By Jorge Cirett
During the 18th week of the year (April 27th to May 3rd, 2020), at least 34 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, INEGI presented production of metals and minerals for February. Camimex continues seeking the lifting of the mining halt during the current Coronavirus emergency. The Silver Institute informed Mexico continues to hold the premier position in silver production. Canada, unlike Mexico, permitted mines to operate under the Covid-19 emergency. ON EXPLORATION, in Baja California, One World Lithium is planning to begin drilling in June 2020. In Sonora, Colibri released drilling results at Evelyn, and completed a drone survey at El Mezquite; Sonoro updated on exploration at Cerro Caliche. In Durango, Canasil outlined plans for a drill program at Nora. In Jalisco, GoGold released results from eight holes at Los Ricos South. ON MINING, Sierra Metals and Equinox Gold reported on the extension of the suspension on mining in Mexico. Agnico Eagle, Capstone, Fresnillo PLC, Excellon Resources, Consolidated Zinc and Alamos Gold released first quarter 2020 results. ON FINANCING, Mag silver completed a non-brokered private placement for C$60 M. SilverCrest Metals closed the private placement for C$27 M. Discovery Metals granted 4.83 M shares. Mexus Gold converted $242.5 K of debt into shares. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Torex gold updated mineral resources at its El Limon Guajes mine in Guerrero. Agnico Eagle updated on the exploration status of the Santa Gertrudis project in Sonora. Evrim announced an update on the Ermitaño mineral resources in Sonora. Consolidated Zinc updated the mineral resources estimate at its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua. Minera Alamos reported results from drilling at its Santana project in Sonora. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Telson Mining, Santacruz Silver, Kootenay Silver and Canuc Resources announced that they are to abide by the Canadian Securities Administration extension granted for their annual filings. Xtierra informed on the deal with Minera Portree for control of the Bilbao deposit in Zacatecas, as well of an NSR on claims in the area of Capstone’s Cozamin mine. GR Silver completed the second option payment on the San Marcial project in Sinaloa. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. The AIMMGM and Mujeres WIM de Mexico, from Sinaloa donated food for doctors and health workers. Minera Mexico donated 500 food packages in Santa Barbara, Chihuahua. Minera Cuzcatan created a fund for community emergencies. Fresnillo is building a prefabricated hospital in Fresnillo, Zacatecas. Fresnillo PLC is sanitizing public spaces in Caborca, Sonora.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- According to INEGI (Mexican Statistics Bureau), during January of 2020 the gold production was: Sonora 3,115 Kg, Guerrero 1,592 kg, Chihuahua 1,554 kg, Zacatecas 1,157 Kg and Durango 976 Kg. For the same period silver production was: Chihuahua 102,205 Kg, Durango 74,909 Kg and Zacatecas 203,251 Kg. Lead production was: Zacatecas 13,184 tonnes, Chihuahua 3,289 tonnes and Durango 1,904 tonnes. For zinc production was: Zacatecas 29,931 tonnes, Chihuahua 9,030 tonnes and Durango 8,364 tonnes. On iron production was: Coahuila 338,198 tonnes, Colima 201,016 tonnes, Michoacan 198,023 tonnes, Chihuahua 37,664 tonnes and Durango 8,767 tonnes.
- CAMIMEX and the PRI senate members had a virtual conference on which they shared their viewpoints on how the COVID-19 emergency is to affect the mining industry and what can be done to ameliorate the damage.
- The Silver Institute informed that Mexico maintains its position as the major silver producer in the World. In 2019 Mexico produced 190.3 M Oz, Perú 135.4 M Oz and China 110.7 M Oz.
- In striking difference with Mexico, Canada permitted mines to operate under the Covid-19 virus emergency. Miners in Mexico set their hopes for reactivation on the petition by USA and Canadian authorities to the Mexican government for a stepped reactivation of productive chains.
- INEGI (Statistics Bureau) presented metal production figures for February 2020:
- Sonoro Metals Corp. released the “Cerro Caliche Development Report” that summarizes the results of work to advance the understanding of the mineralized system of the project located in Sonora. “The report also assesses regional and property geology, the mapped zonation of the Cerro Caliche low-sulfidation epithermal system, and related potential for significantly higher grades at depth. It also includes two grade x thickness modeling tools, namely – longitudinal 3D sections and Isopachs, all based on drilling to date”.
