango, 422.4 K Oz Ag, 3,897 Oz Au were produced at cash cost $8.89 and AISC $11.78 per Oz Ag in Q4, 2019; while 1.87 M Oz Ag, 15,673 Oz Au were produced at cash cost $8.02 and AISC $12.10 per Oz Ag during the full year 2019. Operations in San Sebastian have transitioned from higher grade open pit to underground production, with the mill operating at a daily rate of 425 tpd for the quarter and 479 tpd for the year. “The Company is completing its study on the Hugh Zone sulfide ore and expects a decision on development in the first quarter, which would allow production to begin by the end of the year”.
  • Mexus Gold US. announced that gold production is continuing at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (not to mistake by First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora).
  • United States Antimony Corp. initiated pilot phase precious metal production at its Los Juarez property in Queretaro. The procedure involves crushing, flotation and cyanide leach of the ore.

ON FINANCING

  • Sonoro Metals Corp. announced “discussions regarding project debt finance and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts with China-based EPC companies continue to advance”. (Cerro Caliche, Sonora).
  • Ridgestone Mining Inc. intends to complete a non-brokered private placement for up to $1.05 M in gross proceeds (Rebeico, Sonora).
  • San Marco Resources Inc. announced that its non-brokered private placement intended to raise C$500 K has been over-subscribed, and now is to total C$717 K in gross proceeds (project 1068, Sonora).
  • Advance Gold Corp. is to undertake a non-brokered private placement, aiming to raise gross proceeds of $250 K (Tabasqueña, Zacatecas).
  • First Mining Gold Corp. intends to complete a non-brokered placement for aggregate gross proceeds of up to $5M, with some insiders of the company participating. (Miranda, Sonora; Lachatao, Oaxaca).
  • GoGold Resources Inc. entered into an agreement with Sprott Capital Partners LP and PI Financial Corp. as co-lead underwriters, along with BMO Capital Markets, pursuant to which they agreed to purchase on a bought deal basis units of the company for gross proceeds of C$5 M (Los Ricos, Jalisco).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Argonaut Gold Inc. filed the technical report for the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) on the Cerro del Gallo project in Guanajuato.
  • Azure Minerals Ltd. released good results from infill and extension drilling on the Loma Bonita deposit at its Alacrán project in Sonora. Highlighted intervals include 126 m @ 1.96 gpt Au, 26 gpt Ag (including 64.5 m @ 2.8 gpt Au, which includes 34.5 m @ 3.94 gpt Au, 60 gpt Ag) in an infill hole; 36 m @ 1.0 gpt Au, 13 gpt Ag on an expansion drill hole.
  • Prime Mining Corp. released results from new trenches and road cuts on the Zapote North and South deposits at its Guadalupe de Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. Highlighted Road cuts results comprise 30 m @ 2.87 gpt Au, 42 gpt Ag; 43.5 m @ 1.24 gpt Au, 13 gpt Ag; 22.5 m @ 0.87 gpt Au, 14 gpt Ag; 37.5 m @ 3.9 gpt Au, 36 gpt Ag; 16.5 m @ 0.66 gpt Au, 8 gpt Ag; 12 m @ 1.56 gpt Au, 14 gpt Ag; 6 m @ 11.72 gpt Au, 26 gpt Ag. Underground adit sampling returned 10.5 m @ 0.58 gpt Au, 18 gpt Ag; 10.5 m @ 1.32 gpt Au, 26 gpt Ag; 22.5 m @ 3.23 gpt Au, 68 gpt Ag.
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. reported progress ahead of schedule on the “development of the Lupita Extension underground development” at its Mercedes mine in Sonora…. During 2019, a successful delineation program of 87 drill holes extended the known Lupita mineralization along a strike length of 300 m. A clear difference between the two Lupita areas are the noticeable higher grade and width in Lupita Extension versus Lupita as well as the steeper dipping geometry of about 50 degrees. The delineation drilling program returned an average true width of 2.9 m of 5.56 g/t Au length-weighted average grade“.
  • Starcore International Mines Ltd. has started drilling the Santa Elena target at its San Martin mine in Queretaro. “The Company is conducting an exploration program that will consist of 10 holes between 200 to 400 meters each targeting the Santa Elena vein, which is thought to be a mirror of the San Martin vein(s), a typical epithermal gold-silver deposit characterized by low sulfation (sic)”.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • First Majestic Silver Corp. announced the appointment of Mr. Steve Holmes to the role of Chief Operating Officer (San Dimas, Durango; Santa Elena, Sonora).
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. informed on legal proceedings by its former mining contractor at the Plomosas mine in Chihuahua. Caminos y Construcciones Ganti S.A. de C.V. is suing CZL for final outstanding costs MXN$23.63 M, including VAT. CZL has presented counterclaims totaling MXN$89.15 M. On January 31, 2020, Ganti representatives seized control of the physical inventory at the third party Aldama plant. (Plomosas mine, Chihuahua).
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. stated that it has succeeded in legal action to end the intimidation and excessive actions of Caminos and Construcciones Ganti S.A. de C.V.. Ganti was CZL’s mining contractor “until they were terminated on the 25 November 2019, in accordance with their contract”. Ignoring the contracted conflict resolution procedures, Ganti submitted legal proceedings in the Federal District Court of Chihuahua. On 4 February the Court rescinded the orders given to Ganti (Plomosas mine, Chihuahua).
  • Tamino Minerals Inc. informed the company has plans to make acquisitions (El Volcán, Sonora).
  • Sierra Metals Inc. announced the settlement of the outstanding litigation with Polo y Ron pertaining mining concessions where mine operations and mineral reserves estimates are located on its Bolivar mine in Chihuahua. “The impact of the settlement amount paid on Sierra Metals’ financial condition and operating results is not significant”.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Minera San Xavier is donating two water concessions to the Cerro San Pedro municipality, in San Luis Potosi. The concessions add up to 480 thousand cubic meters of water per year. The use of the resource is exclusively for the communities of Cerro de San Pedro, La Zapatilla, Divisadero, Planta del Carmen, Granjas de San Francisco, Monte Caldera, Cuesta de Campa, Calderón y Jesús Maria, all within the Cerro San Pedro Municipality.
  • Minera Peñasquito supports farmers in Zacatecas. The Newmont GoldCorp subsidiary delivered agriculture machinery to El Vergel producers. In collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales Agrícolas y Pecuarias (INIFAP), the equipment valued at more than nine million pesos (US$480 K) is to benefit more than 400 inhabitants of Mazapil, Zacatecas.

