By Miguel A Heredia
During the 3rd week of the year (January 15th to January 21st, 2018), 20 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, most of them reporting their Q4 and full year 2017 results. ON MEXICO ISSUES, no relevant news. ON EXPLORATION, In Sinaloa, Auxico reported encouraging sampling results from the Aguamas area at its Zamora project, and Marlin Gold announced positive drill results from the Colinas target area at its La Trinidad Mine, awaiting drill results for five additional holes from this area. In Sonora, Azure released drill results at its Oposura project, where near-surface, high-grade zinc-lead mineralization has been intersected, and Oceanus Resources reported the 2017 fall exploration drill results from its El Tigre project, and announced its intention to continue locating and defining other high-grade vein systems on the property. In Jalisco, Evrim Resources announced trenching results from its Cuale project, where high-sulfidation mineralization has been identified. ON MINING, Nine companies: McEwen, Goldcorp, Avino, Argonaut, New Gold, Premier Gold, Fortuna Silver, Sierra Metals and Leagold presented Q4 and annual production results for 2017, and announced 2018 production and cost guidance. ON FINANCING, Orla Mining settled debt with shares to certain creditors. SilverCrest closed a non-brokered private placement for $749,988. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Torex Gold announced maiden Sub-Sill mineral reserves for 180K Oz Au and 180K Oz Ag and updated its mineral resource estimate on El Limón-Guajes Mine Complex in Guerrero to over 3.9 M Oz Au and 6.1 M Oz Ag and mineral reserves estimate to 3.0 M Oz Au and 4.3 M Oz Ag. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Tonogold Resources entered into an option agreement with a private Mexican company to acquire Claudia, Promontorio and Montoros gold-silver properties in Durango. Galore Resources entered into a 5-year agreement with a private Mexican company to begin mining Los Gemelos property in Zacatecas state.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Auxico Resources Canada Inc. provided results from an exploration campaign carried out on the Aguamas area at its Zamora project in Sinaloa. The Aguamas area contains brecciated material with quartz veins and stockworks carrying gold and silver values over an area of 150 m long and 70 m wide. Trenching sampling and grabs samples collected near old adits returned encouraging gold and silver values. Trench sampling results include 50m of 0.85 g/ Au, including 3m of 13.07 g/t Au; 14.4m of 0.79 g/t Au, including 2.9m of 3.44 g/t Au. Grab samples results include 34.05 g/t Au & 99 g/t Ag, and 14.87 g/t Au & 292 g/t Ag. Auxico plans to conduct a diamond drilling program at Aguamas as well as carry out more detail exploration work in the entire property which contains brecciated material over a strike length of 8 km across the Zamora project to evaluate its potential.
- Marlin Gold Mining Ltd. announced positive drill results from the Colinas target area, less than 1 km from the Taunus pit within its La Trinidad Mine. The drilling tested a low angle faulted vein zone interpreted to be a thrust fault which has been identified over a strike of approximately 180 m and a dip of approximately 40 m. This target is amenable to open pit mining. Three holes returned grades of 2.66, 8.42, and 7.17 g/t Au, respectively over a true width that varies from 2.37-3.65 m, and a single hole intersected 18.35m of 0.44 g/t Au. Marlin is awaiting drill results of five additional holes drilled on this target area.
- Azure Minerals Limited continued intersecting near-surface, high-grade Zn-Pb mineralization at its flagship Oposura project in Sonora. Drilling results include 2.0m @ 21.33% Pb and 21.23% Zn from 37.5m; 2.9m @ 9.68% Pb and 6.45% Zn from 18.9m; 2.1m @ 9.14% Pb and 6.24% Zn from 27.9m, and 2.2m @ 8.73% Pb and 5.47% Zn from 15.2m. The latest round of drill results has extended the high-grade mineralized zone to the south and west of previously reported near-surface, high-grade mineralisation in the East Zone. Mineralization remains open and drilling is planned for this area. Azure plans to deliver an initial mineral resource estimate by April 2018.
