The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Third Week of April, 2021

By Jorge Cirett

During the 15th week of the year (April 12th to April 18th, 2021), as a sign of the strong current activity, at least 43 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. To note, ten companies posted exploration advances on their properties, seven presented mining related news, six posted on financing or share options (including C$2.35 M, $3 M, C$14.1 M, C$5.6 M and $25 M), eight more on project development or resource definition and three posted on corporate issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Francisco Quiroga, the ex-secretary of Mining has been appointed ambassador in Germany. The Sonora Mining Cluster has two new female counselors. Napoleon Gomez Urrutia and its SNTMMS Union have been condemned to pay US$54 M to some of its affiliates. A new Coordination has been created in the Economy Secretariat to promote mining. The CTM Union opposes the outsourcing reform that would decrease the participation of workers in the profits of mining companies. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Silver Spruce signed a LOI on the Diamante 1 and Diamante 2 projects; Ridgestone announced its exploration plan for the Rebeico property; Tocvan Ventures commenced phase II RC drilling at Pilar; Carlyle Commodities released good drilling results from Cecilia; Orogen informed its Lola and Sarape properties are being drilled by partners; Canuc Resources released information on the first drill hole on the present campaign at its San Javier Au-Ag project. In Chihuahua, Monarca Minerals signed a surface access agreement for its San Jose project; Kootenay Silver updated on drilling of its Columba project. In Sinaloa, Viszla Silver released drilling results from the Napoleon zone at its Panuco project. In San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas Advance Gold released results from auger sampling at several salars. ON MINING, Magna Gold, Fortuna Silver Mines, Sierra Metals, Excellon and First Majestic Silver released Q1 2021 production results. Consolidated Zinc announced the commencement of concentrate production from the recently refurbished plant at Plomosas in Chihuahua. ON FINANCING, Colibri Resources, Sonoro Gold, Santacruz Silver Mining, Heliostar Metals and Candelaria Mining released news on financing (with C$2.35 M, $3 M; $14.1 M, C$4 M and up to $25 M respectively). Defiance Silver completed its uplisting to the OTCQX Best Market ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Equinox Gold commenced the development of the Bermejal underground mine in Guerrero. Xali Gold submitted permit applications for the Mexico Mines Tailings project in El Oro, Estado de Mexico. Gatos Silver presented good drilling results from both extensions of the Cerro Los Gatos deposit in Chihuahua. Fabled Silver Gold released results from drilling at Santa Maria, Chihuahua. SilverCrest Metals released high-grade drilling results from several veins at Las Chispas, Sonora. Almaden Minerals is conducting an induced polarization survey at the Ixtaca deposit in Puebla. GoGold Resources released drilling results from El Favor zone at its Los Ricos North project in Jalisco. Golden Tag Resources released results from drilling at its San Diego property in Durango.   ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, VanGold Mining closed with Endeavour Silver the acquisition of the El Cubo mine and mill complex in Guanajuato. Silver Spruce Resources signed a LOI with Colibri Resource on the Diamante 1 and Diamante 2 properties in Sonora. Empress Royalty executed a $5 M Silver Stream agreement with Telson Mining. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, no relevant news.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Francisco Quiroga Fernández, Mining ex-subsecretary was appointed ambassador of Mexico in Germany. Rare in the present administration, he’s a competent professional with experience in the private industry, and more than capable to develop and strengthen political and economic ties between the two countries.  
  • The Sonora Mining Cluster named Silvia Álvarez and Maria López Rosas as new counselors to the organism.
  • The Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Mineros, Metalúrgicos y Similares de La República Mexicana (a strong Mining Union) and its leader Napoleón Gómez Urrutia have lost a legal law suit and have been condemned by the Junta Federal de Conciliación y Arbitraje to pay US$54 M. The Union received these funds from the sale of the Cananea mine 15 years ago, and was supposed to deliver that money to the at the time workers of the company in charge. The union failed to deliver the funds to the miners.
  • The Mexican president ordered by decree the creation of the Coordination of Extractive Activities on the Economy Secretariat. Said unit is to coordinate the mining activities of the State and actions to promote national and foreign investments in mining, among other activities.
  • The CTM Union (Confederación de Trabajadores de México) opposes the reform on outsourcing that would lower the amount the miners receive as participation on the company’s annual profits.  

ON EXPLORATION

  • Silver Spruce Resources Inc. signed a letter of intention (LOI) on two properties in Sonora, Diamante 1 and Diamante 2 covering 1,057 hectares. Historical assays from samples in the Diamante 1 and Diamante 2 properties, which display epithermal intermediate sulfidation mineralization have returned up to 39.8 gpt Au, 3,460 gpt Ag, 7.3% Pb, 5.6% Zn. Diamante 1 has already six main targets, including the La Prieta-El Aguaje vein system, which runs for 2,000 m averaging 1 m in width. At Diamante 2 The Calton area displays two vein 900 m and 1,100 m in length, ranging from 0.30 m to 1.70 m in width. The El Cumbro-Mezquite Raizudo veins follow a structural trend 900 m long, displaying an average width of 1 meter.
  • Advance Gold Corp. released results from auger drilling sampling at all the salars it recently acquired in Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí. The 0.5 m to 1 m of depth samples returned highlighted results of up to 650 ppm boron (B), 1.91% Potassium (K) and 620 ppm Lithium (Li). The average grade of the samples was 247 ppm B, 1.17% K and 215 ppm Li.
  • Monarca Minerals Inc. executed and ratified by a Notary Public the surface access agreement with both the Ejido and Colonia on its San Jose silver project in Chihuahua. The company is now to apply for the environmental permit that will allow it to conduct its planned 5,000 m drilling campaign.
  • Ridgestone Mining Inc. announced an exploration plan for its 3,459 hectares Rebeico project in Sonora. The current phase will comprise geologic mapping, sampling and prospecting, with focus on the New Year zone, the Santa Elena outcrop and El Cobre mine.
  • Tocvan Ventures Corp. announced the start of phase II of its drilling program at the Pilar project in Sonora. The two-stage 4,000 m reverse circulation (RC) drill program will focus first on the “definition and expansion of the Main Zone, which during Phase I returned 94.6-meters at 1.6 g/t Au including 9.2m at 10.8 g/t Au and 38 g/t Ag”, and then to test the new targets across the property.
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. reported it has completed 12 core drill holes totalling 1,800 m as part of its 5,000 m campaign at its Columba project in Chihuahua. Kootenay has tested the F vein and is now testing an area east of the J-Z zone.
  • Carlyle Commodities Corp. released the first batch of drill results from the Cecilia project in Sonora. The program consisted of seven holes, of which results have been received for five. The best intercept was 24.2 m @ 1.51 gpt Au. Other core-length highlighted intervals comprise 1.30 m @ 0.69 gpt Au; 5.95 m @ 0.20 gpt Au, 3.10 m @ 0.52 gpt Au; 9.45 m @ 0.23 gpt Au; 1.00 m @ 0.55 gpt Au; 3.45 m @ 0.35 gpt Au; 4.30 m @ 0.29 gpt Au; 6.10 m @ 0.43 gpt Au; 3.00 m @ 0.87 gpt Au. “The first drill program from Carlyle and Riverside was focused on targeting the hydrothermal system identified at two principal elevations: 2,200 m and 1,900 m, respectively corresponding to the San Jose Target and the North Breccia Target…… to test the continuity of the mineralized structures at shallow depth”.  
  • Orogen Royalties Inc. announced the commencement of drilling programs on two of its properties in Sonora. At La Lola, partner Heliostar Metals Ltd. has initiated a 1,500 m drilling program. At the 57.8 square km Sarape project, Orogen and partner Hochschild PLC commenced a planned 3,000 m program. Eight holes will be drilled on 2.5 km of the Sarape vein. “In 2019, nine holes drilled within a 380-metre-long segment of the vein defined a structural dilation zone at 100-350 metres depth (Figure 2). In this zone the vein thickens to 23.6 metres in width..…. A deeper horizon will also be drilled to identify if the grade of the vein improves with depth”.
  • Canuc Resources Corp. informed on drilling advance at its San Javier Ag-Au project in Sonora. The first hole of a planned 6,000 m program was ended at 89.5 m in a fault zone. It intersected brecciated sedimentary rocks with stockwork veining and three intervals of massive magnetite breccia. “The 20-hole program is designed to test at least 4 magnetic features that underlie areas where a 2020 mapping and rock sampling program identified silver, gold and copper mineralization. At surface, the host rocks for three of these features are found to be magnetite breccia”. The program is focused on magnetic anomalies identified by a previous survey.
  • Viszla Silver Corp. released drilling results from step out drilling at the southern extension of the Napoleon prospect at its Panuco project in Sinaloa. The Napoleon vein has been mapped for more than 2.5 km and has four rigs drilling at the time. Highlighted true width intercepts comprise 4.46 m @ 890 gpt Ag, 19.99 gpt Au, 0.7% Pb, 1.8% Zn (including 0.92 m @ 3,804 gpt Ag, 91.91 gpt Au, 1.5% Pb, 3.5% Zn); 1.92 m @ 105.9 gpt Ag, 7.28 gpt Au, 0.7% Pb, 2.9% Zn (including 1.45 m @ 131 gpt Ag, 9.39 gpt Au, 0.8% Pb, 3.1% Zn)

ON MINING

  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. released production results for the first quarter 2021, including figures from its Mexican operations. At San José, in Oaxaca, 259.8 K tonnes @ 217 gpt Ag, 1.36 gpt Au were milled, recovering 90.8% Ag, 90.5% Au to produce 1.65 M Oz Ag, 10,301 Oz Au.
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. announced the 2021 zinc concentrate “benchmark treatment charge (TC) has been agreed between the major miners and smelters at US$159.00/t of concentrate, a reduction of 47% from last year’s benchmark treatment charge of US$299.75/t”. Treatment charges in 2020 represented 33% of total operating costs (before by-product credits) being the single largest operating cost (Plomosas, Chihuahua).
  • Magna Gold Corp. informed production levels have benefited from the accelerated stripping program, resulting in month to month growth in gold production, with 3,085 ounces in January, 2,670 ounces in February and 4,030 ounces in March. Magna anticipates the mine will return to full scale commercial production by June of this year, with 2021 guidance in the range of 55,000 to 65,000 Oz Au. During the Q1 2021, 619 K tonnes were mined @ 0.34 gpt Au, with 5.2 M tonnes of waste moved (8.40 strip ratio) to produce 9,785 Oz Au, 8.1 K Oz Ag.
  • Sierra Metals Inc. reported first quarter 2021 production reports, including figures from its Mexican properties. At Bolivar, in Chihuahua, 371.6 K tonnes were processed @ 0.77% Cu, 19.7 gpt Ag, 0.19 gpt Au, recovering 82.8% Cu, 83.6% Ag, 69.6% Au, to produce 5.2 M Lb Cu, 197 K Oz Ag, 1,591 Oz Au (7.3 M Lb CuEq). At Cusi, also in Chihuahua, 76.6 K tonnes were processed @ 15.2 gpt Ag, 0.16 gpt Au, 0.22% Pb, recovering 80.9% Ag, 39.6% Au, 81.5% Pb, to produce 313 K Oz Ag, 155 Oz Au, 298 K Lb Pb (334 K AgEq Oz Ag).
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. announced the first concentrate from the newly refurbished plant at its Plomosas property in Chihuahua has been produced.
  • Excellon Resources Inc. released Q1 2021 production results from the Platosa mine in Durango. At the site 21,212 tonnes were mined, 21,764 tonnes were milled @ 524 gpt Ag, 5.35% Pb, 6.73% Zn, recovering 89.7% Ag, 81.8% Pb, 74.7% Zn to produce 328.7 K Oz Ag, 2.1 M Lb Pb, 2.4 M Lb Zn, or 516.7 K Oz AgEq.
  • First Majestic Silver Corp. produced during the Q1 2021 2.9 M Oz Ag, 23,873 Oz Au, or 4.5 M Oz AgEq from its three mines in Mexico: San Dimas in Durango, Santa Elena in Sonora and La Encantada in Coahuila. The company completed 39,552 m in exploration drilling during the quarter, with 10 rigs at San Dimas, seven rigs at Santa Elena and two rigs at La Encantada.

ON FINANCING

  • Colibri Resource Corp. has closed a non-brokered private placement for CAD$2.35 M in gross profits. (Evelyn, Sonora).
  • Sonoro Gold Corp. has increased its non-brokered private placement to raise an aggregate of $3 M thorough the exercise of over allotment options (Cerro Caliche, Sonora).
  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. closed its non-brokered private placement offering, for gross proceeds of CDN$14.1 M (Carrizales, Hidalgo).
  • Defiance Silver Corp. successfully completed an uplisting to the OTCQX Best Market (San Acacio, Zacatecas).
  • Heliostar Metals Ltd. is increasing the size of its C$4 M marketed private placement to raise up to C$5.6 M (La Lola, Sonora).
  • Candelaria Mining Corp. intends to raise up to $25 M to fund exploration activities at the Caballo Blanco district in Veracruz, and the Pinos project in Zacatecas.