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

On the image below: Twentieth Century tauna on a stream in Oaxaca, picture by Jorge Cirett.

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

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

By Miguel A Heredia

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

ON MEXICO ISSUES

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

ON EXPLORATION

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

ON MINING

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

ON FINANCING

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

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

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

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

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

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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

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

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

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

IMG_3901 - copiaBy Jorge Cirett

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

ON MEXICO ISSUES

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

ON EXPLORATION

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

ON MINING

  • No Relevant News.

ON FINANCING

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

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

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

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

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

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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

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

On the image below: San Felipe mine in Baja California. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

IMG_3901 - copia

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

IMG_0833

By Jorge Cirett

During the 50th week of the year (December 9th to December 15th, 2019), at least 18 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Bacanora Minerals lithium deposit in Sonora is considered the biggest resource of the metal in the world, according to Francisco Quiroga, Mining sub-secretary. Camimex calls to maintain the competitivity of the mining sector, as it is being threatened by a environmental tax proposal. Newmonts Goldcorp´s Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas is to lift Mexican gold production in 2020, according to BNamericas. Camimex invited the secretary of the environmental agency (SEMARNAT), Victor Manuel Toledo to visit one of the mining units, for him to review what sustainable mining is. He will also be visiting Hermosillo and Ures, meeting with authorities of the municipalities affected by a toxic leak on 2014. ON EXPLORATION, in Chihuahua, Mammoth Resources updated on exploration efforts by partner Centerra at its Tenoriba project; Kootenay Silver released good drilling results on its Columba property. ON MINING, Alamos Gold and Golden Minerals released results for the third quarter 2019. GoGold released results on the year ending in September 2019. ON FINANCING, Advance Gold closed the second tranche of its private placement for gross proceeds of $42 K. Azure Minerals announced the receipt of A$467 K of VAT back taxes (dating to 2016) from the government. Tamino Minerals is planning to become “Pink Current” very soon on the OTC. Odyssey Marine Exploration obtained commitments for up to $4.2 M.   ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Candelaria Mining released results on 15 new holes from the Mirador mine at the Altagracia project in Oaxaca. Pan American Silver announced an initial resource estimate, on the polymetallic  skarn deposit at La Colorada, of 72.5 M tonnes @ 44 gpt Ag, 0.17% Cu, 2.02% Pb, 4.40% Zn, remaining open in most directions, and containing over 100 M Oz Ag. Defiance Silver updated on exploration efforts at its San Acacio project in Zacatecas and at its Tepal project in Michoacán. Prime Mining released surface road cut and trench assays from its Guadalupe de los Reyes project in Sinaloa. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Tamino Minerals has signed a LOI on the Ofelia property, in Sonora. Discovery Metals informed Eric Sprott now owns 21% interest in the company. Newmont Goldcorp announced a deal with the Cedros community on water resources. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. A mining gathering was held in Banamichi, Sonora. The Asociación de Mineros de Sonora celebrated its 40th anniversary. The first “Comité de Desarrollo Regional para las Zonas Mineras” was created in Sonora, to recommend the use of the Mining Fund in certain infrastructure projects in mining areas. Dr. Vagón, Grupo Mexico’s health itinerant clinic was at La Junta, and soon to be moved to the nearby Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, both in Chihuahua. The Consorcio Minero Benito Juárez and the Fundación Bécalos Televisa delivered 120 scholarships to excellency students. A fair was held in Tayoltita, Durango, to bring awareness of the mining work and environment to inhabitants and family members of mine workers. Minera Media Luna is showing a strong support for education in Guerrero, with shcolarships, internships and support to local schools. The Sonora miners association (AMSAC) signed an agreement with the Consejo Regulador del Bacanora, to source agave saplings on its greenhouses to the agave growers. The Mexican gray wolf has left the list of extinct species in the wild, moving to the category of species on extinction risk.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • The lithium deposit in Sonora is the major project of its type in the World, according to Francisco Quiroga, Sub-Secretary of Mining, on an interview by a journalist known country wide. He cautioned on not hurrying up to celebrate, as the lithium still has to be extracted, and be metallurgically separated of the other minerals present in the ore (In this project, unlike other, lithium is contained in a clay). This project is assumed to have 243 M tonnes of lithium, surpassing the Thacker Pass deposit in Nevada, the second lithium deposit, with reserves of 179 M tonnes of lithium. The deposit is co-owned by the English company (not Canadian, as stated in the note) Bacanora Lithium and the Chinese Ganfeng Lithium, and located in the Bacadehuachi municipality (tens of kilometers from the Campo Verde Protected Natural Area and the Chihuahua border).