- Oceanus Resources Corporation reported drill results from the 2017 fall program at its El Tigre project in Sonora, which consisted of 600m to define the strike and dip of the high-grade Caleigh vein and the low-grade alteration zone in the hanging wall. Significant drill intersections include 0.75m @ 91 g/t Au & 2,830 g/t Ag from 28.50 to 29.25 m depth, and 0.50m @ 10.0 g/t Au & 2,247 g/t Ag. Oceanus announced its intention to continue locating and defining other high-grade vein systems on the property and plans, for the first time, to explore with mapping and geochemical sampling over a distance of 5 km to the south between Golden Hill and Lluvia de Oro prospects.
- Evrim Resources Corp. released the first trenching results from the La Gloria high sulfidation prospect within its Cuale project in Jalisco. Three trenches dug over a distance of 600m were sampled and returned results of 25.4 m @ 0.53 g/t Au; 9.4 m @ 7.4 g/t Au, and 20m @ 0.61 g/t Au. Evrim is planning a follow-up program that includes more trenching and geophysics.
- McEwen Mining Inc. announced fourth quarter and annual production in 2017 from its El Gallo Mine in Sinaloa, where 19,893 Au Eq. Oz were produced in the fourth quarter for a total annual production of 46,694 Au Eq. Oz during 2017.
- Goldcorp Inc. reported its preliminary gold production for the fourth quarter and full year 2017 of 646,000 Oz Au and 2’569,000 Oz Au respectively. No figures for its Mexican operations were released. Goldcorp also informed about its complete production and cost guidance to 2021 on their mines and projects.
- Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. Informed about its fourth quarter and full year 2017 production. At Avino Mine, in Durango, 109,088 tonnes were milled @ 50 g/t Ag, 0.32 g/t Au and 0.52 % Cu with a recovery rate of 87% Ag, 69% Au and 88% Cu to produce over 320K Oz Ag, 1,472 Oz Au and 1.1 M lb Cu. During the full year, 460,890 tonnes were milled @ 64 g/t Ag, 0.52 g/t Au and 0.48 % Cu with recovery rates of 85% Ag, 69% Au and 89% Cu to produce over 1.4MOz Ag, 7,355 Oz Au and 4.4 M Lb Cu. At San Gonzalo Mine, 20,467 tonnes were milled @ 290 g/t Ag and 1.36 g/t Au with a recovery rate of 87% Ag and 77% Au to produce over166.7K Oz Ag and 69 Oz Au. During the full year, 81,045 tonnes were milled @ 269 g/t Ag and 1.32 g/t Au with a recovery rate of 84% Ag and 78% Au to produce over 591K Oz Ag and 2,675 Oz Au.
- Argonaut Gold Inc. reported fourth quarter and full year 2017 production from its Mexican operations. At El Castillo Mine Complex in Durango (El Castillo & San Agustín Mines), a total of 19,653 Oz Eq. Au (GEOs) were produced including 8,707 GEOs from El Castillo Mine and 10,946 GEOs from San Agustin Mine. La Colorada Mine in Sonora produced in the fourth quarter 15,334 GEOs. During the full year, 73,418 GEOs were produced at El Castillo Mine Complex and 53,286 GEOs from La Colorada Mine. Argonaut also provided 2018 cost guidance and three-year production outlook and plans to invest $50-$55 M USD in capital expenditures during 2018. The company also announced the hiring of Brian Arkel as VP Exploration.
- New Gold Inc. announced fourth quarter and full year 2017 production from its Cerro San Pedro Mine in San Luis Potosi, which finished active mining during the second quarter of 2016 and transitioned to residual leaching. During the fourth quarter, 7,177 Oz Au and 100K Oz Ag were produced for a full year 2017 of 34.3K Oz Au and 600K Oz Ag produced. New Gold also provided Production and Cost Guidance for 2018.
