On the picture above, take geologists to a mining museum, and this is what you get. Geologists Ruben Padilla, Barry Quiroz and Miguel Heredia at El Oro Museum in Estado de Mexico. Photo by Jorge Cirett.
By Jorge Cirett
During the 12th week of the year (March 19th to March 25th, 2018), at least 16 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, a gold nugget weighing 850 grams was found in northern Sonora. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Colibri has begun drilling at El Pilar project; while Azure updated work on its Oposura project releasing new high grade drill results. Kootenay has drilled six of seven holes on one target of its La Cigarra project, other targets to follow. ON MINING, three companies, Primero Mining, Excellon and Sierra Metals presented financial and or production results for the fourth quarter and/or full year 2017. Santacruz Silver completed expansion of milling capacity at Veta Grande in Zacatecas. ON FINANCING, Evrim received $3 M from the exercise of warrants. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Americas Silver presented an updated resource on its San Felipe property in Sonora. Almaden provided an update on work being done on the feasibility study at the Ixtaca project in Puebla. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Alio Gold is to acquire all shares outstanding of Rye Patch, a company with several properties in USA. Bacanora Minerals extended the timetable for re-domiciling by a few days. Sonoro executed an option agreement on a group of properties adjoining its Cerro Caliche property in Sonora.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- A gold nugget weighing 850 grams was found in La Cienega area, south of Pitiquito in Sonora. The nugget was discovered using a metal detector by a local gambusino. Northwest Sonora is known by the presence of orogenic gold style deposits, like La Herradura, Nochebuena, La Choya, San Francisco and El Chanate. This type of ore deposits has produced large gold nuggets, of up to 12 kg in weight, with the most famous specimens coming from the El Boludo, La Cienega and Tajitos gold placers.
- Colibri Resource Corp. has begun phase 1 of its 2018 drilling program on its Pilar property in Sonora. The program envisages up to 30 holes to be drilled focusing on modelling and extending the known mineralization of the Main Zone to the northwest and southwest along trend. “To date, Colibri has defined an in-house resource of 700 K tonnes @ 1.9 g/t Au”.
- Kootenay Silver Inc. informed on advances on the current drill program at its La Cigarra property in Chihuahua. Six holes have been completed, and one more is in progress at La Borracha zone, which is the extension of the structure that hosts La Cigarra resource, and drilling has now tested 1,000 m of strike length beyond the resource. Results will be disclosed once all assays have been received. The next drill target is the newly identified Nogalera gold zone, with 8 holes planned on anomalous mineralization over more than 1,000 m of length. Once Nogalera has been drilled, the 104-Vein on the southern part of La Cigarra resource is to be drill tested.
- Azure Minerals Ltd. updated on work being done at its Oposura project in Sonora. Drilling along strike of an outcrop carrying up to 59.6% Pb+Zn on the West Zone intersected high grade mineralization over an area of 400 x 400 m. Some of the best combined Pb + Zn intercepts returned 2.4 m @ 15.5%. 7.4 m @ 15.9%, 2.8 m @ 19.0%, 3.7 m @ 15.6%, 3.5 m @ 13.2%, 4.6 m @ 15.0%. To date drilling in the West Zone has comprised 64 holes for 4,936 m, with assay results received for 26 drill holes.
- Primero Mining Corp. reported financial and operating results for 4Q and full year 2017. Primero commenced a strategic review process that resulted in the sale of the Cerro del Gallo project (Guanajuato) in November 2017, and the entering into an arrangement agreement whereby First Majestic will acquire all issued and outstanding common shares of Primero. At San Dimas in Durango, 21,076 Oz Au and 1.32 M Oz Ag were produced during the fourth quarter. For full year 2017, San Dimas produced 111,376 Oz Au, 3.96 M Oz Ag. A strike at San Dimas in early 2017 stopped work for more than two months, significantly impacting yearly production levels.