  • Camimex calls for maintaining the competitivity of the Mining Sector in Sonora. The call was made by Karen Flores, Camimex head, on the first Universitary Mining Gathering held in Banamichi, Sonora. She called for a proposal to tax mining operations on environmental grounds to be repelled. Such tax would transform Sonora in one of the more expensive places to mine, in an industry that is already heavily regulated and taxed. According to the authorities, mining in 2018 provided more than 46 billion pesos (US$2.36 billion) in taxes, 9,000 billion pesos (US$461 M) in rights and more than 4,500 billion pesos (US$230 M) in resources for the Mining Fund.
  • Newmont Goldcorp’s Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas is to lift Mexican gold production in 2020, when production by other big players is to decline. The combined production by the three biggest producers in Mexico, Fresnillo, Newmont Goldcorp, and Alamos Gold should reach 1.59 M Oz Au, above the 1.22 M Oz Au mines in 2019. This is a 30% increment year on year, achievable if the companies reach their mid-point guidelines. According to BNamericas this figure is more than half the 3.15 M Oz Au to be produced by more than 20 companies in Mexico. Fresnillo’s production reached 923 K Oz Au in 2018, expects to produce 885 K Oz in 2019, 785 K Oz in 2021 and 665 K Oz in 2022; the decline motivated by the end of production at the Noche Buena mine and less production at Herradura. Meanwhile, Peñasquito expects to produce 575 K Oz Au in 2020 , and a little bit more in 2021, before production starts to decline due to lower grades. Alamos Gold expects to produce 150 – 160 K Oz Au during 2019 in Mulatos, while the Chanate mine is to produce only 5 K Oz. Minera Frisco and Agnico Eagle have seen their gold production dwindle in 2019, while Torex Gold reached 138 K Oz Au produced during the third quarter, and the company expects to sell 430 K Oz Au this year. Leagold also is to increase production at Los Filos, expecting to double on the 200 K Oz Au forecasted for this year.
  • Camimex invited Victor Manuel Toledo, secretary of the environment and natural resources (SEMARNAT) to visit one of the mining units, for him to review what sustainable mining is. Earlier in the day, in the morning presidential conference, Toledo stated that Semarnat is not against mining: “For Semarnat there is not good or bad mining, revisions have to be on a case by case basis, and confirm through inspection its adherence to norms”.
  • Victor Manuel Toledo, secretary of the environment and natural resources (SEMARNAT) is to be in Hermosillo in December 18th for the presentation of a book on the toxic leakage of 2014, and in Ures to meet with affected parties and authorities of municipalities within the Rio Sonora basin.
  • Alberto Orozco, president of the Sonora Mining Cluster, praised the visit that Victor Manuel Toledo (Environmental Secretary) is to make next week to a mining unit in Sonora. Orozco stressed the presence in Sonora of companies highly involved in the social and economic development of the producing regions in a sustainable manner. He also pointed that the Sonoran mining production is 36% of the national production, contributing with 18% of the State gross domestic product.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Mammoth Resources Corp. updated on exploration efforts at its Tenoriba project, funded by partner Centerrea Gold Inc.. Field logistics have been set, all historical geologic data compiled for Centerra’s review and interpretation and a 3D model is under preparation; all un-assayed core was sent for analysis, and the previous drill program permit is being closed, and a new one is to be prepared. Strong argillic, argillic and minor vuggy silica is present on volcanic rocks on a 4 to 6 Km long belt, with geophysics re-processing pointing to a larger target than previously envisaged, and a new 30 line-Km survey is being planned. A large soil anomaly highlights the eastern part of the corridor. Mammoth is working on community consultation processes with the two ejidos (communal lands) involved.
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. released results from six holes drilled at its Columba project in Chihuahua. Highlighted intervals comprise: 25.85 m @ 200 gpt Ag (including 11.5 m @ 415 gpt Ag, which includes 4.0 m @ 721 gpt Ag, which includes 1.9 m @ 982 gpt Ag) in silicified breccias in proximity to a lithological contact; 6.25 m @ 67 gpt Ag (including 2.09 m @ 172 gpt Ag); 3.0 m @ 314 gpt Ag (including 0.63 m @ 776 gpt Ag); 59.8 m @ 48 gpt Ag (including 9.57 m @ 146 gpt Ag); 6.63 m @ 103 gpt Ag and 1.0 m @ 124 gpt Ag. Several of the intercepts are in quartz veins in rhyolite, as quartz stockworks and as quartz-barite veins.

ON MINING

  • Alamos Gold Inc. released some production figures for 2019, including data on its Mexican production. At Mulatos, in Sonora, during the first nine months of this year 20 K tonnes per day were stacked @ 0.92 gpt Au, with a recovery of 67%, to produce 108 K Oz Au at cash cost $772 and a mine-site AISC of $861. Production from the Mulatos district is expected to total 150-160 K Oz Au in 2020, with ore mined from the Mulatos, El Victor and San Carlos open pits, as well as new production from Cerro Pelon. “A total of $7 million has been budgeted at Mulatos for exploration in 2020 which includes 14,000 m of drilling focused in the Mulatos near-mine, Carricito and La Yaqui Grande areas. A number of regional exploration targets have been identified in 2019 from the property-wide VTEM geophysical survey that was completed in late-2018. A focus of the 2020 regional exploration program will be to further evaluate these targets through systematic mapping, sampling, and ground geophysics”.
  • Golden Minerals Co. released results for the third quarter 2019. During the period Golden reported revenue of $1.9 M related to the lease of Velardeña’s oxide mill and costs of $0.6 M related to the services provided under the terms of the lease, for a net operating margin of $1.3 M. Exploration expenses were $0.9 M, Velardeña care and maintenance $0.4 M, administrative expenses $0.7 M for a total loss of $1.8 M for the quarter. Last October Golden entered into an agreement with Magellan Gold Corp. to sell the company’s option to earn a 100% interest in the Santa Maria and Las Marias exploration properties in Chihuahua. Cash and cash equivalents of $2.9 M by the end of the period.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. announced financial results for the year ending 2019. During the last quarter period the company acquired the Los Ricos project in Jalisco, for share consideration of $5.4 M and cash $4.5 M, of which $3.9 M is payable over three years. During the period the company sold 1 M Oz Ag and 8,752 Oz Ag, produced 1.78 M Oz AgEq, had income of $8.1 M at an AISC of $14.82 per Oz AgEq and cash cost $11.80 per OZ AgEq, a gain of $11.8 M on the sale of the Santa Gertrudis project royalty and has a net working capital of $13.1 M.