- Premier Gold Mines Limited Mercedes Mine in Sonora produced during the fourth quarter of 2017 over20K Oz Au and 77K Oz Ag for a full year 2017 production of 82.5K Oz Au and 338K Oz Ag. Premier announced that < 45K m of drilling was completed and a revised mineral resource and reserves estimate is planned to release in February 2018. Premier provided a consolidated production and cost guidance for 2018.
- Fortuna Silver The San Jose Mine in Oaxaca produced over 2M Oz Ag and 15K Oz Au in the fourth quarter of 2017 from 271,370 tonnes with average grades of 259 g/t Ag and 1.89 g/t Au and recovery rates of 91.86% Ag and 91.82 % Au respectively. Silver and gold production for 2017 totalized 5 M Oz Ag and 55.5K Oz Au from 1.1 M tonnes with average grades of 238 g/t Ag and 1.77 g/t Au and recovery grades of 91.82% and 91.62% respectively. Fortuna issued guidance for 2018 for its San Jose Mine in Oaxaca.
- Sierra Metals Inc. announced fourth quarter and full year 2017 production of its Bolivar and Cusi Mines in Chihuahua. The Bolivar Mine processed in the fourth quarter 226,980 tonnes @94% Cu, 14.67 g/t Ag and 0.16 g/t Au with recovery rates of 83.3% Cu, 80.42%Ag and 55.62% Au to produce over 3.9M lb Cu, 84K Oz Ag and 791 Oz Au. During the full year, Bolivar Mine processed 887,237 tonnes @ 0.96% Cu, 14.93 g/t Ag, and 0.17 g/t Au with recovery rates of 79.82% Cu, 76.88% Ag and 59.5% Au to produce over 15 M lb Cu, 327K Oz g and 2,88 Oz Au. At Cusi Mine, Sierra Metals processed 16,280 tonnes in the fourth quarter @ 178.6 g/t Ag, 0.25g/t Au, 0.97% Pb and 1.0% Zn with recovery rates of 88.15% Ag, 58.09% Au, 87.65% Pb and 42.50 Zn to produce 82K Oz Ag, 77 Oz Au, 305K Lb Pb and 152K Lb Zn. During the full year, Cusi Mine processed 88,011 tonnes @ 165 g/t Ag, 0.26 g/t Au, 1.12% Pb and 1.3% Zn with recovery rates of 72.17% Ag, 58.4% Au, 81.26% Pb and 42.56% Zn to produce 337K Oz Ag, 423 Oz Au, 1.7M Lb Pb and 937K Lb Zn. Sierra Metals also provided Production and Cost Guidance 2018 for its Bolivar and Cusi Mines.
- Leagold Mining Corporation provided 2018 Production and Cost guidance for Los Filos Mine in Guerrero. The company expects to produce 215,000 to 240,000 ounces at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $875 to $925 per ounce. Within the same Mine Complex, the Bermejal Underground expansion project is underway with the decline having advanced to over 320m. It is projected to test mining stopes in mid-2018.
- Orla Mining Ltd. Orla Mining settled a debt of $206,783 to certain creditors after approval by the TSX Venture Exchange, through the issuance of 147,702 common shares of the Company at an issue price of $1.40 per common share. The issued common shares are subject to a four (4) month hold period ending on May 18, 2018. (Camino Rojo, Zacatecas).