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Equinox Gold Corp. is commencing development of the Bermejal underground mine at its Los Filos project in Guerrero.
  • Xali Gold Corp. submitted permit applications for the Mexico Mines Tailings project in El Oro, Estado de México. The permits are to allow both the transportation and re-processing of the tailings at a new 25 hectares plant site located 5 Km from the current location. Xali’s is to pay the El Oro municipality an 8%  net profit interest (NPI). The project has an inferred resource of 1.27 M Tonnes grading 2.94 Au g/t, 75.12 Ag g/t, containing 119,900 Oz Au and 3.06 M Oz Ag.
  • Gatos Silver Inc. reported drilling results of delineation drilling at Cerro Los Gatos in Chihuahua. The program has demonstrated continuity in both the southeast and northwest projections of the current reserve. Highlighted true width drill results include: 9.5 m @ 0.11 gpt Au, 51 gpt Ag, 2.1% Pb, 3.1% Zn; 3.4 m @ 0.12 gpt Au, 122 gpt Ag, 5.0% Pb, 9.8% Zn, 0.2% Cu; 5.4 m @ 0.25 gpt Au, 121 gpt Ag, 1.5% Pb, 2.9% Zn; 7.2 m @ 0.14 gpt Au, 106 gpt Ag, 3.5% Pb, 3.4% Zn, 0.1% Cu; 2.6 m @ 0.21 gpt Au, 327 gpt Ag, 9.2% Pb, 3.8% Zn, 0.14% Cu; 12.0 m @ 0.15 gpt Au, 44 gpt Ag, 1.1% Pb, 4.0% Zn, 0.15% Cu; 2.8 m @ 0.20 gpt Au, 111 gpt Ag, 1.6% Pb, 3.9% Zn, 1.3% Cu; 1.9 m @ 0.12 gpt Au, 132 gpt Ag, 3.2% Pb, 9.9% Zn, 0.4% Cu; 7.2 m @ 0.06 gpt Au, 25 gpt Ag, 1.0% Pb, 10.3% Zn, 0.2% Cu; 5.7 m @ 0.17 gpt Au, 152 gpt Ag, 3.0% Pb, 4.4% Zn, 0.30% Cu.
  • Fabled Silver Gold Corp. released drilling results from its Santa Maria property in Chihuahua. The last sample on the last drill hole returned 75.9 gpt Ag, with 6.4 m of similar material awaiting results. Fabled is making a reinterpretation of previous work and testing the new targets identified. The ongoing 8,000 m drill program has been increased to at least 9,200 m. “This program will be focused underground to delineate the Santa Maria Central Structure with multi underground drill stations being prepared”.
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc. released additional in-fill and expansion drill results s from the Babi Vista vein splay, Babi Vista vein, Granaditas 1 vein, Granaditas 2 vein, and adjacent hangingwall and footwall veins in the Babicanora Area of its Las Chispas Project in Sonora. The results are from 78 holes totaling 29,308 m completed since the last news release for these veins, in areas with mineral resources or in close proximity. Average results for the Babi Vista vein splay comprise 0.91 true width @ 16.12 gpt Au, 1,351 gpt Ag, with individual intercepts of up to 1.04 m @ 185.65 gpt Au, 13,959 gpt Ag. Babi Vista Footwall and Granaditas 1 average 1.04 m @ 12.89 gpt Au, 1,884 gpt Ag, with the highest intercept running 0.40 m @ 114.0 gpt Au, 78,872 gpt Ag (7.89% Ag). The Babi Vista and Granaditas 2 vein average 0.67 m @ 4.56 gpt Au, 414 gpt Ag, while the Babi Vista Hangingwall averages 0.43 m @ 2.55 gpt Au, 249 gpt Ag.
  • Almaden Minerals Ltd. is conducting an induced polarization geophysical survey at the Ixtaca deposit in Puebla. “The work is designed to help define drill targets beneath the area of hydrothermal alteration called the Southeast Alteration (SE) zone and at depth beneath the Ixtaca deposit (“Ixtaca Deeps”). It is hoped that this geophysical survey, along with past survey results, will identify potential zones of veining like those in the Ixtaca deposit. The discovery drill hole in the original Ixtaca deposit area was planned in part based on high resistivity and chargeability results obtained in an earlier IP geophysical survey”.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. released results from six diamond drill holes from El Favor area at its Los Ricos North project in Jalisco. Highlighted core-length intervals comprise 69.3 m @ 108 gpt Ag, 0.49 gpt Au (including 15.3 m @ 392 gpt Ag, 1.76 gpt Au); 9.6 m @ 112 gpt Ag, 0.39 gpt Au; 59.0 m @ 119 gpt Ag, 0.32 gpt Au (including 5.0 m @ 361 gpt Ag, 0.90 gpt Au); 2.8 m @ 110 gpt Ag, 0.16 gpt Au; 16.1 m @ 97 gpt Ag, 0.21 gpt Au; 12.0 m @ 86 gpt Ag, 0.09 gpt Au; 3.2 m @ 204 gpt Ag, 0.15 gpt Au; 7.2 m @ 135 gpt Ag, 0.76 gpt Au; 23.3 m @ 92 gpt Ag, 0.22 gpt Au; 12.9 m @ 254 gpt Ag, 0.81 gpt Au (including 8.2 m @ 392 gpt Ag, 1.25 gpt Au).
  • Golden Tag Resources Ltd. released results from the first three holes of a 4,500 m campaign at its San Diego project in Durango. A hole in the Fernandez zone returned 50.17 m @ 105 gpt AgEq; Another hole intersected 127.3 m of skarn/Fernandez style mineralization, intersecting 35.46 m @ 0.06 gpt Au, 30 gpt Ag, 0.14% Pb, 0.24% Zn, 0.01% Cu (52 gpt AgEq) and 91.84 m @ 0.07 gpt Au, 15 gpt Ag, 0.31% Pb, 0.34% Zn, 0.01% Cu (49 gpt AgEq). Other holes intercepted 1.11 m @ 0.90 gpt Au, 142 gpt Ag, 0.13% Pb, 0.21% Zn, 0.02% Cu; 3.25 m @ 0.02 gpt Au, 237 gpt Ag, 0.41% Pb, 0.82% Zn, 0.08% Cu; 1.10 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 195 gpt Ag, 1.70% Pb, 1.92% Zn, 0.07% Cu; 2.69 m @ 0.05 gpt Au, 355 gpt Ag, 0.30 % Pb, 0.41% Zn, 0.02% Cu; 8.41 m @ 0.02 gpt Au, 24 gpt Ag, 0.61% Pb, 0.49% Zn, 0.06% Cu.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • VanGold Mining Corp. closed the acquisition of El Cubo mine and mill complex in Guanajuato with Endeavour Silver Corp..  The deal involved the payment of US$7 M in cash plus VAT and the delivery of 21.33 M shares of VanGold and a promissory note for $2.5 M a year from closing. El Cubo has 508 K tonnes grading 194 gpt Ag, 2.44 gpt Au containing 3.17 M Oz Ag, 39,860 Oz Au as indicated resources and 1.45 M tonnes @ 214 gpt Ag, 2.78 gpt Au containing 10 M Oz Ag, 129,900 Oz Au as inferred resources.
  • Silver Spruce Resources Inc. signed a letter of intention (LOI) with Colibri Resource Corp. to acquire up to 50% interest in four concessions in Sonora, comprising two properties, Diamante 1 and Diamante 2 covering 1,057 hectares. The projects are separated by 700 meters, and in close proximity to other Colibri properties. The initial cash payment by Silver Spruce is to be of $75 K (Note.- The details of the deal are lengthy and involve a third party, please take a look to the appropriate press release if interested in it).
  • Empress Royalty Corp. executed the US$5 M silver stream agreement on the Telson Mining Corp. owned Tahuehueto project in Durango. “Empress has now executed the US$5M silver stream agreement on production from Telson’s Tahuehueto project in Mexico. The US$5M Stream is on 100% of the payable silver production from Tahuehueto for the first 1,250,000 payable ounces; thereafter, the percentage will stepdown to 20% of the payable silver production to a maximum of 10 years from first production after which the Stream terminates”.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • No Relevant News.

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:  Disseminated and vein constrained sulfides in a porphyritic intrusive rock in split diamond core from Cerro San Pedro in San Luis Potosi. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Third Week of January, 2021

By Jorge Cirett

During the 3rd week of the year (January 18th to January 24th, 2021), there were at least 41 press releases by companies working in Mexico. To note, six companies posted exploration advances on their properties, eight more released quarterly and full year results, six posted on financing or share options, nine on project development and four more on corporate issues, including two company name changes. ON MEXICO ISSUES, several Mexican projects saw significant investment in 2020. World exploration reduced its pace in 2020, with a total of US$8.33 B, of which 21% were spent in Latin America. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Silver Spruce is starting exploration at Jackie; Heliostar is to commence exploration at La Lola, Oso Negro and Cumaro. In Chihuahua, Radius Gold reported drill results from Amalia; Kootenay Silver released results from drilling at Columba. In Sinaloa, Vizsla Resources updated drill results from Panuco; Brigadier Gold released results from drill holes at Picachos. ON MINING, Sierra Metals, Pan American Silver, Hecla Mining, Gatos Silver, Argonaut Gold, Fortuna Silver, Premier Gold and First Majestic presented quarterly and full year 2020 reports. ON FINANCING, Candente Gold and Impact Silver granted stock options. Mexican Gold closed a private placement for $1.4 M. VanGold Mining expanded its placement to $12.6 M. Mammoth Resources increased its financing round to $688.5 K. Sierra Metals made a clarification on its shares. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Gatos Silver is to start exploration on its extensive land package this year. Discovery Metals intends to perform 65,000 m of drilling at its Cordero project. Osisko Development informed on the work to develop its San Antonio Gold project in Sonora. Sonoro Gold reported the remaining assays from its 2020 drilling campaign at Cerro Caliche. First Majestic updated on the development of the Ermitaño project, 4 km from its Santa Elena mine. GoGold Resources released the results of a PEA on the Los Ricos South project. Silver Tiger discovered a new high-grade zone on the Benjamin vein at El Tigre. Mexican Gold released the final assays from its 2020 drill program at Las Minas. Southern Silver Exploration released drill results from Cerro Las Minitas.  ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Candente Gold changed name to Xali Gold Corp.. Megastar Development changed name to Madoro Metals Corp.. Tocvan Ventures added Rodrigo Calles as Exploration and Corporate Development Manager. Minaurum Gold amended an agreement with an underlying royalty holder. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Fresnillo PLC, Industrias Peñoles and Minera San Xavier informed on actions that benefit the communities.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Camimex (Camara minera de México) informed on several projects that are to have significant investments in 2021. Juanicipio in Zacatecas, US$440 M; Los Filos expansion in Guerrero, US$213 M; Fresnillo’s Pyrites Plant in Zacatecas, US$155 M; Camino Rojo in Zacatecas, US$134 M; Tahuehueto in Durango, US$32.2 M; Santana in Sonora, US$7.55 M. Other significant projects for the near future include Las Chispas in Sonora, with US$100 M and Buenavista Zinc in Sonora, US$413 M.  
  • The world exploration investment during 2020 reached  US$8.328 billions (US$8,328 millones), according to Cochilco. That is 10% less than the US$9.285 billion spent in 2019. Twenty five percent of that amount, US$2.05 billion, were invested in Latin America, of which 21% correspond to investment sunk in Mexico (behind Chile, with 22% and ahead of Perú, with 18%).

ON EXPLORATION

  • Silver Spruce Resources. is commencing the phase 1 of exploration at the Jackie project in Sonora. The program comprises prospecting, rock, soil and stream sediment sampling, initial geological mapping and collection of structural data.
  • Vizsla Resources Corp. provided results from ten more holes on the Napoleon prospect at the Panuco project in Sinaloa. Highlighted true-width (tw) intervals comprise 11.02 m @ 180 gpt Ag, 2.27 gpt Au, 0.44% Pb, 1.31% Zn (422 gpt AgEq), including 1.09 m @ 975 gpt Ag, 13.88 gpt Au, 1.63% Pb, 5.83% Zn (2,383 gpt AgEq); 3.54 m @ 181 gpt Ag, 3.75 gpt Au, 0.59% Pb, 1.52% Zn (569 gpt AgEq); 3.23 m @ 262 gpt Ag, 2.57 gpt Au, 1.26% Pb, 2.0% Zn (562 gpt AgEq).
  • Brigadier Gold Ltd. advanced drill and surface sampling results from its Picachos property in Sinaloa. Highlighted core length intervals comprise 3 m @ 9.49 gpt Au, 24 gpt Ag; 3 m @ 6.24 gpt Au, 79 gpt Ag; 3.5 m @ 7.03 gpt Au, 110 gpt Ag; 2.5 m @ 6.75 gpt Au, 44 gpt Ag. Surface rock chip-channel sampling returned 5 m @ 4.89 gpt Au, 67 gpt; 10 m @ 1.85 gpt Au, 4 gpt Ag; 1 m @ 0.1 gpt Au, 347 gpt Ag; 0.8 m @ 44.1 gpt Au, 47 gpt Ag; 1.2 m @ 5.25 gpt Au, 74 gpt Ag; 1.6 m @ 1.9 gpt Au, 98 gpt Ag. Brigadier states that results so far indicate a primary vein system over seven kilometers with robust mineralization.
  • Radius Gold Inc. reported results from its phase four diamond drill program at the Amalia Au-Ag, project in Chihuahua. Five drill holes have been completed in the current program, for a total of 2,035 m. A hole aimed within the high grade San Pedro shoot intercepted 23.1 m @ 6.8 gpt Au, 321 gpt Ag, with an estimated true width (tw) of 14.5 m, including 6.25 m (3.5 m tw) @ 18.34 gpt Au, 813 gpt Ag.
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. announced results from the final 17 core holes completed on its phase II drill program which totaled 9,114 m at its Columba project in Chihuahua. Highlighted core length results comprise 79 m @ 58 gpt Ag (including 10.1 m @ 152 gpt Ag and 3.1 m @ 325 gpt Ag); 3.78 m @ 170 gpt Ag; 27.75 m @ 40 gpt Ag; 94.06 m @ 40 gpt Ag (including 7.0 m @ 97 gpt Ag); 9.05 m @ 179 gpt Ag (including 5.35 m @ 290 gpt Ag); 1.58 m @ 525 gpt Ag; 70.5 m @ 112 gpt Ag (including 9.0 m @ 691 gpt Ag and 4.6 m @ 1,186 gpt Ag); 25 m @ 47 gpt Ag (including 7 m @ 126 gpt Ag and 2.45 m @ 208 gpt Ag.
  • Heliostar Metals Ltd. plans to start an exploration program of its Mexican projects in Sonora next month. Drilling at La Lola should commence on February, focusing on the 5 km long La Barra vein. Mapping and sampling will be completed at Oso Negro and Cumaro projects in February and March. Oso Negro is a large project with outcropping veins, while Cumaro is part of the Picacho district.