ON FINANCING

  • Advance Gold Corp. closed the second and final tranche of the private placement previously announced, for gross proceeds of $42 K (Tabasqueña, Zacatecas).
  • Azure Minerals Ltd. announced that the Mexican tax office has paid this week the amount of MX$6.19 M, approximately A$467 K. This is the interest component from a previous payment, bringing the total received by Azure to A$1.23 M. The payments are the result of the successful resolution of the company’s legal action for the recovery of IVA (the equivalent to GST, or VAT) dating to the 2016 financial year. A fee of 15% is payable to the legal and tax advisors involved (Alacrán, Sonora).
  • Tamino Minerals Inc. is planning to become Pink Current very soon on OTC markets, abiding to OTC disclosure lines. As of the end of September 2019, the company has 370.6 M shares, of which Pedro Villagran holds 138.8 M and Joseph Berry 33 M.
  • Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. obtained commitments for up to $4.2 M in funding in two separate arrangements. A group of existing shareholders is to provide up to $2 M in funding ($539 K already submitted) as advance against a portion of multi-million dollar payment Odyssey expects to receive within the next six months, related to a previously completed ship-wreck project. In addition, “a term sheet has been executed and definitive agreements are being drafted with the group that has already committed up to $6.5 million in non-recourse legal funding for the NAFTA action for up to an additional $2.2 million” (Bay of Ulloa, Baja California Sur).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Gold Resource Corp. released drill results from 15 holes from the Mirador mine area in the Altagracia project in Oaxaca. The Mirador mine is 16 Km NW from the Company’s Aguila project and processing facilities. Highlighted results comprise: 9.21 m @ 0.24 gpt Au, 260 gpt Ag (including 0.73 m @ 0.58 gpt Au, 1,085 gpt Au); 1.38 m @ 4.39 gpt Au, 1,455 gpt Ag; 1.08 m @ 1.81 gpt Au, 2,190 gpt Ag; 5.99 m @ 1.04 gpt Au, 206 gpt Ag (including 1.54 m @ 2.02 gpt Au, 590 gpt Ag); 3.72 m @ 1.44 gpt Au, 910 gpt Ag (including 1.0 m @ 2.84 gpt Au, 2,610 gpt Ag); 2.67 m @ 1.10 gpt Au, 354 gpt Ag.
  • Pan American Silver Corp. announced an initial mineral resource estimate for the large polymetallic deposit discovered in 2018 at La Colorada mine in Zacatecas. The inferred mineral resource is 72.5 M tonnes @ 44 gpt Ag, 0.17% Cu, 2.02% Pb, 4.40% Zn, remaining open in most directions and containing 102 M Oz Ag, 3.2 M tonnes of Zn, 1.5 M tonnes of Pb, and 121 K tonnes of Cu. Most of this mineralization is contained within a larger mineralized skarn 500 m x 600 m, between 600 and 1,700 m of depth. To make the geologic interpretation and resource estimation, 65 drill holes totalling 54,000 m of drilling were utilized.
  • Defiance Silver Corp. updated on exploration efforts to be made at its San Acacio project in Zacatecas. Targeted core re-logging and selective re-assay is on-going and will continue through 2020, while field exploration involves surface geochemistry outside the resource area, systematic underground mapping and sampling and regional targeting are carried out.
  • Defiance Silver Corp. announced OreQuest has been planning an exploration program at Tepal, in Michoacan. The aim is to follow up on high-grade drill results as the 1.42 m @ 25 gpt Au, 565 gpt Ag of last year campaign, which is coincidental with highly anomalous surface geochemistry and an untested chargeability anomaly.
  • Prime Mining Corp. released results from surface exploration at it Los Reyes property in Sinaloa. The trenching program has an advance of 25% with highlighted results of 5 m @ 1.0 gpt Au, 11 gpt Ag; 10.5 m @ 2.0 gpt Au, 18 gpt Ag; 16.5 m @ 2.5 gpt Au, 40 gpt Ag; 36.0 m @ 1.84 gpt Au, 13 gpt Ag; 34.5 m @ 4.2 gpt Au, 21 gpt Ag; 13.5 m @ 1.54 gpt Au, 37 gpt Ag in rod cuts, and 9 m @ 0.92 gpt Au, 22 gpt Ag; 4.5 m @ 2.66 gpt Au, 30 gpt Ag; 13.5 m @ 1.42 gpt Au, 49 gpt Ag; 13.5 m @ 1.59 gpt Au, 28 gpt Ag; 7.5 m @ 1.84 gpt Au, 37 gpt Ag; 16.5 m @ 1.04 gpt Au, 23 gpt Ag; 15.0 m @ 5.58 gpt Au, 23 gpt Ag in trenches. The company is working with the database of 493 historic drill holes to establish a new 43-101 compliant resource (currently holding 380 K and 155 K Oz Au in the indicated and inferred categories respectively).