- Colibri Resource Corp. released results of its maiden campaign at its Evelyin project in Sonora. Significant drill hole intersections comprise 21.90 m @ 0.14 gpt Au (including 5.05 m @ 0.37 gpt Au); 27.00 m @ 0.10 gpt Au; 10.50 m @ 0.11 gpt Au. Further geologic mapping and rockchip sampling is to follow once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
- Colibri Resource Corp. recently completed a high definition topographical drone survey over its El Mezquite project in Sonora.
- One World Lithium Inc. is planning the next phase of drilling at its Salar del Diablo project in Baja California for early June 2020, following completion of the recently announced financing.
- GoGold Resources Inc. released the assays for eight diamond drill holes at the Los Ricos South project in Jalisco. Three holes were drilled at the San Juan area and the rest at the Main Area. Core length significant intersections comprise: 20.1 m @ 0.33 gpt Au, 100 gpt Ag (including 6.0 m @ 0.97 gpt Au, 257 gpt Ag); 23.2 m @ 0.68 gpt Au, 113 gpt Ag; 26.6 m @ 0.29 gpt Au, 47 gpt Ag (including 4.7 m @ 1.24 gpt Au, 129 gpt Ag); 22.3 m @ 1.01 gpt Au, 52 gpt Ag (including 10.0 m @ 1.79 gpt Au, 64 gpt Ag); 4.2 m @ 2.87 gpt Au, 344 gpt Ag; 15.4 m @ 0.79 gpt Au, 91 gpt Ag.
- Canasil Resources Inc. outlined plans for an initial core drill program on the Candy vein at the Nora project in Durango. Rock samples in the vein have returned 1.0 m @ 3.72 gpt Au, 605 gpt Ag, 0.97%Cu, 1.2% Pb, 0.4% Zn; 1.4 m @ 0.89 gpt Au, 392 gpt Ag, 0.06% Cu, 0.2% Pb; 1.0 m @ 2.98 gpt Au, 540 gpt Ag, 0.85% Cu, 4.0% Pb, 3.5% Zn; 0.6 m @ 2.28 gpt Au, 316 gpt Ag, 0.57% Cu, 2.4% Pb, 0.2% Zn; 0.8 m @ 3.03 gpt Au, 585 gpt Ag, 2.8% Cu, 5.2% Pb, 1.8% Zn; 0.6 m @ 6.55 gpt Au, 10 gpt Ag, 0.06% Cu, 0.3% Pb; 0.4 m @ 12.55 gpt Au, 12 gpt Ag, 1.02% Cu, 2.7% Pb, 0.7% Zn. Dump samples have returned up to 2.89 gpt Au, 193 gpt Ag, 2.64% Cu, 8.0% Pb, 9.8% Zn.
- Sierra Metals Inc. reported that the Mexican Federal Government extended the suspension of all non-essential activities to contain the advance of COVID-19 virus. The suspension will now continue until May 30, 2020, but the suspension will not apply to the municipalities that present a low or null transmission of the virus, as of May 18, 2020. This raises the possibility that the Bolivar mine in Chihuahua may be able to resume operations, due to its remote location.
- Equinox Gold Corp. announced the temporary suspension of mining activities at its Los Filos mine in Guerrero has been extended until May 30, 2020, with the potential to an earlier start-up by May 18, 2020. The solution from the leach pads has continued to be processed at a slower pace.
- Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. informed the suspension related to the COVID-19 virus emergency is to cost $6.6 M in Mexico. During the first quarter 2020, 480 K tonnes were processed at Pinos Altos, Chihuahua, at a daily rate of 5,275 tonnes per day (tpd) of material grading 2.36 gpt Au to produce 33,310 Oz Au at production cash cost of $1,077 per Oz Au and total cash cost of $747 per Oz Au. The drilling budget for the year is $7.8 M on a total of 42,000 meters. Current proven and mineral reserves are 957 K Oz Au, 24 M Oz Ag; indicated and measured resources of 1.1 M Oz Au, 26 M Oz Ag; inferred mineral resources stand at 435 K Oz Au. At La India, in Sonora, 1.53 M tonnes were processed at a 16,857 tpd rate, grading 0.74 gpt Au to produce 22,926 Oz Au at total cash cost per Oz Au of $778. Residual leaching continues through the Coronavirus shutdown at La India.
- Capstone Mining Corp. presented production and financial results for Q1 2020, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Cozamin, in Zacatecas, 8.7 M pounds of copper were produced at cash cost $0.95 per pound of copper. As part of the expansion project, an 818 m raise bore was completed, improving ventilation on the deepest part of the mine. “The final key component of this expansion, the Calicanto one-way ramp, continues as scheduled and on budget to be completed in December 2020”.