ON MINING

  • Sierra Metals Inc. reported production results for Q4 2020, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Bolívar, in Chihuahua, 383.6 K tonnes were processed at a rate of 4,384 tonnes per day (tpd) and a grade of 0.79% Cu, 14.5 gpt Ag, 0.25 gpt Au, recovering 88.21% Cu, 83.44% Ag, 64.41% Au, to produce 5.87 M Lb Cu, 149 K Oz Ag, 2,017 Oz Au. For the year total production of 24.54 M Lb Cu was recorded. At Cusi, in Chihuahua, 82.7 K tonnes were processed during the period at a rate of 945 tpd and a grade of 160.62 gpt Ag, 0.19 gpt Au, 0.28% Pb, recovering 80.37% Ag, 46.73% Au, 82.79% Pb, to produce 343 K Oz Ag, 234 Oz Au, 590 K Lb Pb. For the year, a total of 890 K Oz Ag, 619 Oz Au, 1.37 M Lb Pb were produced.
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. executed an agreement with Industrias Peñoles S.A. de C.V. “to reduce the transport costs/allowances of Plomosas concentrate delivered and sold to Penoles under an extended offtake agreement for the sale of 100% of the Plomosas zinc concentrate” (Plomosas, Chihuahua).
  • Capstone Mining Corp. is working on a technical report that is to include an updated mineral resource and a prefeasibility study to increase the vein rate recovery at its Cozamin mine in Zacatecas. “The $45 to $50 million project will commence this year and when in operation, targeted for Q1 2023, will allow for maximizing the extraction of high-grade ore. It will also improve environmental performance given 60% of our tailings will be sent underground and the remaining tailings will employ best practice dry-stack technology…. The 2021 budget for brownfield exploration is $5 million and $4 million for greenfield exploration in Mexico and Brazil”.
  • Pan American Silver Corp. released preliminary production results for the fourth quarter of 2020, including figures from its Mexican operations. At La Colorada, Zacatecas, 1.18 M Oz Ag were produced, while at Dolores, in Chihuahua, production reached 764 K Oz Ag. For 2021 the company aims to produce 7.16 – 7.44 M Oz Ag, 4.0 – 4.2 K Oz Au at La Colorada, and 2.73 – 2.97 M Oz Ag, 160.8 – 179.3 K Oz Au at Dolores, Chihuahua.
  • Hecla Mining Co. released preliminary production for 2020, including figures from its Mexican operations. At San Sebastian, Durango, “1.0 million ounces of silver and 7,223 ounces of gold were produced. For the fourth quarter, 0.2 million ounces of silver and 1,159 ounces of gold were produced. Mining was completed in the third quarter and milling completed in the fourth quarter of 2020. The mill operated at an average of 474 tpd when in production. The Company continues to explore this highly prospective land package and will evaluate further mining based on exploration results”.  
  • Gatos Silver Inc. achieved 2,324 tonnes per day operation of its Cerro Los Gatos mine in Chihuahua. By the end of 2020 mine development had reached just under 16,000 m of development. During 2020 Gatos Silver produced 4.2 M OZ Ag, 34.2 M Lb Zn, 27.4 M Lb Pb and 4,900 Oz Au, in Ag, Zn and Pb concentrates.
  • Argonaut Gold Inc. announced production results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2020, including figures from its Mexican operations. At El Castillo, in Durango, 12,568 Oz AuEq were produced in the quarter, 46,182 Oz AuEq in the year. At San Agustín, Durango, 18,622 Oz AuEq were produced in the quarter, 63,866 Oz AuEq in the year. At La Colorada, in Sonora, 11,294 Oz AuEq were produced in the last quarter, and 47,064 in the year.
  • Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. reported production results for the fourth quarter and full year 2020, including figures from its Mexican operations. During the quarter in San José, Oaxaca, 272.1 K tonnes were milled at a rate of 3,024 tpd and a grade of 206 gpt Ag, 1.26 gpt Au, recovering 91.42% Ag, 91.27% Au, to produce 1.65 M Oz Ag, 10,095 Oz Au. For the full year 934.4 K tonnes were milled at a rate of 2,647 tpd and a grade of 224 gpt Ag, 1.38 gpt Au, recovering 91.52% Ag, 91.34% Au, to produce 6.16 M Oz Ag, 37,805 Oz Au.
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. released fourth quarter and full year 2020 results, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Mercedes, Sonora. During the last quarter 11,185 Oz Au, 65,735 Oz Ag were produced, which added up to the production of 34,955 Oz Au, 167,917 Oz Ag in the year.
  • First Majestic Silver Corp. announced Q4 and full year 2020 results from its Mexican mines. For the Full year, San Dimas, in Durango, produced 6.4 M Oz Ag, 71,598 Oz Au, or 12.67 M Oz AgEq; Santa Elena, in Sonora, produced 1.7 M Oz Ag, 28,242 Oz Au, or 4.18 M Oz Ag Eq; La Encantada, in Coahuila, produced 3.50 M Oz Ag, 241 Oz Au, or 3.53 M Oz Ag. Last quarter production results can be seen in the table below.
  • Mexus Gold US. informed it is moving 600 tonnes per day to the crushing plant at its San Elena mine in Sonora (Not to mistake for First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora). Leaching continues to produce about 3 Oz per day, which is expected to double by February.

ON FINANCING

  • Candente Gold Corp. announced the granting of 3.2 M stock options to directors, senior officers, employees and consultants of the company (El Oro, Estado de Mexico).
  • Mexican Gold Mining Corp. closed its non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $1.4 M. The press release presented a lengthy explanation of a “related party transaction” involving Palisades Goldcorp Ltd.  (Las Minas, Veracruz).
  • VanGold Mining Corp. expanded the size of its non-brokered private placement financing previously announced, to $12.6 M in gross proceeds (El Pinguico, Guanajuato).
  • Impact Silver Corp. granted 2.11 M stock options to directors, officers and employees (Real de Zacualpan, Estado de Mexico).
  • Mammoth Resources Corp. is increasing the amount of the recently announced private placement, for total gross proceeds of $688.5 (Tenoriba, Chihuahua).
  • Sierra Metals Inc. “refers to the announcement earlier today by Arias Resource Capital Fund L.P. (“ARCF I”) regarding its distribution of an aggregate of 52,721,964 common shares of the Company from ARCF I to underlying limited partners (the “Distribution”) which was made in connection with the winding-up and dissolution of ARCF I. In view of the ongoing strategic review process announced by Sierra on January 8, 2021, the Company confirms that the strategic review process continues to have the full support of its Board of Directors, management team, Arias Resource Capital Fund II L.P. (now the Company’s largest shareholder) and Arias Resource Capital Fund II (Mexico) L.P” (Cusi and Bolivar mines, Chihuahua).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Gatos Silver Inc. commenced in December 2020 a 27,000 meter exploration program at its Cerro Los Gatos property in Chihuahua, to convert 3.2 M tonnes of inferred resources to measured and indicated categories, and to discover resources to the SE and NW of the deposit. Gatos Silver “intends to reactivate Los Gatos District exploration in early 2021, starting with the Esther resource located four kilometers from CLG. During the first quarter of 2021, Gatos Silver will begin a 5,400-meter exploration program on its wholly-owned Santa Valeria project”.
  • Discovery Metals Corp. intends to perform 65,000 meters of diamond drilling in 2021 at its Cordero project in Chihuahua. The aim is to produce a PEA with a resource update of the bulk tonnage mineralization and complete the initial testing of the high-grade veins with 20,0000 meters, and drill 46,000 meters more for bulk-tonnage mineralization resource upgrade and expansion, resource definition of the high-grade veins and initial scout drilling on the property.
  • Osisko Development Corp. informed its San Antonio Gold project in Sonora has an initial resource estimate of 27.6 M tonnes grading 1.18 g/t Au for 1 M Oz Au in the inferred category. Osisko is currently targeting development of a scenario for initial annual production of 50 K to 70 K Oz with additional near-term potential from reprocessing the 1.3 M tonnes stockpile located on site. The company also entered into an agreement to purchase a semiportable crushing plant for the project with capacity of 15 K tpd, with a jaw crusher, cone crushers and the related screening and material handling equipment. “The equipment is in good condition and currently stored in Nevada, USA and will be transported to the project in the next quarter”.
  • Sonoro Gold Corp. reported the remaining assays from it 2020 drilling campaign at Cerro Caliche, Sonora. “The 2021 drilling program is currently underway with approximately 50 additional RC and core holes expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter”. Core length intercepts comprise 8.4 m @ 0.72 gpt Au; 7.2 m @ 0.60 gpt Au; 6.0 m @ 0.88 gpt Au at El Colorado zone, 3.9 m @ 0.36 gpt Au and 3.9 m @ 0.23 gpt Au in one hole at the Guadalupe zone, 9.3 m @ 0.72 gpt Au; 15 m @ 0.50 gpt Au at the Cabeza Blanca zone, 16.25 m @ 0.74 gpt Au. “The latest assays further support the Company’s consideration of the viability for a bulk mining heap-leach development proposal with a conceptual throughput of up to 20,000 tonnes per day”.
  • First Majestic Silver Corp. updated on the Ermitaño project, located only 4 km east from its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. Approximately 72,270 m of drilling have been completed since 2016 to define the current indicated resource of 4.7 M Oz Ag, 311 K Oz Au at an average grade of 70 gpt Ag, 4.59 gpt Au, and an inferred resource of 7.0 M Oz Ag and 370 K Oz Au averaging 58 gpt Ag, 3.08 gpt Au. “In 2021, the Company has budgeted a total of $42.1 million to be invested at Ermitaño and expects to begin initial test block mining by mid-2021 to assess the geotechnical conditions, subject to delineation drilling results, and extract approximately 30,000 to 60,000 tonnes of material to be used for industrial metallurgical testing”.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. released results of its preliminary economic assessment (PEA) at Los Ricos South project in Jalisco. The report includes an after tax NPV (5% discount rate) of US$296 M, with an after tax IRR of 46% on an 11 year mine life to produce 69.6 M Oz AgEq; initial capital costs of $125 M and average LOM costs of $8.65 per Oz AgEq and all-sustaining costs of $11.35 per Oz AgEq. Approximately two thirds of the production would be from open pit mining, and one third from underground mining.
  • Silver Tiger Metals Inc. announced the discovery of a new zone of high-grade Au-Ag mineralization at its El Tigre project in Sonora. Core length intercepts comprise 5.5 m @ 726 gpt Ag, 0.08 gpt Au, including 3.0 m @ 1,303 gpt Ag,0.09 gpt Au; 0.5 m @ 625 gpt Ag, 0.12 gpt Au; 0.5 m @ 474 gpt Ag, 0.13 gpt Au. These intercepts are from the newly discovered Benjamín vein, 900 m to the north of the El Tigre historic workings.
  • Mexican Gold Mining Corp. released the final assay results from the 2020 drill program covering 10,221 m in 65 holes at its Las Minas project in Veracruz. Highlighted core length intercepts comprise 18 m @ 2.45 gpt Au, 0.6% Cu; 21 m @ 9.32 gpt Au, 0.33% Cu; 28.3 m @ 1.48 gpt Au, 0.36% Cu; 15 m @ 2.42 gpt Au, 0.22% Cu; 10 m @ 1.23 gpt Au, 0.61% Cu; 10 m @ 2.09 gpt Au, 0.96% Cu; 10 m @ 1.72 gpt Au, 0.54% Cu, 52 m @ 1.5 gpt Au, 1.1% Cu; 12 m @ 2.55 gpt Au, 1.18% Cu; 7.8 m @ 1.05 gpt Au, 0.51% Cu; 8.4 m @ 1.03 gpt Au, 0.22% Cu; 9 m @ 0.99 gpt Au, 0.94% Cu; 14 m @ 1.08 gpt Au, 0.96% Cu; 10 m @ 0.54 gpt Au, 0.63% Cu; 2 m @ 1.7 gpt Au, 2.33% Cu; 1.8 m @ 3.62 gpt Au, 4.63% Cu. Areas with highlighted intercepts include El Dorado, the West Dike Contact and the East Dike Contact.
  • Southern Silver Exploration Corp. reported “further intervals of gold-enriched oxide and sulphide mineralization in step out drilling as well as a significant downhole extension of earlier reported high-grade, silver enriched polymetallic sulphide mineralization” at the Mina La Bocona zone of its Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango. Highlighted true width intercepts comprise 26.5 m @ 0.37 gpt Au, 26 gpt Ag of shallow oxide mineralization and 6.1 m @ 162 gpt Ag, 0.57 gpt Au, 3.2% Pb, 1.3% Zn, that correlates with the deeper sulfide mineralization in one hole; 6.1 m @ 344 gpt Ag, 0.59 gpt Au, 5.7% Pb, 3.9% Zn; 1.4 m @ 520 gpt Ag, 0.34 gpt Au, 10.6% Pb, 9.8% Zn; 5.0 m @ 364 gpt Ag, 0.3 gpt Au, 7.0% Pb, 1.8% Zn. 1.4 m @ 1,070 gpt Ag, 0.09 gpt Au, 23.3% Pb, 3.2% Zn.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Candente Gold Corp. announced the name change to Xali Gold Corp. has taken place (El Oro, Estado de Mexico).
  • Tocvan Ventures Corp. announced Rodrigo Calles-Montijo has been appointed to the Board of Directors and management team as Exploration and Corporate Development Manager, Mexico (Pilar, Sonora).
  • Minaurum Gold Inc. “is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with its underlying Royalty Holder (“RH”) on the Biricu Project (“Biricu”) located in the Guerrero Gold Belt (“GGB”), Mexico. Minaurum has been provided with both a limited time option to repurchase a portion of the NSR along with eliminating the outstanding Bankable Feasibility Study payment on Biricu in exchange for issuing 100,000 common shares to RH”. The Biricu project is on the southeastern projection of the Guerrero Gold Belt and is underlain by the same Cretaceous sedimentary rocks and Laramide intrusive rocks.
  • Megastar Development Corp. announced that its board of directors approved a name change to Madoro Metals Corp., subject to approval from the TSX Venture Exchange (Yautepec and Magadalena, Oaxaca).