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Tamino Minerals Inc. informed it has singed a letter of intent (LOI) on the Ofelia property in Sonora. The LOI terms state four years of staged payments totalling US$1 M plus a 2% NSR, and provides a 90-day term for due-diligence work.
  • Discovery Metals Corp. announced that with the conversion of 3.3 M subscription receipts to shares, Mr. Eric Sprott owns now approximately 21% interest in the company (Cordero, Chihuahua).
  • Newmont Goldcorp. announced that the Peñasquito mine and the nearby San Juan Cedros community (one of 25 neighbouring communities) in Zacatecas, agreed to an infrastructure solution for sustainable water availability for the community. The 30-year water agreement includes additional water wells to supplement the 600 K liters per-day reverse osmosis drinking water plant the company built in 2018.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • A Mining Gathering was held in Banamichi, Sonora, with more than 600 attendees, mostly students, with the purpose of letting them know the opportunities for internships and employment in mining units. Among the attendees were also governors of mining states, the ambassadors of mining countries, Congress representatives, Union leaders, 14 majors and representatives for mining companies, mining associations and mining communities.
  • The Asociación de Mineros de Sonora (Sonora’s Miners Association, or AMSAC) celebrated its 40th The celebration included a series of presentations and a formal dinner. Among the speakers were Francisco Quiroga (Mining Sub-secretary), Karen Flores (Camimex), Ernesto [Ríos (Americas Mining) and Lourdes McPherson (Argonaut Gold).
  • The first “Comité de Desarrollo Regional para las Zona Mineras (Mining Zones Development  Committee) was created in Hermosillo, Sonora. The finality of such committees is to assess and approve investment projects derived from the Mining Fund, incorporating all interest groups. The committee is integrated by:Comite Fondo Minero11The fist session is to be held in February 28, 2020, and the second on August 28, 2020.
  • Dr. Vagón is to be at La Junta, Chihuahua. From the 12 to the 16 of December, 2019. Among the services to be provided are: general consult, dermatology, pediatric care, geriatric care, odontology, chiropractic, physic rehabilitation, optometry, audiometry, mastography, colposcopy, family planning, lab test, diabetics clinic, psychology and nutrition. This itinerant train-mounted clinic has the capacity to Attend 550 persons daily.
  • The Safety, Environment and Social Responsibility Fair San Dimas 2019, was held on December 6 in Tayoltita, Durango. The different departments of the First Majestic mine displayed details on their work on the mining process, in a didactic and entertaining way, to workers, suppliers, municipality and State authorities, as well as their families and local inhabitants. Radio Plata (Silver Radio) was commissioned, the first radio station to be located in the vicinity, is part of the company’s Centro Cultural, where educative, social and cultural activities are to take place.
  • Minera Media Luna is showing a strong support for education in Guerrero. With support from local authorities in Cocula, the Instituto Tecnológico de Iguala, the Universidad Tecnológica Autónoma del Norte de Iguala, the State government, the Instituto Estatal para la Educación de Jóvenes y Adultos de Guerrero and the general population in Cocula, the company has: installed programs for diminishing the educative lag in primary and secondary education; taken 36 students in internships from local universities; supported 86 students through scholarships; invested $500 K pesos along with the Cocula municipality for the hiring of primary education personnel; participated in the Fourth Week of Mining on the Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero…. And several other programs in education not posted here for lack of space.
  • AMSAC, the Sonora Miners Association, signed an agreement with the Consejo Regulador del Bacanora (Regulatory Council for Bacanora, a spirits drink). Under this agreement , several mining companies are to grow the needed agave saplings for the production of Bacanora in their green houses, to be transplanted in the field by the agave growers.
  • Minera Peña Colorada presented the “Ilustred Guide to Wildlife in the Minatitlan Microbasin”, at the Feria Internacional del Libro 2019, in Guadalajara, Jalisco. This work was accomplished with the support of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and the Benemérita Universidad de Puebla.
  • The Mexican gray wolf has left the list of extinct species on the wild, moving to the category of species on extinction risk. This is the result of an international effort among the USA and Mexican governments, with the participation of Grupo Mexico. The declaration comes after 12 liberations and the documentation of 9 successful litters with some 30 puppies on the wild. Grupo Mexico, as well as other mining companies, has an UMA (Environmental Management Unit) that take care and reproduce threatened species.
  • Dr Vagón, Grupo Mexico’s health train, is to be on Ciudad Cuahutémoc, Chihuahua, from December 18 to December 22. The 17 train carriages itinerant clinic has the capacity to attend 600 persons per day, providing for a wide array of services, like diagnostics, ailment prevention, dermatology, odontology, physical rehabilitation, optometry, audiometry, psychology, nutrition, diabetes and chiropractic treatments.