- Excellon Resources Inc. reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2017. During the fourth quarter the Platosa mine in Durango produced 16.1 K tonnes, processing 18 K tonnes @ 424 g/t Ag, 3.8% Pb, 5.8% Zn, with recoveries of 90.3% Ag, 80.0% Pb, 82.2% Zn, to produce 206.4 K Oz Ag, 1.17 M Lb Pb, 1.67 M Lb Zn. For the year 57.2 K tonnes were produced, while milling 55.6 K tonnes @ 456 g/t Ag, 4.4% Pb, 5.7% Zn, with recoveries of 90.5% Ag, 82.1% Pb, 80.1% Zn, producing 668 K Oz Ag, 4.09 M Lb Pb, 4.60 M Lb Zn. During 2017 the optimization plan was completed at the Platosa mine, resulting in dry mining conditions that increased production and lowered the costs. Total cash cost per Ag Oz decreased to $10.38, with an AISC of $21.89. All in sustaining cost was $15.84 per Ag Oz for the fourth quarter and $21.89 per Ag Oz for the year.
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. informed that expansion of milling capacity at its Veta Grande project to 750 tpd (tonnes per day) has been completed. The mill is currently operating at 450 tpd, and full capacity operations are expected to be achieved early in the second quarter 2018. Santacruz now will focus in the consolidation of underground operations.
- Sierra Metals Inc. reported fourth quarter and year end 2017 financial results, without separating figures for its operations in Mexico. Production at Bolivar is expected to reach 3,000 tpd in Q1 2018 and 3,500 tpd in the second half of 2018. An update in resources is expected in the coming months. At Cusi production is being ramped up to the 650 tpd Mal Paso mill capacity by Q2 2018. The installation of another mill is expected to take production to 1,200 tpd by 2019. At the end of the period the company had 23.9 M in cash and cash equivalents.
- Evrim Resources Corp. received $3.06 M from the exercise of common share purchase warrants, representing 98% of the warrants issue dated December 16, 2015. As a result, Evrim’s current cash position approximates $5.5 M (Cerro Cascaron, Chihuahua).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Americas Silver Corp. provided an update on the mineral resource estimate at the San Felipe project in Sonora (optioned from Hochschild in early 2017). Of 342 holed drilled by four companies since 1998, 294 are within La Ventana, San Felipe, Transversales and Las Lamas deposits which host the current resource. The new resource contains 4,685 K tonnes @ 5.4% Zn, 2.5% Pb, 61 g/t Ag in the indicated category and 2,008 K tonnes @ 3.6% Zn, 1.4% Pb, 48 g/t Ag in the inferred category. These resources host 560 M Lb Zn, 256 M Lb Pb, 9.1 M Oz Ag; 158 M Lb Zn, 63 M Lb Pb, 3.1 M Oz Ag respectively.
- Almaden Minerals Ltd. updated on work related to the feasibility study (FS) at the Ixtaca project in Puebla. Work underway includes a resource model update, metallurgy testwork, engineering design, optimization studies, work to move the Rock Creek processing plant to Ixtaca, construction planning, geotechnical site investigation and water management studies. Almaden is also preparing an environmental impact assessment study (Manifiesto de Impacto Ambiental, or MIA) for Ixtaca.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Alio Gold Inc. and Rye Patch Corp. entered on an arrangement under which Alio Gold (San Francisco, Sonora; Ana Paula, Guerrero) is to acquire all the outstanding shares of Rye Patch (Florida Canyon, Nevada; Lincoln Hill, Nevada). The offer values Rye Patch outstanding equity at C$128 M. The transaction is expected to close on or about May 25, 2018.
- Bacanora Minerals Ltd. announced that the proposed timetable for the proposed Re-domicile has been changed to 26 March 2018.
- Sonoro Metals Corp. executed a formal option agreement with a Tucson, Arizona resident to acquire a 100% interest in the 403.5 ha Rosario group of concessions, adjacent to its Cerro Caliche property in Sonora, thus increasing the land holdings of the project to 1,455 ha. The option agreement entails a total consideration to the vendor of US$1.6 M, payable in escalating cash installments over 72 months, and a 2% NSR which can be bought for US$1 M for each percentage point. The initial US$60 K was paid on execution. Total drilling in the two properties before 2008 is 10,118 m in 101 holes.
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