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Industrias Peñoles informed on the donations, equipment provided and activities executed in the Torreon-Gomez Palacio area (La Laguna) to aid with the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
  • Fresnillo PLC provides 1,500 liters of diesel fuel monthly to the firefighters department in Caborca, Sonora.
  • Minera San Xavier has commenced the remediation of historic mining liabilities in Cerro San Pedro, San Luis Potosí. The liabilities were generated by mining by Asarco between 1930 and 1950. Since 2016 140 K tonnes of material have been moved from Patio Victoria to the installations of the mine, which is now closed.
  • Fresnillo PLC signed an agreement with the Fresnillo municipality to provide resources to aid the communities of Mexico Nuevo and Carrillo, in Zacatecas.
  • Peñoles informed its Museo de Los Metales (Metals Museum) continues with an intense program of online activities.

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 Quartz vein stockwork on andesite from a project in Sinaloa. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the First Week of January, 2021

By Jorge Cirett

During the 1st week of the year (January 4th to January 10th, 2020), at least 27 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. To note, four companies posted exploration advances on their properties, and six more posted news on resources and development. Sierra Metals Corp’s Cusi and Bolivar mines are up for grabs. ON MEXICO ISSUES, a reduction of mineral production is expected for 2020 due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Camimex pointed on the lack of clarity on the distribution of the mining royalties. At least six companies plan to start mining operations in this year. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Aztec Minerals updated its exploration status at Cervantes; Mojave Gold updated on exploration at its Sonora Gold project, where at least two structures tens of meters in width run for kilometers; Canuc Resources is using results from a magnetic survey for targeting. In Chihuahua, Mammoth Resources has received the permit for drilling at Tenoriba.  ON MINING, Endeavour Silver, Aura Minerals and Torex Gold presented Q4 2020 production results. Mexus Gold US continues to stack ore at its Santa Elena mine. Sierra Metals presented a PEA that doubles the processing capacity at its Cusi mine. ON FINANCING, Ridgestone Mining increased its private placement to $2.32 M. SilverCrest Metals entered into a credit agreement for US$76.5 M. Fabled Silver and Silver Wolf Exploration granted stock options. Silver Dollar Resources made a clarification requested by the OTC Market. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, GR Silver Mining reported good drilling results at the Plomosas mine, in the Plomosas project, Sinaloa. Sonoro Gold reported drilling results from Cerro Caliche, Sonora. Discovery Metals released drilling results from two vein trends at Cordero, Chihuahua. Prime Mining updated on exploration at Los Reyes, Sinaloa. Fabled Silver Gold informed on surface sampling at Santa María, Chihuahua. GoGold released results from drilling at El Favor, on its Los Ricos North project, Jalisco. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Argonaut Gold and AP Mining have amended the agreement for the previously announced sale of the Ana Paula project to AP Mining. Minaurum Gold entered into an option agreement with Fortuna Silver on the Taviche property in Oaxaca, agreement by which Fortuna can gain up to 80% interest on the project. Sierra Metals is evaluating the sale of its assets, a merger or business combination. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Fresnillo, the Chihuahua Mining Cluster and Grupo Mexico informed on actions that benefit society.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Camimex (Camara minera de México) sees the mining production to decrease in 2020 due to the pandemic. The decrease is expected to reach 10% for gold, 6 to 6.3% for silver and lead, 3% for copper and 25% for iron.
  • Camimex pointed on the lack of clarity on the distribution of the mining royalties. According to the previous rules the resources funded infrastructure on communities across mining regions. After de federal government changed the rules, it is not clear now how these resources are distributed. Mining companies paid US$196 M (3,990 million pesos) in royalties in 2019.
  • Companies aspiring to start new mines in 2021 include: Mag Silver (Juanicipio, Zacatecas), Orla Mining (Camino Rojo, Zacatecas), Minera Alamos (Santa, Sonora), Golden Minerals (Rodeo, Durango), VanGold Mining (Pinguico and El Cubo, Guanajuato), Sonora Gold (Cerro Caliche, Sonora) and Candelaria Mining (Pinos, Zacatecas).

ON EXPLORATION

  • Aztec Minerals Corp. informed that during 2020 formed a 65/35 joint venture with Kootenay Silver on the Cervantes project, Sonora. Also during the year an additional IP-resistivity survey was performed to define new targets; geological mapping, geochemical sampling and geophysical surveying have identified 11 targets in total, of which 7 are in preparation for drilling. Aztec intends to extend detailed geologic, structural, and alteration mapping and sampling at the Purisima West, Estrella, Jacobo, Brazil, and other targets at Cervantes, and plan and permit a phase 1 reverse circulation drilling program on the California and Purisima targets.
  • Mojave Gold Corp. updated on work done during December of 2020 at its Sonora Gold project in Sonora. A 261 sample stream sediment survey was carried out in the 6,000 hectares property, and detailed geological mapping and rock chip sampling was carried out on the Caracahui and Sonora Cooper areas, including underground mapping on the latter. The Sonora Cooper West/Las Llantas structure has been observed to be over 3 km in length, reaching widths of over 70 m. “In total, mineralized structures in the western part of the project area have been observed to extend more than 8.5 kilometers in cumulative length…. The Sonora Cooper mineralized area contains large structures often reaching over 70m in width, that were mapped in detail for over 500m along strike. Additionally, detailed underground mapping was completed over 605m length in the Sonora Cooper adit and over a 260m length of the Guadalupe adit. A total of 160 rock chip samples were collected from the underground workings”.
  • Mammoth Resources Corp. announced SEMARNAT (Mexican environmental agency) has approved the drill permit application on its Tenoriba property in Chihuahua. Mammoth is planning to start a drilling campaign before the end of the first quarter.
  • Canuc Resources Corp. received results from a drone supported magnetic survey at its San Javier project in Sonora. Three large magnetic high features (1,000 by 600 m, 800 by 600 m, 600 by 600m) were identified. “Detailed processing of the data suggests that there are stronger magnetic features within the larger target areas which may represent areas of higher-grade mineralization. Canuc is now carrying out detailed ground magnetic surveys on these targets and is scheduled to begin drilling in the next few weeks”.

ON MINING

  • Mexus Gold US. released an update of mining operations at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (not to mistake for First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora). The company is stacking material from a shear zone grading 0.9 gpt to 1.2 gpt Au.
  • Sierra Metals Inc. filed a NI 43-101 independent technical report for a doubling of output at its Cusi mine in Chihuahua. The preliminary economic assessment (PEA) highlights include an after tax Net Present Value (NPV) of US$81 M at an 8% discount rate, at a long term silver price of US$20/Oz. The project envisages increasing the production from 1,200 tonnes per day (tpd) to 2,400 tpd @ 127.2 gpt Ag, 0.12 gpt Au, 0.48% Zn, 0.34% Pb, with a 13 year mine life and recoverable 33.4 M Oz Ag.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp. reported the highest quarterly production in the last two years from its mines in Mexico. Total production in the quarter was 237.4 K tonnes mined at a rate of 2,580 tpd @ 169 gpt Ag, 1.90 gpt Au, recovering 86.8% Ag, 87% Au, to produce 1.12 M Oz Ag, 12,586 Oz Au.
  • Torex Gold Resources Inc. reported Q4 production for 2020. At its Limon-Guajes mine in Guerrero, 12,560 tpd were processed, with 1,300 tpd mined from underground and 18,360 tpd mined from open pit with a waste to ore strip ratio of 6.2, to produce 130,640 Oz Au in the quarter. In the year, 11,370 tpd were processed to produce 430,480 Oz Au.
  • Aura Minerals Inc. released preliminary production reports for the fourth quarter of 2020. In the period the Aranzazu mine in Zacatecas produced 19,073 Oz AuEq, which added up to the 65,497 Oz AuEq for the full year. During December 89.1 K tonnes were processed, and the company intends to increase processing to 100 K tonnes per month during the second half of 2021.

ON FINANCING

  • SilverCrest Metals Inc. entered into a credit agreement with an affiliate of RK Mine Finance to provide a secured project financing facility for a total of US$120 M for funding the construction at Las Chispas, Sonora. Concurrently SilverCrest has entered into a fixed price engineering, procurement and construction contract with Ausenco Engineering Canada Inc. with a lump sum turnkey price of US$76.5 M that is to include construction of a 1,250 tonne per day process plant at Las Chispas.
  • Fabled Silver Gold Corp. granted 200,000 stock options to a consultant of the company (Santa María, Chihuahua).
  • Silver Dollar Resources Inc. was requested by the OTC Markets Group Inc. to issue a statement about promotional activity concerning its common stock. OTC Markets questioned about “two promotional newsletter emails published by CrushTheStreet.com (“CTS”) and Wealth Research Group (“WRG”) discussing the emerging bull market for commodities, particularly silver, and citing the Company in both publications… The Company has been advised by OTC Markets that OTC Markets takes the position that aspects of the statements were overly promotional. The Company wishes to caution readers that these statements are speculative in nature” (La Joya, Durango).  
  • Silver Wolf Exploration Ltd. granted incentive stock options for the purchase of 1 M shares to directors, officers, consultants, and employees of the Company (Ana María and Laberinto, Durango).
  • Ridgestone Mining Inc. increased the previously announced private placement from $1.9 M to $2.32 M, for additional gross proceeds of $420 K (Rebeico, Sonora).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • GR Silver Mining Ltd. reported good underground drilling results from the Plomosas mine area at its Plomosas project in Sinaloa. “The mineralization is represented by thick intercepts of Au-Ag-Pb-Zn-Cu mineralization hosted in a series of hydrothermal breccias”.  The highlighted results comprise 83 m @ 2.52 gpt Au, 33 gpt Ag, 0.9% Pb, 2.9% Zn, 0.3% Cu (420 gpt AgEq), including 4.0 m @ 9.35 gpt Au, 38 gpt Ag, 0.4% Pb, 10.5% Zn, 0.3% Cu (1,319 gpt AgEq) and 11.0 m @ 9.41 gpt Au, 135 gpt Ag, 5.7% Pb, 9.8% Zn, 0.5% Cu (1,596 gpt AgEq).  
  • Sonoro Gold Corp. reported favourable results from eight reverse circulation drill holes at its Cerro Caliche project in Sonora. At the Buena Suerte target, highlighted intercepts comprise 3.0 m @ 1.48 gpt Au; 7.6 m @ 1.32 gpt Au, 12.2 m @ 0.86 gpt Au; 12.2 m @ 0.69 gpt Au; 27.44 m @ 1.17 gpt Au (including 3.0 m @ 4.70 gpt Au); 12.2 m @ 0.50 gpt Au. Highlighted intercepts from the Japoneses target include 22.9 m @ 0.57 gpt Au; 10.7 m @ 0.45 gpt Au; 13.7 m @ 0.60 gpt Au; 10.7 m @ 0.40 gpt Au, 12.2 m @ 0.36 gpt Au; 4.6 m @ 0.41 gpt Au; 27.44 m @ 1.17 gpt Au; 12.2 m @ 0.50 gpt Au.
  • Discovery Metals Corp. released results from 10 diamond drill holes targeting the Parcionera and Josefina vein trends at its Cordero project in Chihuahua. Highlighted intercepts comprise 4.4 m @ 246 gpt Ag, 0.39 gpt Au, 6.5% Pb, 0.4% Zn (524 gpt AgEq); 0.5 m @ 665 gpt Ag, 0.58 gpt Au, 13.8% Pb, 13.7% Zn (1,765 gpt Ag) on the Parcionera vein trend and 3.3 m @ 196 gpt Ag, 0.17 gpt Au, 5.6% Pb, 4.9% Zn (612 gpt AgEq); 1.6 m @ 20 gpt Ag, 0.11 gpt Au, 0.3% Pb, 1.8% Zn at the Josefina vein trend.
  • Prime Mining Corp. provided a year-end update on its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. “The ongoing work includes field mapping, trench sampling, rock alteration analysis and interpretation and re-logging of historic diamond drill core…. Re-logging of several existing diamond drill core holes also identified that adularia, a crystalline mineral, containing high-grade gold and silver locally with visible gold, is associated with nearby altered rock types. The adularia appears to be vertically zoned”. The project is a district scale low sulfidation epithermal mineralizing system on which more than US$20 million have been spent over 25 years.
  • Fabled Silver Gold Corp. completed the sampling program to evaluate the IP geophysical anomalies on the Santa María property in Chihuahua. The sampling returned silver anomalous results over two geophysical anomalies. Eleven first priority anomalies have been delineated, generally in an east-west direction.
  • GoGold Resources Inc. released drilling results from El Favor deposit at its Los Ricos North property in Jalisco. Highlighted core length results comprise 30.2 m @ 0.18 gpt Au, 63 gpt Ag (1.03 gpt AuEq), including 8.6 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 146 gpt Ag (2.23 gpt AuEq); 5.6 m @ 0.55 gpt Au, 287 gpt Ag (4.37 gpt Au), including 1.7 m @ 1.7 gpt Au, 834 gpt Ag (12.83 gpt AuEq); 70.5 m @ 0.15 gpt Au, 50 gpt Ag (0.82 gpt AuEq), including 9.7 m @ 0.55 gpt Au, 199 gpt Ag (3.20 gpt AuEq); 15.3 m @ 0.30 gpt Au, 151 gpt Ag (2.31 gpt AuEq); 12.8 m @ 0.30 gpt Au, 126 gpt Ag (1.99 gpt AuEq), including 3.3 m @ 0.89 gpt Au, 302 gpt Ag (4.91 gpt AuEq); 41.1 m @ 0.24 gpt Au, 76 gpt Ag (1.24 gpt AuEq); 21.0 m @ 0.11 gpt Au, 74 gpt Ag (1.10 gpt AuEq); 27.0 m @ 0.97 gpt Au, 113 gpt Ag (2.47 gpt AuEq); 11.0 m @ 0.28 gpt Au, 160 gpt Ag (2.40 gpt AuEq); 52.1 m @ 0.69 gpt Au, 254 gpt Ag (4.08 gpt AuEq); 11.6 m @ 0.43 gpt Au, 148 gpt Ag; 32.5 m @ 0.32 gpt Au, 63 gpt Ag (1.15 gpt AuEq).