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. closed a non-brokered private placement with Christopher Ritchie of 451,800 units at a price of Cdn $1.66 per unit for gross proceeds of $749,988. No finder’s fee was paid in this placement. In connection with this private placement, Mr. Ritchie was appointed President. (Las Chispas, Sonora)
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Torex Gold Resources Inc. announced maiden Sub-Sill mineral reserves for 180K Oz Au and 180K Oz Ag and updated its mineral resource estimate on El Limón-Guajes Mine Complex in Guerrero to over 3.9 M Oz Au and 6.1 M Oz Ag and mineral reserves estimate to 3.0 M Oz Au and 4.3 M Oz Ag. The mineral resources remain open in three directions. A total Cash Cost of $479 Oz/Au and All Sustaining Cost (AISC) of $512 Oz/Au was estimated. Total capital required is $23M, of which, $22M will be spent in the first year. Figures of the mineral resources and reserves are shown in the next tables below:
There are 6 mining areas in the Sub-Sill mine plan, that range in size from 40 to 100m length on strike, 40 to 200m on plunge, and 3.5 to 25m in thickness dipping at an average of 24°.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Tonogold Resources Inc. entered into an option agreement with a private Mexican company to acquire 100% interest in the Claudia, Promontorio and Montoros gold-silver properties in Durango, for a total payment of $7.3 M $USD in cash. Grupo Minero Bacis calculated historical resources estimates (not NI 43-101 compliant) for each of the properties. Historic Measured and Indicated Resource for Claudia are 130K tonnes @80 g/t Au, 199 g/t Ag for a total contained metal of 15,891 Oz Au and 832,191 Oz Ag. Historic Inferred Resources are over 12M tonnes @ 3 g/t Au and 193 g/t Ag, for a total contained metal of 1.2 M Oz Au and 74.5 M Oz Ag. On Promontorio, Historic Measured and Indicated Resource are 37,800 tonnes @ 1.20 g/t Au, 382 g/t Ag, for a total contained metal of 1,500 Oz Au and 464K Oz Ag. Historical Inferred Resources are 1.1M tonnes @ 1.2 g/t Au and 370 g/t Ag for a total contained metal of 42.5K Oz Au and 13M Oz Ag. On Montoros, Historic Measured and Indicated Resource are 112.7K tonnes @ 2.90 g/t Au, 40 g/t Ag, for a total contained metal of 10.5K Oz Au and 145K Oz Ag. Historical Inferred Resources are 8.8M tonnes @ 3.5 g/t Au and 34 g/t Ag for a total contained metal of 990K Oz Au and 9.6M Oz Ag. Total Historic Measured and Indicated Resource for the three properties are 280.5K tonnes @ 3.9 g/t Au and 160 g/t Ag, for a total contained metal of 227.8K Oz Au and 1.4M Oz Ag. Historical Inferred Resources for the three properties are 21.9M tonnes @ 3.11 g/t Au and 138 g/t Ag for a total contained metal of 2.2M Oz Au and 97M Oz Ag.
A brief description of each property is as follow:
“Claudia covers a 10-kilometer hosting NNW trend of WSW and ENE dipping intermediate sulphidation gold-silver vein systems”.
“The Promontorio Property covers several gold-silver bearing veins with the main Promontorio and Pericos veins reported to have produced ~250,000 tonnes of 3,500 g/t silver and 20 g/t gold during the 1930’s. The narrow, high-grade veins have been traced for more than 2 kilometres but previous exploration has mainly been conducted in a small area of the project”.
“The Montoros Project consists of four vein systems and the alteration consists of propylitization (chloriteepidote- calcite-pyrite) that is more common in the Lower Volcanic Group rocks of the Sierra Made Volcanic Plateau and clay alteration near the vein tops. Mineralization occurs as argentite, native gold, electrum, and base metals. The Periquitos vein contained about 10% chalcopyrite in semi-massive sulphide at the portal. The Montoros vein systems were sampled on surface and by underground workings between 1992 to mid-1993.
- Galore Resources Inc. entered into a 5-year agreement with a private Mexican company to begin mining Los Gemelos property in Zacatecas state. Urbiaza, a private Mexican company will install a gold processing plant and will be responsible to mine and sell concentrated gold on a monthly basis, with any proceeds, net of costs, as reported by URBYASA, being allocated forty percent (40%) to Galore and sixty percent (60%) to URBYASA.
Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.
On the picture below, quartz vein showing lattice calcite replaced by silica in a prospect in Hidalgo, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.