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

On the image below: Sheeted quartz veinlets from an orogenic gold project in Oaxaca. Picture by Jorge Cirett

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The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Fifth Week of October, 2019

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By Jorge Cirett

During the 44th week of the year (October 28th to November 3rd, 2019), at least 33 press releases were forwarde by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The Morena party reassigned the Mining Fund, taking it away from its intended purpose of helping and developing mining communities. All big organizations related to mining in Mexico presented a petition to the president to rebuke the channelling of the Mining Fund away from its intended goal of helping mining communities. The governors of Sonora, Durango, Zacatecas and Guerrero sent a letter to the president of Mexico asking not to affect the communities by withdrawing the Mining Fund. On other matters, the AIMMGM informed mining companies expect to invest more than US$26 billion in six years. The illegal blockade on the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas was lifted, with negotiations to continue shortly. The El Castillo mine access in Durango was illegally blocked for a few days, and then released, while negotiations proceed with community involved. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Magna Gold informed it has two projects in the state, Mercedes near Yecora and San Judas, near Trincheras. In Chihuahua, Wealth Minerals negotiated surface access to its Valsequillo project. In Durango, Gainey Capital halted drilling activities while discussions with the local indigenous groups proceed.  ON MINING, Gold Resource, Consolidated Zinc, McEwen Mining, Santacruz Silver, Premier Gold, Torex Gold, Americas Silver and sierra Metals released third quarter 2019 production results. Telson Mining is to re-commence mining at Campo Morado in Guerrero. ON FINANCING, Goldplay Exploration filed an amended and restated condensed interim consolidated financial statement. Oroco Resource informed the exercising of warrants for $720 K. Starcore Interantional has resumed trading on the OTC Pink market. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Pan American Silver released impressive results from 14,300 m of drilling at its La Colorada mine in Zacatecas. Mexican Gold Corp updated on its current drilling program at Las Minas, Veracruz. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Telson Mining is to re-start mining at Campo Morado, in Guerrero, under a notice of default and demand for payment by Nyrstar. Prime Mining signed a public relations contract with Brisco Capital Partners. Oceanus is using now a service for virtual tours on remote locations. Santacruz and Peñoles extended a lease agreement on the Zimapan mine in Hidalgo. Almaden Minerals was informed by SEMARNAT that the permitting process for its Ixtaca mine in Puebla is suspended until a judicial resolution is reached (the head of the institution is openly against open pit mining).  ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Alamos Gold reunited all the students under its scholarship program in three venues, Matarachi, Sahuaripa and Hermosillo.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Last week the Morena party majority reassigned the Mining Fund (Fondo para el Desarrollo Regional Sustentable de Estados y Municipios Mineros) to education spending.  The fund is gathered on a 7% (increased to 7.5% in gold and silver) royalties on extracted minerals implemented in 2014 to aid with the infrastructure, health, education and sustainability of mining communities.
  • The Asociación de Ingenieros de Minas, Metalurgistas y Geólogos de México (AIMMGM) informed that mining companies expect to invest more than US$26 billion in six years. If such investments come to be realized, 50 thousand direct jobs and 274 thousand indirect jobs could be generated, and mining companies would pay an additional 23,500 million in taxes. Just last year the industry paid 46,159 million pesos on income tax (Impuesto sobre la renta, ISR).
  • On October 26th, the Zacatecas governor Alejandro Tello informed that security forces are inviting the group that (illegally) blocks the entrance to the Peñasquito mine to leave the site. The governor also informed that a number of the blockers might be pursued judicially, some by the state and some by the federal government. He stated that he’s is been in contact with the sub secretary of the interior (Subsecretario de Gobernación), with whom also the company executives, communal farmers (ejidatarios) and the state government have been in dialogue rounds.
  • The Cámara Minera de México (CAMIMEX), the Grupo de Minería de la Cámara de Comercio de Canadá, the Asociación de Ingenieros de Minas, Metalurgistas y Geológos de México, the organization in mining Mujeres WIM de México and the Colegio de Ingenieros de Minas, Metalurgistas y Geólogos de México received with great worry de Senate decision to approve an unjust redistribution of the Mining Fund (Fondo Minero), braking the spirit on which the fund was created to benefit mining communities. The priority for the sector is that the resources reach the communities and municipalities where they were generated, contributing with independent actions by mining companies to the social welfare and community development in areas away from urban centers, aiding to reach greater life quality, development and wellbeing. Miners are appalled by the Congress decision, same that dismissed petitions by state governors, municipality presidents, from the industry and mining communities to guarantee the return of funds to these localities. A strong and respectful call is made to the authorities to reconsider the distribution methodology for the resources and operational rules of the fund, where it should be clearly established that these funds are to be funnelled exclusively to mining communities, municipalities and states. The mining industry refresh its compromise to continue to be an agent of change, a block that forwards sustainability practices and is and active player that contributes to a greater well-being for thousands of miner families and millions of Mexicans. We consider ourselves as the best federal government ally to achieve the more valuable social objectives sought by new government project. The Camara Minera de Mexico is the first camera of industries formed in the country, representing the interests of the mining-metallurgical industry in the country.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. informed on an illegal blockade at its El Castillo mine in Durango. The Company has a legal and binding agreement in place with Atotonilco ejido that was signed and recognized by both the Atotonilco ejido and the Mexican government in 2012 and runs through 2022. The blockade lifting was announced on October 30, with an agreement with the ejido pending to be ratified on November 11.
  • Newmont Goldcorp confirmed that free access to its Peñasquito installations in  Zacatecas is complete as of last Sunday (Oct. 27). Access to the mine had been blocked by a small group of communal agriculture workers (ejidatarios) and truckdrivers. The company is to restart the social investment programmes in the next few days, and expects to initiate on November 19 the new program “Juntos Dejamos Legado”, which aims to support schools and sport activities in 25 nearby communities. The ending of the blockade was achieved with government executives having dialog with the blockers, with the presence of the national guard (Guardia Nacional) and the state police (Policía Estatal Preventiva), stressing that further negotiations were to proceed only without the blockade in place.
  • The governors of Sonora, Claudia Pavlovich; Zacatecas, Alejandro Tello; Durango, José Rosas, and Guerrero, Héctor Astudillo, sent a letter to the president of México asking not to affect the communities by withdrawing the mining fund.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Gainey Capital Corp. temporarily halted all drilling activities at its Las Margaritas property in Durango, following discussions with the local indigenous groups (Las Margaritas, Durango).
  • Magna Gold Corp. informed it has two projects in Sonora. The flagship 1,239 ha Mercedes project in Yecora, and the recently acquired San Judas project in Trincheras.
  • Wealth Minerals Ltd. successfully negotiated surface access rights to its Valsequillo property in Chihuahua. The company has an option to acquire 100% interest in the 2,840 ha property. Past artisanal mining activity concentrated on a number of epithermal, Zn-Pb-Cu-Ag veins, stockworks and silicified zones concentrated within two NW trending corridors. Rock sample results of up to 2.68 gpt Au, 629 gpt Ag, 9.5% Cu, 16.5% Pb, 6.4% Zn have been obtained.