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Argonaut Gold Inc. and AP Mining “have amended the agreement for the previously announced sale of the Ana Paula project to AP Mining (see press release dated September 11, 2020) to allow more time to meet the regulatory and government approvals required for closing. In connection with the amendment, AP Mining has agreed to pay an additional US$1.0 million at 15 months from the closing date and to reimburse all of Argonaut’s costs incurred associated with the Ana Paula project incurred between January 1, 2021 and the closing of the transaction. Closing continues to be subject to financing and receipt of all necessary approvals, which is expected in the first quarter of 2021” (Ana Paula, Guerrero).
  • Minaurum Gold Inc. entered into an option agreement with Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. pursuant to which Fortuna can earn up to an 80% interest in Minaurum’s Taviche silver project in Oaxaca. Fortuna can earn an initial 60% by making cash payments totalling $450 K and incurring in US$4 M in work expenditures over three years. Fortuna can earn an additional 20% interest “by funding Minaurum ‘s acquisition by way of option exercise of the remaining 20% interest”. The cash installments to make comprise US$75 K upon signing, US$100 K on the first anniversary, US$125 K on the second anniversary and US$150 K on the third anniversary. Drilling by previous operators of the project returned up to 34.12 m @ 262 gpt Ag and 8.35 m @ 2.05 gpt Au.
  • Sierra Metals Inc. announced that “its Board of Directors, supported by its management team and with the full support of Arias Resource Capital Fund L.P., Arias Resource Capital Fund II L.P. (the Company’s two largest shareholders) and Arias Resource Capital Fund II (Mexico) L.P., has commenced a process to explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives focused on maximizing shareholder value. These alternatives could include, among other things, the sale of part or all of the Company, a sale of some of the assets of the Company, a merger or other business combination with another party, or other strategic transactions” (Cusi and Bolivar mines, Chihuahua).

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Minera Fresnillo donated computing equipment in Caborca, Sonora.
  • The Chihuahua Mining Cluster president, Pablo Mendez Alvídrez stated that the industry will aid with the acquisition of the Covid-19 vaccine, once it is on sale by pharmacies, for its distribution on mining communities.
  • The Grupo Mexico Foundation delivered a significant amount of protective equipment for health care personnel

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: Quartz veining from a project in San Luis Potosí. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the Second Week of December, 2020

By Jorge Cirett

During the 50th week of the year (December 7th to December 13th, 2020), at least 31 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. To note, ten companies posted exploration advances on their properties and seven more published on project development. ON MEXICO ISSUES, a list of eight projects that have changed hands in the last six months include properties in Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango and Zacatecas. The AIMMGM confirmed its International Convention will be held in 2021 in Acapulco, Guerrero (With so many options, Why Acapulco? Why?), as vaccination is likely to have the pandemic under control by then. The proposed law against outsourcing is likely to affect the mining industry in Sonora. The Naica mine (site of the famous Crystals Cave) in Chihuahua is to see activity again.  ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Riverside reported trench sampling results at the Cuarentas project; Tocvan Ventures informed RC drilling advances at its Pilar project; Colibri Resource released assays from trench sampling at Evelyn. In Chihuahua, Reyna Silver started drilling at the Guigui project, in the Santa Eulalia district. In Sinaloa, Brigadier Gold updated on the exploration of the Picachos project. In Durango, Mithril Resources released drilling results from Copalquin; Canasil Resources reported on two more drill holes at the Nora project. In Zacatecas, VanGold Mining completed a shaft to the 7th level at its Pinguico project; Defiance Silver commenced its 5,000 m drilling program at San Acacio; Advance Gold defined a new geophysical anomaly at Tabasqueña.  ON MINING, Mexus Gold continues to produce from its heap leach operation at the Santa Elena mine in Sonora. Gatos Silver informed on production on the third quarter. Alamos Gold provided its 2021 gold production guidance. ON FINANCING, First Majestic is to start paying a dividend. Canuc Resources and Oroco Resource closed non-brokered private placements for CAD$1 M and $15.5 M respectively. Alien Metals is to issue 3.4 M shares of no par value. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, GR Silver Mining reported on bulk metallurgical testing at Plomosas, Sinaloa. Sonoro Gold released drilling results from the Cerro Caliche project in Sonora. GoGold Resources released drilling results from La Trini deposit at its Los Ricos North project in Jalisco. Consolidated Zinc continues the plant refurbishment at its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua. Impact Silver is re-interpreting all the historical exploration data gathered at the Real de Zacualpan district in Estado de Mexico. Sierra Metals released a new PEA on the expansion to 2,400 tpd of its Cusi mine, in Chihuahua. Southern Silver Exploration reported results of two deep holes on the South Skarn target of Cerro Las Minitas, Durango.  ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Capstone Mining signed a precious metals purchase agreement with Wheaton Precious Metals International. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Grupo Peñoles, Fresnillo PLC, Peña Colorada, Minera Media Luna, Almaden Minerals and Esperanza Silver informed on programs to aid communities near their operations.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Projects that have changed hands in the second half of the year include El Picacho (Sonora) by Silver Crest, MVZ within El Pajarito project (Chihuahua) by Li-ion Graphite, Juliana (Sonora) by Tarachi Gold, Magistral de Oro tailings (Durango) by Tarachi Gold, Margarita (Chihuahua) by Magna Gold, La Sanguijuela and Cerro Gordo (Jalisco) by Endeavour Silver, Lucita (Zacatecas) by Defiance Silver and Santa María (Chihuahua) by Fabled Silver.
  • The AIMMGM (Asociación de Ingenieros de Minas, Metalurgistas y Geólogos de México) announced that thanks to the appearance of the Covid-19 vaccine, the next International convention sponsored by the association is to be held in Acapulco, Guerrero, in October 19-22 of 2021.
  • Coparmex Sonora (Confederación Patronal de la República Mexicana – Sonora) stated that the proposed law against outsourcing is to affect the mining industry on the state, as 40% of its work force is under this scheme.
  • The Naica mine in Chihuahua (home to the famous Cave of Crystals), which closed in 2015, is to see miners again, as a group of twenty has been contracted to start working again. The mine is also to supply water from its underground workings to irrigate 200 hectares of farm land.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Mithril Resources Ltd. released drilling results from its Copalquin project in Durango. Highlighted core-length intercepts comprise 9.35 m @ 7.84 gpt Au, 138 gpt Ag (including 4.0 m @ 16.44 gpt Au, 287 gpt Ag) at El Refugio; 14.85 m @ 0.85 gpt Au, 48 gpt Ag (including 1.30 m @ 5.07 gpt Au, 309 gpt Ag) and 9.78 m @ 0.85 gpt Au, 13 gpt Ag; 11.70 m @ 1.16 gpt Au, 70 gpt Ag (including 1.0 m @ 7.17 gpt Au, 236 gpt Ag; 2.90 m @ 1.93 gpt Au, 216 gpt Ag; 5.28 m @ 0.39 gpt Au, 26 gpt Ag; 10.15 m @ 0.55 gpt Au, 16 gpt Ag (including 1.0 m @ 3.75 gpt Au, 70 gpt Ag.
  • Riverside Resources Inc. and Hochschild Mining reported trench sampling results at its Cuarentas project in Sonora. Highlighted trench sampling comprises 12.5 m @ 0.59 gpt Au; 12.5 m @ 0.33 gpt Au; 25 m @ 0.27 gtp Au; 22.5 m @ 0.17 gpt Au; 6.0 m @ 0.24 gpt Au at Santa Rosalía. Channel sample results from the Centro target include 1.0 m @ 2.23 gpt Au; 1.5 m @ 1.01 gpt Au; 1.2 m @ 0.53 gpt Au.
  • VanGold Mining Corp. has completed clearing the Pinguico shaft to adit level 7, at El Pinguico mine, Zacatecas. The company expects to be able to sample the lower portion of an underground stockpile (or backfill) that the Mexican Geological Survey (SGM) measured at 149 K tonnes @ 1.66 gpt Au, 143 gpt Ag.
  • Tocvan Ventures Corp. informed more than 400 m of reverse circulation drilling in three holes have been sunk at its Pilar project in Sonora. Results are pending and expected early in the New Year.
  • Defiance Silver Corp. commenced drilling at its San Acacio project in Zacatecas. The 5,000 m program is to focus on the Veta Grande vein system in hanging wall structural offsets and the Veta Grande vein system at depth.
  • Reyna Silver Corp. started drilling at its Gugui project in the Santa Eulalia district of Chihuahua. “Santa Eulalia is Mexico’s largest Carbonate Replacement Deposit (CRD) but despite over 300 years of continuous mining activity, the intrusive source for the system, which is Reyna’s initial target focus, has not been found…….. Targeting is based on a combination of geology, geochemistry, geophysics and hyperspectral satellite imagery analysis”. The initial drilling is to comprise 10,000 m.
  • Canasil Resources Inc. released results from two more drill holes on the Candy vein at its  Nora project in Durango. True width (TW) intervals comprise 0.72 m @ 1.46 gpt Au, 7 gpt Ag in one hole, and 2.40 m @ 4.78 gpt Au, 351 gpt Ag, 0.5% Pb+Zn (including 0.45 m @ 15.60 gpt Au, 561 gpt Ag, 0.5% Pb+Zn); 0.45 m @ 7.13 gpt Au, 639 gpt Ag, 0.7% Pb+Zn; 1.49 m @ 11.86 gpt Au, 378 gpt Ag, 0.21% Pb+Zn; 0.45 m @ 36.70 gpt Au, 1,010 gpt Ag, 0.35% Pb+Zn.
  • Colibri Resource Corp. released further assay results from the trenching program at its Evelyn project in Sonora. Twenty two out of 95 samples  returned more than 0.1 gpt Au, and 6 were greater than 1.0 gpt Au, peaking at 17.75 gpt Au. Areas with good gold values include El Sahuaro, Cerro Rojo and Central Evelyin targets.
  • Brigadier Gold Ltd. updated in the exploration at its Picachos project in Sinaloa. “The 3,954 hectare Picachos Property is centered over the historic “Viva Zapata” National Mineral Reserve, Sinaloa, Mexico.  It overlaps two mineralized systems, a porphyry copper‐molybdenum system hosted by a Paleocene granite‐granodiorite intrusive complex, and a gold‐silver vein complex comprised of both east‐northeasterly trending veins (La Cocolmeca Vein System) and northwesterly trending veins (El Placer System)”. The company has established its community relations, repaired roads, upgraded the water supply, built a core processing facility, drill tested the SW of the Cocolmeca vein system and discovered several new veins by trenching on historic soil anomalies.
  • Advance Gold Corp.  informed on results of a newly completed geophysical study at its Tabasqueña project in Zacatecas. The induced polarization survey delineated a new large chargeability anomaly to the west of known anomalies.

ON MINING

  • Mexus Gold US. announced the gold production from its newly completed leach pad at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora is to be sold before the end of the year.
  • Gatos Silver Inc. reported third quarter 2020 results. At the Cerro Los Gatos mine in Chihuahua, 164.5 K tonnes were mined to produce 6,097 tonnes of lead concentrate @ 5,726 gpt Ag, 6.82 gpt Au, 59.71% Pb, 9.69% Zn and 7,980 tonnes of zinc concentrate @ 572 gpt Ag, 0.52 gpt Au, 1.60% Pb, 56.46% Zn. Recoveries stood at 85.1% Ag, 87.3% Pb, 73.9% Zn. The mine was recommissioned in late May from the pandemic lockdown with a monthly production rate of 1,750 tpd.
  • Alamos Gold Inc. provided guidance for gold production and costs for 2021, including from its Mexican operations. At Mulatos, in Sonora, Alamos is to produce 150-160 K Oz Au at total cash cost of $840-890 per Oz Au and Mine-site-all-in-sustaining-cost of $1,060-1,110 per Oz Au. The Mulatos district is to produce 140-150 K Oz Au in 2020, at cash cost $840-890 per Oz Au and Mine-site AISC of $940-980 per Oz Au, at an operating rate of 22,000 tpd @ 0.9-1.1 gpt Au, recovering 60% of gold. A total of $9 M in exploration is to be spent at Mulatos in 2021.