- Fresnillo PLC. presented its first quarter 2020 production report. During the first quarter 130,000 meters of drilling were completed on operating mines, in addition 38,000 meters “were drilled at the Fresnillo, San Julián and Guanajuato districts in Mexico, and two projects outside Mexico (Peru and Chile). Interesting results were obtained in the Fresnillo district that merit follow up…”.
- Excellon Resources Inc. announced first quarter 2020 production results from the Platosa mine in Durango. During the period 19,899 tonnes were mined, with 19,042 tonnes processed, grading 542 gpt Ag, 5.44% Pb, 6.78% Zn, recovering 89.3% Ag, 82.8% Pb, 74.9% Zn, to produce 296,281 Oz Ag, 1.89 M Lb Pb, 2.13 M Lb Zn, or 523,742 Oz AgEq.
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd. disclosed first quarter 2020 operations report at its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua. During the quarter 9,987 tonnes were mined, 10,321 tonnes were processed @ 16.6% Zn, 8.4% Pb, 46 gpt Ag. Regional exploration has outlined several zones of interest to the northwest of the mine, returning several high-grade gold-copper samples.
- Alamos Gold Inc. presented first quarter 2020 results, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Mulatos, Sonora, 1.92 M tonnes of ore were mined, 2.34 M tonnes of waste moved, 22,342 tpd crushed, with 2.03 M tonnes staked on the heap @ 1.25 gpt Au, containing 81,933 Oz Au, and producing 42,600 Oz Au on an average recovery rate of 52%. Alamos is finalizing project design and plans to finalize the La Yaqui Grande project economics and announce a construction decision in the second quarter of 2020. Exploration is moving beyond the main Mulatos area into earlier stage project within the 28,972 ha land package, with $1.8 M invested during the period.
- Mag Silver Corp. arranged a non-brokered private placement with Mr. Eric Sprott for gross proceeds of C$60 M (Juanicipio, Zacatecas).
- Telson Mining Corp. is seeking a 30 day extension from the TSX Venture Exchange to close its non-brokered private placement offering for up to C$3 M of gross proceeds.
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. closed the private placement with SSR Mining Inc. for C$26.98 M, strengthening SilverCrest’s financial position to a cash balance of C$234 M in its treasury. (Las Chispas, Sonora).
- Discovery Metals Corp. granted 4.83 M options to acquire common shares of the company at $0.47 per share (Cordero, Chihuahua).
- Mexus Gold US. Informed $242,500 of debt incurred by the company was converted to shares already held in reserve.
- Mag Silver Corp. completed the previously announced non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of C$60 M. “A finders’ fee is payable in connection with the Offering to a group of financial advisors led by Clarus Securities Inc.” (Juanicipio, Zacatecas).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Discovery Metals Corp. announced that during the last quarter of 2019 a second rig was added to the drilling campaign at Cordero, Chihuahua, and that a non-brokered private placement for $19.0 M was completed. By the end of the period the company had $23.95 M in cash and cash equivalents.
- Torex Gold Resources Inc. updated mineral reserves and resources at its El Limón Guajes Complex in Guerrero. Open pit proven and probable reserves stand at 24.82 M tonnes @ 2.92 gpt Au containing 2.33 M Oz Au and underground reserves of 0.66 Mt @ 6.94 gpt Au containing 0.15 M Oz Au. Open pit measured and indicated resources stand at 35.78 Mt @ 2,77 gpt Au containing 3.19 M Oz while underground M&M resources hold 1.17 Mt @ 7.04 gpt Au containing 0.26 M Oz Au. Total reserves and M&M resources contain 5.93 M Oz Au, and total inferred resources another 0.45 M Oz Au.
- Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. updated on the exploration of its 44,145 ha Santa Gertrudis project in Sonora. As of the end of 2019 the project holds open-pit oxide indicated mineral resources of 5.1 M tonnes @ 0.64 gpt Au containing 104 K Oz Au and inferred mineral resources of 19.1 M tonnes @ 1.17 gpt Au containing 717 K Oz Au. Underground sulfide inferred resources stand at 3.1 M tonnes @ 4.58 gpt Au, containing 451 K Oz Au. Selected true width intervals of drilling at La Amelia deposit comprise 6.0 m @ 3.7 gpt Au, 3 gpt Ag; 13 m @ 3.3 gpt Au, 10 gpt Ag (including 5.5 m @ 5.3 gpt Au, 17 gpt Ag); 10 m @ 5.3 gpt Au, 7 gpt Ag (including 4.5 m @ 10.3 gpt Au, 5 gpt Ag); 10 m @ 3.2 gpt Au, 34 gpt Ag; 4 m @ 3.5 gpt Au, 5 gpt Ag; 4.5 m @ 5.1 gpt Au, 20 gpt Ag.