ON MINING

  • Telson Mining Corp. announced the recommence of mining operations at its Campo Morado mine in Guerrero. This is the result of improved relations with the local community and a better zinc price. The company anticipates initiating full mining activities and processing operations near the beginning of December 2019.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. informed on an illegal blockade at its El Castillo mine in Durango. The Company has a legal and binding agreement in place with Atotonilco ejido that was signed and recognized by both the Atotonilco ejido and the Mexican government in 2012 and runs through 2022.
  • Gold Resource Corp. reported gold production for the third quarter of 2019, including figures from its Oaxaca Mining Unit. The Arista mine milled 163.3 K tonnes @ 1.76 gpt Au, 85 gpt Ag, 0.39% Cu, 1.9% Pb, 4.7% Zn; the Aguila open pit mine milled 3.6 K tonnes @ 1.49 gpt Au, 58 gpt Ag; the Mirador mine milled 11.7 K tonnes @ 0.76 gpt Au, 197 gpt Ag. In total, 178.6 K tonnes were milled at a rate of 2,007 tonnes per day, to produce 7,462 Oz Au, 473.8 K Oz Ag, 492 tonnes Cu, 2,459 tonnes Pb, 6,057 tonnes Zn. Total cash cost after by-product credits was $197 per AuEq ounce and total all-in sustaining cost was $520 per AuEq ounce for the period.
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. released its third quarter 2019 activities report. The acquisition of the Plomosas mine in Chihuahua was completed, getting the remaining 10% ownership in exchange for a 1% NSR royalty. During the quarter 7,511 tonnes were mined @ 13.5% Zn, 8.2% Pb, and 9,120 tonnes were processed @ 12.5% Zn, 7.9% Pb.
  • McEwen Mining Inc. presented its third quarter 2019 report, including activities at its El Gallo mine in Mexico. During the third quarter the mine produced 3,057 Oz AuEq from residual leaching, at cash cost $1,153 and $1,177 AISC per Oz AuEq. Work on the Fenix Project feasibility study and permitting is progressing.
  • Pan American Silver Corp. released results from 14,300 m of drilling during the third quarter 2019 on its La Colorada mine in Zacatecas (see Resources and Development section) .
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. reported its third quarter 2019 production. Consolidated production was 956.5 K Oz AgEq. At Zimapan, in Hidalgo, 82.2 K tonnes were processed @ 75 gpt Ag, 0.59% Pb, 2.28% Zn, 0.48% Cu to produce 151.5 K Oz Ag (75% recovery), 463 tonnes Pb, 1,492 tonnes Zn, 316 tonnes Cu. At Veta Grande, in Zacatecas, 44 K tonnes were processed @ 99 gpt Ag, 0.24 gpt Au, 1.45% Pb, 2.11% Zn to produce 62.4 K Oz Ag (45% recovery), 139 Oz Au, 370 tonnes Pb, 519 tonnes Zn. At Rosario, in San Luis Potosi, 22 K tonnes were processed @ 65 gpt Ag, 0.25 gpt Au, 0.40% Pb, 2.04% Zn to produce 43 K Oz Ag (93% recovery).
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. announced Q3 2019 production results, including 14,481 Oz Au and 37.5 K Oz Ag from its Mexican operations at Mercedes, in Sonora.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc. reported third quarter 2019 results. At its El Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero, the company produced 138,145 Oz Au, mine production averaged 144,989 tonnes per day (tpd), mine ore production averaged 15,391 tpd @ 3.19 gpt Au, with a plant throughput of 12,380 tpd @ 4.11 gpt Au, recovering 89% Au at cash cost $561 and AISC of $675.
  • Americas Gold and Silver Corp. released third quarter 2019 production results, including figures from its Cosalá operations in Sinaloa. At the site 151.2 K tonnes were milled to produce 128.8 K Oz Ag, 10.1 M Lb Zn, 3.7 M Lb Pb (or 1 M Oz AgEq), at cash cost -$10.82 per Oz Ag, and an AISC of -$1.49 per Oz Ag after sub-product credits.
  • Sierra Metals Inc. reported its Q3-2019 financial results, not including figures from its operations in Mexico. The company had $29.0 M of cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period (Bolivar, Chihuahua).