ON FINANCING

  • First Majestic Silver Corp. announced the company will start paying a dividend of 1% net revenues commencing after the completion of the first quarter 2021 (San Dimas, Durango).
  • Canuc Resources Corp. closed a non-brokered private placement for CAD$1.02 M in gross proceeds (San Javier silver -gold, Sonora).
  • Alien Metals Ltd. announced an incoming share issue of 3.4 M units of no par value (Los Campos and San Celso, Zacatecas).
  • Oroco Resource Corp. closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $15.5 M (Santo Tomás, Sinaloa).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • GR Silver Mining Ltd.  reported results of bulk metallurgical testing at its Plomosas project in Sinaloa. The 2,700 tonnes sample was excavated from a representative zone of the San Juan area underground development – San Juan vein & breccia, and sent for off-site processing. The samples produced a concentrate that averaged 15,147 gpt Ag and 46.2 gpt Au (recovery rates were not mentioned).
  • Sonoro Gold Corp. released assay results from the ongoing drilling program at its Sonoro project in Sonora. Highlighted core length intercepts comprise 16.25 m @ 0.67 gpt Au, 5 gpt Ag; 10.70 m @ 0.29 gpt Au, 4 gpt Ag; 20.95 m @ 0.50 gpt Au, 25 gpt Ag; 21.0 m @ 0.88 gpt Au, 18 gpt Ag (including 2.90 m @ 3.86 gpt Au, 48 gpt Ag); 9.50 m @ 0.40 gpt Au, 2 gpt Ag, at the El Rincón-Veta de Oro zone, and 12.19 m @ 0.35 gpt Au; 45.72 m @ 0.36 gpt Au; 4.57 m @ 0.66 gpt Au; 28.96 m @ 0.22 gpt Au; 12.19 m @ 0.45 gpt Au; 21.33 m @ 0.58 gpt Au; 24.38 m @ 0.75 gpt Au; 21.34 m @ 0.81 gpt Au (including 6.10 m @ 2.03 gpt Au) at the Buena Suerte and Japoneses zones.  
  • GoGold Resources Inc. released additional assays from drilling at La Trini deposit, part of the Los Ricos North project in Jalisco. Core length intercepts comprise 23.1 m @ 0.04 gpt Au, 44 gpt Ag; 29.5 m @ 0.69 gpt Au, 91 gpt Ag (including 16.7 m @ 1.18 gpt Ag, 141 gpt Ag that include 6.3 m @ 2.66 gpt Au, 320 gpt Ag); 36.7 m @ 1.00 gpt Au, 69 gpt Ag; 61.4 m @ 1.06 gpt Au, 124 gpt Ag (including 13.9 m @ 4.29 gpt Au, 477 gpt Ag that include 3.4 m @ 14.28 gpt Au, 1,694 gpt Ag); 15.6 m @ 0.11 gpt Au, 93 gpt Ag; 44.1 m @ 0.56 gpt Au, 46 gpt Ag (including 6.4 m @ 2.18 gpt Au, 108 gpt Ag); 33.0 m @ 1.24 gpt Au, 68 gpt Ag (including 6.0 m @ 4.94 gpt Au, 218 gpt Ag).
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. announced the plant refurbishment of its Plomosas mine in Chihuahua is on time and on budget. The primary ball mill has been delivered to site, the crushing circuit dry testing has been completed, flotation cells are in the purchasing stage and the tailings dam, construction is due to commence.
  • Impact Silver Corp. contracted a consultant to re-interpret data “from extensive historic geophysical surveys carried out over the southern portions of the large Royal Mines of Zacualpan Project in central Mexico. This area hosts the Capire open pit silver deposit, the Manto America bulk tonnage gold target and many other exploration areas. The historic data sets include IP (Inverse Polarization), airborne magnetometer and EM (electromagnetics), radiometric and ground gravity surveys that were carried out by a previous operator in the 1990’s”.
  • Sierra Metals Inc. reported results from a PEA (preliminary economic assessment) on the expansion of its Cusi mine, Chihuahua. The report sets an after-tax net present value (NPV) of US$81 Million at an 8% discount rate assuming a long term silver price of US$20/Oz, envisaging the increase of production from 1,200 to 2,400 tpd, with an NPV (@ 8%) of US$28.1 M, and IRR of 46.8%, with a mine life of 13 years, processing ore @ 127.2 gpt Ag, 0.12 gpt Au, 0.48% Zn, 0.34% Pb to produce 33.4 M Oz Ag.   The expected net after-tax cash flow is US$134 M.
  • Southern Silver Exploration Corp. reported assay results from its 10,000 m core drilling program on Cerro Las Minitas, Durango. The two holes reported are from the South Skarn target, with highlighted true width (tw) intervals comprising 2.7 m @ 511 gpt Ag 0.1 gpt Au, 0.13% Cu, 5.0% Pb, 3.7% Zn (including 0.6 m @ 902 gpt Ag, 0.05 gpt Au, 0.16% Cu, 7.8% Pb, 8.4% Zn); 1.6 m @ 182 gpt Ag, 0.23 gpt Au, 0.21% Cu, 4.4% Pb, 4.1% Zn; 0.9 m @ 247 gpt Ag, 0.19 gpt Au, 0.07% Cu, 4.7% Pb, 1.2% Zn; 3.3 m @ 304 gpt Ag, 0.11 gpt Au, 0.18% Cu, 4.8% Pb, 1.9% Zn (including 0.6 m @ 607 gpt Ag, 0.15 gpt Au, 0.49% Cu, 11.0% Pb, 3.4% Zn); 10.4 m @ 172 gpt Ag, 0.08 gpt Au, 0.15% Cu, 3.8% Pb, 3.7% Zn (including 5.8 m @ 286 gpt Ag, 0.11 gpt Au, 0.27% Cu, 6.4% Pb, 5.8% Zn); 1.2 m @ 303 gpt Ag, 0.05 gpt Au, 0.02% Cu, 7.1% Pb, 5.8% Zn.

 ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Capstone Mining Corp. entered into a definitive precious metals purchase agreement with Wheaton Precious Metals International Ltd.. Wheaton will pay an upfront cash consideration of $150 M for 50% of the silver production until 10 M Oz have been delivered, thereafter dropping to 33% of silver production for the life of mine from the Capstone’s Cozamin Mine in Zacatecas.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Grupo Peñoles donated 30 ventilators, 35 ventilator circuits and more than 90 thousand face masks in Chihuahua.
  • The Mining Fund provided resources for a water well in Zacatecas.
  • Fresnillo PLC informed on its efforts aiding on the recovery and promotion of wildlife in Zacatecas.
  • Peña Colorada, Televisa and the Mexican Bank association are sponsoring scholarships for 121 students in Colima.
  • Minera Media Luna (Torex Gold) funded the asphalting of streets of communities in Cocula, Guerrero.
  • Almaden Minerals informed that an “irrigation dam developed by the Company in partnership with the Federal Government water authority (“CONAGUA”) and a local irrigation group from the community of Zacatepec, is now in operation”(in Puebla).
  • Esperanza Silver intends to develop the Esperanza project in Morelos in a sustainable way with social inclusion.

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: Argillic alteration at Villa de Reyes, San Luis Potosí. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

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

By Jorge Cirett

During the 36th week of the year (August 31st to September 6th, 2020), at least 22 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. The dominant news on the country relating to the mining industry during the week, was the cancellation of the Sub Secretary of Mining (created during the last presidential term), headed by Francisco Quiroga, who had gained the trust of the enterprises and organizations of the industry by his relentless and hands-on daily effort to help better the mining industry in Mexico. He will be missed, unlike his predecessor. ON MEXICO ISSUES, the Sub Secretary of Mining was cancelled, its role absorbed within the Economy Secretary; loud complaints from the mining industry organizations followed, to fall on deaf ears. Pending investments in mining for the near future of US$1991 M. The Sonora Mining Fund Committee approved the investment of US$3.5 M on an aqueduct. FIFOMI has US$164 M in current credits to the mining industry. The Mining Fund is gone, for the purposes it was created for. (This is a measure taken by the actual federal government against the opinion of all mining enterprises and organizations. In my personal point of view, it opens the way to the use of the funds in a very centralized manner, same that can be exploited for political gains by those in power. There was just no need for this change). The very Mexican “illegal mine blockade roulette” now struck Equinox’s Los Filos mine in Guerrero. ON EXPLORATION, in Baja, Comet Resources updated on its Santa Teresa property. In Sonora, Redstar Gold updated on its Cumaro project. In Sinaloa, Viszla Resources released drilling results at Panuco. In Veracruz, Azucar Minerals released drilling results from El Cobre.  ON MINING, Santacruz Silver reported second quarter 2020 results. Equinox Gold’s Los Filos mine in Guerrero is affected by an illegal blockade. ON FINANCING, seven companies made announcements regarding the opening or closing of financing rounds: Southern Silver Exploration ($456 K), Barksdale Resources ($6.3 M), GoGold Resources (C$30 M), Silver Dollar Resources ($10.5 M), Inomin Mines ($400 K), Americas Gold and Silver (C$39.4 M), Alien Metals (£1.25 M). Gold79 Mines, Golden Tag Resources and Redstar Gold granted stock options to officers, directors and consultants. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Silver Bull Resources updated on the legal battle and an illegal blockade at its Sierra Mojada project in Coahuila. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Odyssey Marine Exploration received funds for the legal battle to obtain the government permit to mine its Exploraciones Oceánicas phosphate project offshore Baja California Sur. Tarachi Gold acquired the Juliana group of properties, increasing the size of its Tarachi property to 3,708 hectares. Inomin Mines executed the agreement on the acquisition of the La Gitana and Peña Blanca properties in Oaxaca. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Peñasquito, First Majestic, Minera San Javier, Alamos Gold and SilverCrest informed on donations, community involvement and safety measures on the areas near their operations.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Francisco Quiroga, in his last day as Sub-Secretary of Mining, called for the AIMMGM (Asociación de Ingenieros Mineros, Metalurgistas y Geólogos de México) to play a leading role in the transformation of the industry and its relationship with the public sector.
  • The AIMMGM installed the newly elected board for the 2020-2022 period.
  • The Secretaría de Economía announced the cancellation of the Mining Sub-Secretary, onward from September 1st, 2020.
  • The cancellation of the Mining Sub-Secretary by the federal government brought loud complaints from companies and organisms within the industry (not that these complaints are to be attended to). The Cámara Minera de México (CAMIMEX), the Asociación de Ingenieros Mineros, Metalurgistas y Geólogos de México (AIMMGM), the Mining Task Force of the Cámara de Comercio del Canadá en México, the Sonora, Chihuahua, Guerrero, Sinaloa and Zacatecas Mining clusters, the Colegio de Ingenieros de Minas, Metalurgistas y Geólogos de México (CIMMGM) and the organization Mujeres en la Minería (WIM Mexico) extended its congratulations to Francisco Quiroga, departing Mining Sub-Secretary and expressed the profound disagreement for the disappearance of the Sub Secretary of Mining.   
  • Camimex (Cámara Minera de México) informed Mexico has a list of projects that add up to $1,991 M dollars in programmed investment. Amongst these are the Campo Morado mine in Guerrero, La Yaqui Grande in Sonora, as well as the Orysivo project in Chihuahua, the Centauro Profundo project in Sonora and the Media Luna project in Guerrero. Mexico had a production peak of 123,364 kg of gold in 2015, same that has declined to 73,451 kg in 2019.
  • The Mining Fund Sonora Committee approved the investment of MX$75 M pesos (US$3.5 M) for the construction of the Macoyahui-Alamos aqueduct. The project includes 24.5 Km of PVC tubing and five pumping stations.
  • INEGI informed the mining activity is resuming after the COVID lockdown. Sulphur, iron,, lead, gold, copper, silver, fluorite are among the commodities that have seen their production significantly increased. In January 2020 the industry generated 381,456 direct jobs and more than 2 M indirect jobs, according to the IMSS.
  • Request for the Mining Sub Secretary to stay in Chihuahua by Omar Bazán, deputy, and the Chihuahua Mining Cluster.
  • The Fideicomiso de Fomento Minero (FIFOMI) has $3,530 M pesos (US$164 M) on current credits to the mining sector.
  • The Mining Fund is gone, for the purposes it was created for. Graciela Márquez, Economy Secretary confirmed the resources no longer are going to be distributed among mining municipalities, but through different agreements with government organisms and federal programs to help mining communities.
  • Graciela Márquez, Economy Secretary, stated the disappearance of the Mining Sub-Secretary is not to affect the mining industry as all relevant structures stay in place (We beg to disagree).

ON EXPLORATION

  • Radius Gold Inc. informed on exploration at its Amalia and Plata Verde projects in Chihuahua. At Amalia, “phase 4 drilling funded by JV partner Pan American Silver remains on stand-by due to COVID-19. Semarnat, the permitting agency in Chihuahua, has returned to work on a limited scale and Pan American has recently provided updated information requested by Semarnat”. At Plata Verde, there is advance in the signing of agreements to expand the property package. “The next phase of field work will consist of geophysical programs to identify feeder systems and expansions of the known mineralization under the thin (>100m) cover volcanics”.
  • Redstar Gold Corp. announced its Cumaro project in Sonora is adjacent to SilverCrest’s Picacho property. “Previous drilling on SilverCrest Metals’ Picacho vein, two kilometres north of the Cumaro property, returned intersections including 13.9 metres at 16.22 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 33.9 g/t silver in hole PDD07-013, and 4.1 metres at 3.86 g/t gold and 35.0 g/t silver…” in other hole on the Dos Amigos vein. The company believes there is a down-thrown block on the eastern side of the property, where the extensions of the veins exposed on the western side could be present on a much shallower level.
  • Comet Resources Ltd. Informed in a corporate presentation on its Santa Teresa property in Baja California. Santa Teresa is a high-grade mesothermal lode gold deposit (ie.- orogenic gold) with an existing NI 43-101 inferred resource of 64 K Oz Au capped at 20 gpt Au, with a cutoff grade of 4 gpt Au and average grade of 8 gpt Au. Historical drilling has intersected quartz veins grading up to 958 gpt Au over 1 m, and multiple other drill results above 30 gpt Au. The deposit is open along strike and at depth.
  • Vizsla Resources Corp. announced a fourth new discovery at its Panuco project in Sinaloa. The first four drill holes at the Tajitos vein have been completed on the Cinco Señores vein corridor. Highlighted intercepts from the three first drill holes comprise 4.5 m @ 1,200 gpt Ag, 7.29 gpt Au (including 1.15 m @ 2,210 gpt Ag, 16.13 gpt Au); 1.15 m @ 812 gpt Ag, 4.59 gpt Au. ”The Tajitos vein zone is composed of a quartz breccia vein with an early white locally banded quartz supporting andesite lithic clasts, followed by a later white to greyish quartz supporting brecciated clasts of earlier white quartz veins. This zone was then cut by a later white to clear quartz vein with local dark bands or patches of fine-grained sulphides that is cutting a zone of quartz psuedomorphs after bladed calcite and pink rhodochrosite. The better grades are in the earlier breccias associated with dark bands or dark patches of very fine-grained disseminated sulphides. This vein zone is hosted in a package of andesite flows and tuffs”.
  • Azucar Minerals Ltd. released drilling results from its El Cobre project in Veracruz. The holes in the Primo target returned 23.75 m  @ 0.22 gpt Au, 0.08% Cu; 8.50 m @ 0.71 gpt Au, 0.24% Cu; 123.50 m @ 0.14 gpt Au, 0.14% Cu. Azucar is currently preparing its facilities  and implementing the health protocols required to enable a safe return to work.

ON MINING

  • Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. Reported operating and financial results for the second quarter 2020. At Veta Grande in Zacatecas, 37.1 K tonnes were milled to produce 204.6 K Oz AgEq at cash cost $17.68 per Oz AgEq and an AISC of $19.70 per Oz AgEq. At Rosario in San Luis Potosi, 20.8 K tonnes were milled to produce 141.4 K Oz AgEq at cash cost $14.23 per Oz AgEq and an AISC of $15.59 per Oz AgEq.
  • Equinox Gold Corp. reports that “mining activities at its Los Filos mine in Mexico have been suspended since September 3, 2020 as the result of an illegal road blockade by members of the nearby Carrizalillo community. The individuals allege non-compliance with the community social collaboration agreement signed in 2019. The mine remains staffed with a reduced workforce to maintain appropriate safety, security and environmental systems. Equinox Gold is in active discussions with the Carrizalillo community leaders to resolve the issues”.