- Evrim Resources Corp. announced an update to the gold-silver resource on the Ermitaño project in Sonora. Property owner First Majestic Silver Corp. released the following figures: An indicated resource of 2.1 M tonnes @ 4.59 gpt Au, 70 gpt Ag containing 311 K Oz Au, 4.73 M Oz Ag; an inferred resource of 3.73 M tonnes @ 3.08 gpt Au, 58 gpt Ag containing 370 K Oz Au, 6.98 M Oz Ag. Evrim holds a 2% NSR on the Ermitaño project.
- Consolidated Zinc Ltd. updated the mineral resource estimate for its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua. Indicated mineral resources stand at 165 K tonnes @ 13.9% Zn, 6.3% Pb, 35.7 gpt Ag, containing 23 K tonnes Zn, 10 K tonnes Pb, 189 K Oz Ag. Inferred resources hold 799 K tonnes @ 13.0% Zn, 3.0% Pb, 17.5 gpt Ag, containing 104 K tonnes Zn, 24 K tonnes Pb, 450 K Oz Ag.
- Minera Alamos Inc. reported additional results from its phase II drill program at its Santana project in Sonora. Significant intervals comprise 17.7 m @ 0.58 gpt Au; 53.2 m @ 0.75 gpt Au; 68.7 m @ 0.50 gpt Au; 101.0 m @ 0.37 gpt Au; 73.7 m @ 0.36 gpt Au; 143.7 m @ 0.50 gpt Au; 9.7 m @ 0.29 gpt Au; 25.3 m @ 0.31 gpt Au; 247.9 m @ 0.60 gpt Au. This campaign has extended the deposit by 50-100 m to the south-southwest.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Telson Mining Corp. informed that the Canadian Securities Administration granted blanket relief for all reporting issuers, providing up to a 45-day extension on periodic filings, and that Telson will abide by it (Campo Morado, Guerrero).
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. will be postponing the filing of its annual consolidated financial statements, and abide by the 45-day extension granted by the Canadian Securities Administration (Veta Grande, Zacatecas).
- Kootenay Silver Inc. expects to file the Annual filings before the extension deadline required by the Canadian Securities Administrators (Columba, Chihuahua).
- Xtierra Resources Inc. reported results for the year 2019. The company holds the rights to the Bilbao project, and acquired last year a 1.5% royalty on the project by paying C$51 K in cash and C$49 K in shares. Xtierra entered into an agreement to acquire 88% of Minera Portree by the payment of C$56 K and 2 M shares. Among the assets of Minera Portree is the right to a 2% NSR on six mining concessions adjacent to Capstone’s Cozamin mine in Zacatecas. Five of those concessions were acquired by Capstone in 2017 and 2019. An extension agreement was signed with Buchan Resources Ltd. to defer repayment of principal and accrued interest of its $800 K debt, in consideration of which 13 M shares were issued to Buchan (Bilbao, Zacatecas).
- GR Silver Mining Ltd. announced the completion of the second option payment on the San Marcial project in Sinaloa, which included the issuance of 750 K common shares to the optionor.
- Canuc Resources Corp. announced the postponement of the filing of the annual consolidated financial statements, according with the Canadian Securities Administration blanket extension (San Javier, Sonora).
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- The Asociación de Ingenieros Mineros, Metalurgistas y Geólogos de Mexico (AIMMGM) in coordination with Mujeres WIM de México, both from the Sinaloa District, donated food for doctors and health care workers at the Riviera Hotel, where they are hosted.
- Minera México donated 500 food packages in Santa Barbara, Chihuahua.
- Minera Cuzcatan (Fortuna Silver) created a Fund for community emergencies. Said Fund is to be used to cover the need for medications, groceries and funerary expenses, in coordination with local municipality authorities and adherence to health dispositions.
- Fresnillo PLC is hurriedly building a hospital for Covid-19 patient care. The pre-fabricated building is to be installed by the side of the local IMSS clinic in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, and is to have a capacity for 38 patients.
- Fresnillo PLC in coordination with the Caborca Municipality is sanitizing public spaces. These include 40 areas, like open plazas, parks, supermarkets, bus stations, clinics, hospitals, Red Cross facilities, firefighters station banks and local national guard facilities, all of which will be sanitized constantly.
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On the image below: Milky quartz float with oxidized sulfide in an orogenic gold system in Oaxaca. Picture by Jorge Cirett.