ON FINANCING

  • Goldplay Exploration Ltd. filed an amended and restated condensed interim consolidated financial statement and management discussion and analysis for the six months ended June 30, 2019, adding the following disclosure “in Note 11 – Related Party Transactions; The Company issued 480,000 common shares valued at $60,000 as debt settlement with officers and a director of the Company and in Note 12 – Share Capital and Reserves; the Company issued 600,000 common shares valued at $75,000 as debt settlement including $60,000 to related parties” (San Marcial, Sinaloa).
  • Oroco Resource Corp. informed that warrant holders from a unit offering completed on April 2018 have fully exercised the purchase warrants providing the company $720 K (Santo Tomás, Sinaloa).
  • Starcore International Mines Ltd. announced it has resumed trading on the OTC Pink markets in USA under the symbol “SHVLF” (San Martin, Queretaro).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Pan American Silver Corp. released results (impressive) from 14,300 m of drilling during the third quarter on the La Colorada skarn discovery in Zacatecas. Drill highlights comprise 250.9 m @ 40 gpt Ag, 0.08% Cu, 2.6% Pb, 3.4% Zn (including 78.9 m @ 60 gpt Ag, 0.09% Cu, 3.9% Pb, 4.8% Zn); 72.3 m @ 37 gpt Ag, 0.16% Cu, 3.8% Pb, 6.3% Zn and 56.6 m @ 39 gpt Ag, 0.10% Cu, 3.3% Pb, 6.6% Zn; 124.8 m @ 42 gpt Ag, 0.08% Cu, 2.4% Pb, 3.1% Zn; 252.9 m @ 67 gpt Ag, 0.19% Cu, 3.8% Pb, 6.6% Zn (including 27.3 m @ 108 gpt Ag, 0.20% Cu, 8.1% Pb, 13.7% Zn and 148.6 m @ 81 gpt Ag, 0.23% Cu, 4.4% Pb, 7.7% Zn); 132.5 m @ 56 gpt Ag, 0.19% Cu, 3.8% Pb, 6.3% Zn and 139.2 m @ 54 gpt Ag, 0.15% Cu, 1.8% Pb, 5.9% Zn; 379.0 m @ 54 gpt Ag, 0.50% Cu, 2.0% Pb, 3.7% Zn (including 66.7 m @ 154 gpt Ag, 2.07% Cu, 1.0% Pb, 1.6% Zn).
  • Mexican Gold Corp. updated on its current drill program at its Las Minas project in Veracruz. To date 655 m have been drilled on five holes, with three holes testing El Dorado zone, another 261 m hole tested an electromagnetic anomaly, while the hole currently being drilled is also testing a 350 m extension of the same anomaly.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Telson Mining Corp. informed that as a result of suspending operations at Campo Morado in August 2019 under force majeur conditions, Telson has been without cash flows resulting in non-payment under the loan agreement with Nyrstar Holdings Ltd. This has resulted in Nyrstar issuing a notice of default and demand for payment. Telson’s outstanding debt under this loan agreement including principal and interest is approximately US$6 M. Telson expects to be able to recommence outstanding payments to Nyrstar while exploring other financing alternatives.
  • Prime Mining Corp. entered into contractual agreements for marketing, advertising, shareholder engagement and social media communications with Brisco Capital Partners Corp. for a monthly retainer for a minimum of a CDN$10 K and a maximum of CDN$50 K (Guadalupe de Los Reyes, Sinaloa).
  • Oceanus Resources Corp. announced that is now live on VRIFY, a platform being used by companies to communicate with investors using virtual tours of remote mining assets, 3D models and interactive presentations (El Tigre, Sonora).
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. and Peñoles, each by mean of a subsidiary, extended the Zimapan mine lease agreement from December 31,2019 to December 31, 2020. Santacruz must make monthly payments to Peñoles based on a 4% NSR, subject to a minimum US$45 K and a maximum of US$60 K per month. The extension provides more time for the negotiation of terms of a potential acquisition of the Zimapan mine in Hidalgo.
  • Almaden Minerals Ltd. was notified by SEMARNAT (Mexico’s environmental authority) that the permitting process for the Ixtaca project in Puebla has been suspended pending resolution of a mineral title lawsuit previously reported. “Under the Lawsuit, certain organisations have supported legal challenges against the Government of Mexico and the Mexican mineral title regime using the Company’s mineral claims as a basis for their challenges. The Lawsuit contends that the issuance of Almaden’s original mineral titles violated human rights and did not respect Mexico’s commitment to indigenous consultation under United Nations Instrument ILO 169…… o. In April, 2019, a Lower Court in Puebla State ruled that the Mexican mineral title system is unconstitutional and as a result these original mineral claims should be held exclusively for Almaden until such time as consultation can be completed. This Lower Court decision has now been appealed by the Mexican Congress, Senate, Secretary of Economy and Mining authorities, as well as Almaden as an affected party. The Lawsuit remains before the Courts”. SEMARNAT was informed on October 24 that the company completed the necessary steps to abandon its mineral claims in the area of the complaint in 2017.
  • Bacanora Lithium is using Veolia Water Technologies Division with its HPD evaporation and crystallisation technologies to validate Bacanora Lithium’s product purity requirements at the Sonor lithium project, while removing potassium and converting it into a sub-product. Veolia engineered and designed the production process that recovers lithium carbonate and sulphate of potash from clay deposits.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Minas de Oro Nacional (Alamos Gold) reunited in Matarachi, Sahuaripa and Hermosillo (Sonora) all the 185 students currently receiving scholarships to study in Matarachi, Sahuaripa, Arivechi, Chihuahua, Cuahutémoc and San Luis Rio Colorado. The ceremony in Hermosillo was held with company and state executives, including the state governor, the Mining Director, the director of DIF, the director of the Sonora Mining Cluster, the director of the Miners Association of Sonora and the SEC sub-secretary of Basic Education.

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 veinlet from a project in Oaxaca. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

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

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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.

ON EXPLORATION

  • 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.

ON MINING

  • 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.

ON FINANCING

  • 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.

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