ON FINANCING

  • Gold79 Mines Ltd. Approved the granting of 6 M stock options to officers, directors and consultants of the company (Taviche, Oaxaca).
  • Southern Silver Exploration Corp. plans to conduct a non-brokered private placement to raise $456 K (Cerro Las Minitas, Durango).
  • Golden Tag Resources Ltd. Granted 9.9 M incentive stock options to management and directors (San Diego, Durango).
  • Barksdale Resources Corp. increased the size of its non-brokered private placement financing for gross proceeds of up to $6.3 M (San Javier, Sonora).
  • GoGold Resources Inc. entered into an agreement on a bought deal basis with a syndicate of underwriters for the acquisition of shares for gross proceeds of C$30 M (Los Ricos, Jalisco).
  • Silver Dollar Resources Inc. has arranged a non-brokered private placement to raise up to $10.5 M (La Joya, Durango).
  • Redstar Gold Corp. announced the granting of 20.73 M stock options to directors, officers and consultants of the company (Cumaro, Oso Negro and La Lola, Sonora).
  • Inomin Mines Inc. announced a non-brokered private placement to raise up to $400 K in gross profits (La Gitana, Oaxaca).
  • Americas Gold and Silver Corp. closed its previously announced and up-sized bought deal financing for aggregate gross proceeds of C$39.4 M (Cosalá, Sinaloa).
  • Alien Metals Ltd. announced that it has conditionally raised £1.25 M (Los Campos and Los Celsos, Zacatecas).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Silver Bull Resources Inc. updated on its Sierra Mojada project in Coahuila. Sociedad Cooperativa de Exploración Minera Mineros Norteños, S.C.L. (Mineros Norteños), the group which is illegally blocking the Sierra Mojada project, has filed an appeal in the recently reopened Mexican courts to try and overturn a favorable ruling for Silver Bull on their lawsuit against the Company filed in 2014. The company sees the whole lawsuit as frivolous (looking for payment of an NSR on production that has not taken place), and explains Mineros Norteños has lost already three rulings, and Silver Bull expects a final ruling on the case, which cannot be appealed by Mineros Norteños, to be handed down from the courts within the next 6 months. Mineros Norteños has illegally blocked access to the project since September 2019.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. had a financing transaction that provides the company with $11.3 M, a portion of which will be used to fund operating expenses of the “Exploraciones Oceánicas” phosphate project offshore Baja California Sur. “The investor group was anchored by Odyssey’s existing NAFTA funding partner, Poplar Grove LLC. Poplar Grove is managed by Drumcliffe LLC, a private investment management firm that oversees high-value litigation funding portfolios of over $14 billion in claims”.   
  • Telson Mining Corp. announced the resignation from its board of directors by Remigio Martínez Muller.
  • Tarachi Gold Corp. entered into an arm’s length option agreement with Exploradora Cobre de Bacanoras S. de R.L. de C.V. to acquire 100% interest in the group of mining concessions known as the Juliana, Juliana No.1, Juliana No.2 and Las Morita mining concessions covering 1,140 hectares in Sonora. “Tarachi’s projects now consist of the San Javier, Pretoria, Chivitas, Jabali, Juliana, Texana and Tarachi concessions for a total of 3,708 ha in the Mulatos District. The deal involves the payment of $40 K on the execution date, $30 K on six months, $30 K on 12 months, $30 K on 18 months, $60 K on 24 months, $60 K on 30 months, $150 K on 36 months, $150 K on 42 months, $150 K on 48 months, $700 K on 54 months and $700 K on 60 months, and the issue of 4 M common shares, 400 K of those on the execution date, 1 M shares on 12 months, 1 M shares on 24 months and 1.5 M shares on 26 months. The transfer of the concessions is subject to a 3% NSR from production, with the company having the right to buy at any time 1/3 of the NSR for $1 M.
  • Inomin Mines Inc. announced the execution of the agreement to acquire the La Gitana and Peña Blanca projects in Oaxaca. Inomin is acquiring 100% interest on both properties for 1 M common shares of Inomin, $25 K cash and the grant of 1.5 % NSR on the Peña Blanca property, of which 0.5% can be bought at any time for $1 M.

ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Peñasquito continues to apply bio-security protocols. Up to date 27,359 fast test have been applied in the facilities and neighboring communities, resulting in six confirmed cases.
  • First Majestic Silver Corp. invested during 2019 US$3.8 M in local community, health youth programs, infrastructure and access to clean water. Over 25,600 medical consultations were provided in local communities. Planted 105,730 native plant species through reforestation initiatives .
  • Minera San Javier (NewGold) donated personal medical equipment to hospitals in San Luis Potosí, and personal medical equipment and sanitization supplies to the Cerro San Pedro municipality health clinics. The company continues to deliver food pantries to persons in need in Planta del Carmen, La Zapatilla, Monte Caldera, Cuesta de Campa, Calderón, Portezuelo and Cerro San Pedro.
  • Alamos Gold donated medical equipment and a mobile unit to the Sahuaripa DIF (Desarrollo Integral de la Familia) in Sonora.
  • SilverCrest’s Las Chispas project has accumulated 600 days without accidents in Sonora.

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 whitish ledge from left to center is a silicified paleo water table in the Mexican Altiplano. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

Santacruz Silver Reports Fourth Quarter / Year-End 2019 Financial Results

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Vancouver, B.C. — Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd. (TSX.V:SCZ) (the “Company” or “Santacruz”) reports on its financial and operating results for the fourth quarter (“Q4”) of 2019 and for the 2019 fiscal year. The full version of the financial statements and accompanying management discussion and analysis can be viewed on the Company’s website at www.santacruzsilver.com or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. All financial information is prepared in accordance with IFRS and all dollar amounts are expressed in thousands of US dollars, except per unit amounts, unless otherwise indicated.

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 April, 2019

By Jorge Cirett

During the 16th week of the year (April 15th to April 21st, 2019), at least 28 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, a lower court in Puebla ruled Mexico’s mineral title system unconstitutional based on consultation not being required before issuing the title. Inhabitants of San Antonio, Baja California Sur, manifested in support for the construction of the San Antonio mine. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Aztec Gold delineated several new targets using geophysics at Cervantes; San Marcos disclosed explorations plans for its properties in the year. In Jalisco, GoGold released interesting results from drilling at Los Ricos. ON MINING, Avino Silver, Sierra Metals, First Majestic, Gold Resource and Hecla disclosed production results for Q1 2019.
Fresnillo PLC presented its annual report 2018.  ON FINANCING, Ridgestone Mining, Oroco and Camrova raised $1.12 M; 800 K and 12 K respectively. Sonoro and Minaurum granted options to consultants and directors. Minaurum was named to the Venture 50tm. Sierra Metals entered into an automatic purchase plan. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Goldplay reported channel sample results from a new zone at its San Marcial project in Sinaloa. SilverCrest Metals released good metallurgical results from its Las Chispas property in Sonora. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Newmont Goldcorp Corp. has been delivered. Consolidated Zinc presented notice of its annual general meeting. Aura completed the sale of 80% interest of its Taviche project to Minaurum.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • Almaden Minerals Ltd. informed that “a lower court in Puebla State has ruled that Mexico’s mineral title system is unconstitutional because consultation is not required before the granting of mineral title………..This ruling can be appealed by both the Government of Mexico and Almaden. The Company believes that this lawsuit is part of a broad effort by special interest groups to change the mining law and there are other similar actions active across Mexico”. Almaden stated that no communities within the company’s current mining concessions on its Ixtaca project in Puebla are party to this lawsuit.
  • Fresnillo PLC. Presented its 2018 annual report. It is here recommended to all interested in the mining business in Mexico to take a look to the report (http://www.fresnilloplc.com/media/412015/fres-30452-annual-report-2018-web.pdf), especially on the section “Managing our risks”. In the said section, the risks of participating in the industry in Mexico are assessed, including those of metal prices, potential actions by the government, access to land, security, public perception against mining, safety, union relations, exploration, project performance, cyber security, environmental incidents and human resources. Although the report had in mind Fresnillo’s particular situation as one of the largest Mexican mining conglomerates, many parts of the evaluation concern risks that affect all mining enterprises in the country.
  • Some 500 inhabitants of San Antonio, in Baja California Sur, gathered in support of Argonaut Gold’s San Antonio mining project in their locality.

ON EXPLORATION

  • Aztec Minerals Corp.  and Kootenay Silver Inc. informed that interpretation of a recent magnetic and radiometric survey produced multiple porphyry copper targets on the Cervantes property in Sonora. “Cervantes has multiple porphyry cells aligned along a northeast-southwest orientation, manifested as high-level alteration footprints related to intrusive bodies. There are also prominent northwest-southeast trending magnetic anomalies found to be associated with strong alteration, gold-copper mineralization, and intrusive rocks.”   
  • GoGold Resources Inc. disclosed the results from the first two diamond holes on its Los Ricos property in Jalisco. The two diamond drill holes twinned previous RC perforations, replicating the mineralized zones, with 35.5 m @ 1.24 gpt Au, 285 gpt Ag and 27.6 m @ 1.56 gpt Au, 159 gpt Ag. The holes are part of a 10,000 m diamond drill program focused on following the high grade ore shoot down dip below the historical RC drilling.
  • San Marco Resources Inc. plans for 2019 in Sonora include target delineation at Espiritu Santo and 1068 properties, follow-up of underexplored areas at the Chunibas project, extensive participation on lotteries of released ground by the government, evaluation of multiple property acquisitions and ongoing partnership discussions of existing assets.

ON MINING

  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. released production results from its Avino property in Durango for 2019’s first quarter. During the period production came from three sources: Avino mine, San Gonzalo mine and historic stockpiles. At Avino, 100.9 K tonnes were milled @ 41 g/t Ag, 0.48 gpt Au, 0.49% Cu, recovering 84% Ag, 71% Au, 87% Cu. At San Gonzalo (which is nearing the end of its mine life) 17.9 K tonnes were milled @ 188 gpt Ag, 0.54 gpt Au, recovering 65% Ag, 61% Au. From historic stockpiles 78.8 K tonnes were milled @ 61 gpt Ag, 0.40 gpt Au, 0.21% Cu, recovering 55%, Ag, 52% Au, 29% Cu. Total production was 1,813 Oz Au, 268.4 K Oz Ag, 1.06 M Lb Cu, or 615 K Oz AgEq.
  • Sierra Metals Inc. reported first quarter 2019 results, including figures from its Mexican mines. The Bolivar mine in Chihuahua processed 263.2 K tonnes (~3,008 tpd, targeting 3,600 tpd for Q2 2019)) grading 0.81% Cu, 19.5 gpt Ag, 0.19 gpt Au, recovering 82.2% Cu, 79.1% Ag, 67.9% Au to produce 3.87 M Lb Cu, 130 K Oz Ag, 1,100 Oz Au (or 5.08 MLb CuEq). At the Cusi mine, also in Chihuahua, 71.3 K tonnes were processed @ 105 gpt Ag, 0.15 gpt Au, 0.3% Pb, 0.3% Zn, recovering 79.5% Ag, 37.5% Au, 75.2% Pb to produce 192 K Oz Ag, 133 Au Oz, 349 K Lb Pb, no Zn.
  • Fresnillo PLC. Filed its annual report 2018. During the year Fresnillo produced 61.8 M Oz Ag, 922 K Oz Au, holding resources of 2.2 billion Oz Ag and 39.1 M Oz Au. At Fresnillo, in Zacatecas, 2.44 M tonnes were milled @ 214 gpt Ag to produce 15.1 M Oz Ag, 42,290 Oz Au, 19,619 tonnes Pb, 31,094 tonnes Zn. At Saucito, in Zacatecas, 2.79 M tonnes were milled @ 257 gpt Ag, 1.25 gpt Au to produce 19.78 M Oz Ag, 86,092 Oz Au, 22,662 tonnes Pb, 29,506 tonnes Zn, while the Pyrites Plant processed 131.8 K tonnes @ 393 gpt Ag, 2.8 gpt Au to produce 977 K Oz Ag, 3,556 Oz Au. At San Julian, in Chihuahua, 1.27 M tonnes were processed from the veins @144.1 gpt Ag, 2.0 gpt Au, to produce 5.43 M Oz Ag, 79,218 Oz Au. 2.22 M tonnes were processed from the disseminated orebody @ 154 gpt Ag, 0.1 gpt Au, 0.4% Pb, 1.4% Zn, to produce 9.2 M Oz Ag, 3,125 Oz Au, 6,101 tonnes Pb, 22,027 tonnes Zn. At Cienega, in Durango, 1.32 M tonnes were milled @ 164 gpt Ag, 1.65 g/t Au to produce 6 M Oz Ag, 66,869 Oz Au, 4,799 tonnes Pb, 5,892 tonnes Zn. At Herradura, in Sonora, 22.15 M tonnes @ 0.76 gpt Au were deposited on the heaps to produce 474,168 Oz Au, 1.52 M Oz Ag, at cash cost $504 per Au Oz (total volume hauled, 124 M tonnes). At Nochebuena, in Sonora, 18.2 M tonnes were deposited on the heaps @ 0.52 gpt Au to produce 167.2 K Oz Au, 52 K Oz Ag, at cash cost $735.4 per Oz Au (total volume hauled, 80.3 M tonnes).  The company had $580.7 M as cash and cash equivalents by the end of the year.

First Majestic Silver Corp. produced 6.3 AgEq Oz during the first quarter of 2019. During the period 831.2 K tonnes of ore were milled @ 150 gpt Ag, 1.26 gpt Au, with recoveries of 83% Ag, 96% Au, to produce 3.33 M Oz Ag, 32,037 Oz Au, 2.66 M Lb Pb, 1.26 M Lb Zn.  The ore had averages and recoveries of 287 gpt Ag, 4.18 gpt Au (93% Ag, 96% Au) at San Dimas, Durango; 121 gpt Ag, 1.87 gpt Au (89% Ag, 95% Au) at Santa Elena, Sonora; 126 gpt Ag (66% Ag) at La Encantada, Coahuila; 187 gpt Ag, 0.58 gpt Au (89% Ag, 93% Au)at San Martin, Jalisco; 54 gpt Ag, 1.8% Pb, 1.6% Zn (75% Ag by flotation, 62% Ag by cyanidation, 69% Pb, 48% Zn) at La Parrilla, Durango; 114 gpt Ag, 2.1% Pb (74% Ag, 0.7 M Lb Pb)at Del Toro, Zacatecas.

  • Gold Resource Corp. reported preliminary production results for the first quarter 2019. The Oaxaca Mining Unit (El Aguila, Arista, Switchback) produced 6,538 Au Oz, 364.6 K Oz Ag, 433 tonnes Cu, 2,153 tonnes Pb, 5,838 tonnes Zn. “The Company maintains its 2019 Oaxaca Mining Unit Annual Outlook of 27,000 gold ounces and 1,700,000 silver ounces, plus or minus 10%”.
  • Hecla Mining Co. announced preliminary production results for the first quarter of 2019. At San Sebastian, in Durango, the mill operated at 494 tpd to produce 0.4 M Oz Ag, 3,530 Oz Au. “A review of sulfide ore continues, including a bulk sample to test the capabilities of the third-party plant and the suitability of long-hole stoping for the ore body, with results expected by the fourth quarter of 2019.”

ON FINANCING

  • Ridgestone Mining Inc. completed its previously announced private placement financing, for gross proceeds of $1.12 M. The company paid 6% ($43.2 K) cash and 309 K compensation warrants. Also, 72.2 K bonus shares were issued to a director of the company, under a loan agreement (Rebeico, Sonora).
  • Sierra Metals Inc. entered into an automatic purchase plan with its designated broker (Cusi and Bolivar, Chihuahua).
  • Sonoro Metals Corp. granted 100 K incentive options to a director of the company. These options vest immediately and are exercisable at a price of $0.18 per share (Cerro Caliche, Sonora).
  • Minaurum Gold Inc. has been named to the TSX Venture Exchange Venture 50tm , the annual ranking of Canada’s top 50 emerging publicly traded companies across five industry sectors. Minaurum also granted 3.35 M common share stock options to directors, officers and consultants. The options are exercisable at a price of $0.45 for a period of 10 years from the issue date. The company also granted consultants 275 k options exercisable at a price of $0.45 for a period of five years. Ten percent vest immediately, and another 15% each semiannually (Alamos, Sonora).   
  • Oroco Resources Corp. closed a non-brokered private placement financing, raising $800 K in gross proceeds. No finder’s fee was paid (Santo Tomas, Sinaloa).
  • Camrova Resources Inc. closed the second tranche of the previously announced private placement, for proceeds of $12 K, bringing the total combined proceeds to $66 K. The third and final tranche of the Private Placement is expected to close in early May (Boleo, Baja California Sur).

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Goldplay Exploration Ltd. reported channel sample results from a new zone at its San Marcial project in Sinaloa. The Nava zone, 500 long by 100 m wide, is extensively altered and hosts low sulphidation quartz veining and stockwork mineralization. Channel samples from the zone returned assays ranging from 1.04 gpt Au to up to 10.0 gpt Au.
  • SilverCrest Metals Inc. announced positive metallurgical results for Las Chispas project, in Sonora. “A total of 445 kg was selected from 51 core holes and nine underground samples to compile 15 different samples, based on geo-metallurgical domains which were combined into three master composites. These composites utilized 210 kilograms of mass representing a variety of grades (low, medium and high) of 500 to 2000 gpt AgEq expected during conceptual operation”. The new metallurgical tests show estimated recoveries of 98.4% to 98.9% Au and 91.4% to 94.8% Ag, using conventional methods comprised of gravity concentration and intensive leaching followed by gravity tails standard leaching.

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Newmont Mining Corp. announced that it has extended the previously announced offers to exchange all outstanding notes issued by Goldcorp Inc. for up to two billion dollars  aggregate principal amount of new notes to be issued by Newmont, as part of the proposed arrangement on which Newmont acquires all outstaning shares of Goldcorp (Peñasquito, Zacatecas).
  • Consolidated Zinc Ltd. presented its notice of annual general meeting for the annual general meeting of shareholders to be held on 23 May 2019 (Plomosas, Chihuahua).
  • Aura Resources Inc. announced the completion of the sale of an 80% interest in its East Taviche project in Oaxaca, to Minaurum Gold Inc.. Minaurum issued 100 K common shares to Aura and paid 39.4 K on closing; additionally, Minaurum is to issue further 100 K shares on receipt of the pertinent drilling permits. The remaining 20% can be acquired by Minaurum paying CDN$1 M.
  • Newmont Goldcorp Corp. announced the successful conclusion of its transaction combining Newmont Mining Corp. and Goldcorp Inc. to form the world’s leading gold business. The company targets six to seven million ounces of steady gold production over a decades-long time horizon (Peñasquito, 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, glory hole developed on Inguaran, Michoacan. Picture by Jorge Cirett.

The Mining and Exploration News in Mexico: Highlights on the First Week of March, 2019

By Jorge Cirett

During the 10th week of the year (March 4th to March 10th, 2019), at least 16 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The cancellation of the Los Cardones project in Baja California Sur was announced by the president of Mexico. According to the Fraser Institute, Mexico climbed several positions on its ranking, although security and taxation remain dragging down its overall ranking. On PDAC’s Mexico Mining Day, the participation of Francisco Quiroga, Pedro Haces and the governors of Durango and Sinaloa left a bittersweet message, as an invitation for investment was mixed with the government impulse for community consultations, the reviewing of mining concessions, labor issues and environmental revisions.   ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Sonoro Metals commenced a second phase of RC drilling at its Cerro Caliche property. In Chihuahua, Radius Gold informed is working on a revised geological model of the previous drilling campaign as it prepares for the next at the Amalia project. In Durango and Veracruz. Chesapeake Gold is to focus its 2019 exploration program in properties near its flagship Metates project, and in the Tatatila project in Veracruz. ON MINING, Americas Silver, Avino Silver and Premier gold reported operating and/or financial results for the Q4 and full year 2018. ON FINANCING, Minera Alamos corrected a previous financing press release, Kootenay Silver increased the size of its placement to $7 M. McEwen Mining suspended distribution of its dividend. Mako Mining raised CAD$4.5 M. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Mag Silver reported on 46,000 m of drilling and the discovery of a new vein trend at Juanicipio, in Zacatecas. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Oroco informed on the status of legal actions regarding its intention to acquire the Santo Tomás project in Sinaloa. Alio Gold changed CEO and Great Panther Silver Ltd. changed its name to Great Panther Mining Ltd. as it diversifies into gold mining.

ON MEXICO ISSUES

  • The Durango and Sinaloa governors, Jose Rosas Aispuro and Quirino Ordaz, respectively, attended the PDAC convention in Toronto, looking to strengthen the ties with Canadian companies and promote investment in the local mining sector.
  • The president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, announced the cancellation of the Los Cardones open pit mining project in Baja California Sur (on the bright side, the cancellation could be the result of negotiations with the project owner, which has multiple government contracts in other industries. On the other hand, the president said he took the decision because he has the authority to do so).
  • The Fraser institute released its annual survey on mining jurisdictions of the World, Mexico climbed several positions to reach the 29th on the ranking, from the 44th on the previous year. Our Latin American competitors on the foreign investment race, Chile and Peru, also raised to the 6th (from the 8th) and 14th (from the 91th) position respectively. The categories on which Mexico can improve significantly are: “Disputed Land Claims” (58th position), “Socioeconomic Agreements/Community Development” (59th position), “Labor Regulations” (58th position), Security (80th position, regrettably) and “Taxation Regime” (71st position, just 13th places from the bottom). To download the report: https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/annual-survey-of-mining-companies-2018.pdf.
  • In PDAC, Francisco Quiroga, undersecretary of Mining on the Secretaría de Economía (Ministry of Economy) asked Canadian mining companies to accept public consultations to avoid harmful effects on society and the environment. He also solicited fiscal observance, environmental protection and human rights respect by the companies to avoid the closure of mines. He offered an administrative simplification to miners by the implementation of a sole attention desk to reduce paperwork.
  • Also in PDAC, and during the Mexico Mining Day, Pedro Haces Barba (Morena senator) stated that Canada is a strategic partner on the mining sector. He expressed the Congress and Senate support to stimulate the development of the industry, giving form to a legal framework in the leading edge, with the participation of experts, producers, environmentalists, workers and all other involved. Haces also stressed the compromise to impulse significant changes to the mining law to benefit from the sustainable exploitation of natural resources in pace with the regional dynamics and global challenges.  

ON EXPLORATION

  • Radius Gold Inc. informed on the review and re-logging of five holes drilled to test the Campamento structural corridor (now called San Pedro) at its Amalia project in Chihuahua. Only the deepest hole intercepted the structure within the lower volcanic group andesitic rocks, returning 26 m @7.1 gpt Au, 517 gpt Ag, including 5 m @ 14.7 gpt Au, 517 gpt Ag. Access agreements with landowners have been secured, and a new environmental permit has been applied for the second drill stage. Pan American Silver is funding the project with Radius as the operator.
  • Sonoro Metals Corp. commenced the phase two drilling campaign at its Cerro Caliche property in Sonora. This 4-month program is to consist of approximately 5,000 m of reverse circulation drilling. The goal is to enlarge the gold mineralization inventory, test deeper zones and extend the high-grade gold intercept at El Colorado zone, which returned 12.2 m @ 11.21 gpt Au. If results support it, a phase 3 drilling campaign of approximately 7,000 m of infill drilling will follow. “The Company anticipates that it will commission and publish an NI 43-101 technical report, including an initial resource estimate, within two months”.
  • Chesapeake Gold Corp. informed this year its exploration programs will focus on the under-explored region of its Metates project in Durango. At Crisy, close to Metates, a quartz breccia and stockwork that runs for over 2 km hosted in shales, produced 24 m @ 1.5 gpt Au; 13 m @ 1.1 gpt Au, 14 gpt Ag; 4 m @ 2.5 gpt Au, 49 gpt Ag, in channel samples. At Cerro Pelon, Durango, a 3 km long, 750 m wide zone of epithermal veins and stockworks returned 40 m @ 42 gpt, 0.2 gpt Au; 25 m @ 57 gpt Ag; 15 m @ 1.0 gpt Au in surface sampling. At San Javier, Durango, “Silver mineralization is hosted within clay altered sandstone, mudstone and local intrusive dikes and has been traced continuously on surface for over 500 meters. Previous samples returned 60 meters of 71 g/t silver and 0.6% lead. In January, a trench channel sample collected 200 meters further along strike returned 25 meters of 46 g/t silver and 0.5% lead”. At Yarely, Sinaloa, A channel sample returned 30 m @ 1.6 gpt Au, 38 gpt Ag, on quartz breccias and stockworks associated to a rhyolite flow-dome complex. At Tatatila, in Veracruz, skarn bodies developed along the contact of intrusive dikes and sills and older limestones returned 2 m @ 28.9 gpt Au, 0.5% Zn; 6 m @ 0.4 gpt Au, 5.6% Zn; 2 m @ 0.14 gpt Au, 65 gpt Ag, 2.3% Pb, 3.1% Zn.

ON MINING

  • Americas Silver Corp. reported consolidated financial and operational results for the fourth quarter and full year 2018. The company had a revenue of $68.4 M from its operations in Mexico and the USA, without entering in details by unit (Cosalá Complex, Sinaloa).
  • Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. announced consolidated financial results for the fourth quarter and year 2018. During the year revenues were $34.1 M from 708.8 K tonnes milled to produce 1.28 M Oz Ag, 8,092 Oz Au, 4.81 M Lb Cu or 2.86 M Oz AgEq, at cash cost $9.63 and AISC $10.67 (Avino, San Gonzalo mines, Durango).
  • Premier Gold Mines Ltd. released operating results for Q4 and full year 2018, including figures from its operations in Mexico. At Mercedes, in Sonora, during the last three months of the year 183.1 K tonnes were milled @ 3.96 gpt Au, 44.8 gpt Ag, recovering 96.3% Au and 45.2% Ag, to produce 22,465 Oz Au, 119 K Oz Ag. For the year, 665.5 K tonnes were milled @ 3.34 gpt Au, 35.3 gpt Ag, recovering 96% Au, 40.9% Ag to produce 68,719 Oz Au, 309.2 K Oz Ag. By product cash cost and AISC were $609 and $795 per Au Oz, respectively. “Exploration drilling continued during the fourth quarter with 1,972 meters completed for a total drilling of 40,721 meters for the year”.  

ON FINANCING

  • Minera Alamos Inc. issued a correction to its previous press release, where it stated $4.93 M of gross proceeds on a non-brokered placement. In fact, Minera Alamos raised aggregate proceeds of $4.99 M, paying $280 K in commissions (La Fortuna, Durango; Santana, Sonora).
  • Kootenay Silver Inc. increased the size of its non-brokered private placement, originally for gross proceeds of $2.5 M, to $7 M (La Negra, Sonora; La Cigarra, Chihuahua).
  • McEwen Mining Inc. suspended the distribution of its dividend, stating lower revenues from operating issues at a couple of mines as the cause (El Gallo, Sinaloa).
  • Mako Mining Corp. closed its non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD$4.5 M (Trinidad, Sinaloa)

ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Mag Silver Corp. reported on results from a 48-hole diamond drilling program with a total of 46,060 m completed in late 2018 at the Juanicipio JV property (Fresnillo PLC 56% / Mag Silver 44%), designed to expand and infill the wide high-grade deep zone mineral resource. The program confirmed continuity to depth of high-grade mineralization in the East and West Valdecañas vein deep zones and in the Anticipada vein, discovering the new Pre-Anticipada vein in the hangingwall above the system. Highlighted intercepts include 11.6 m @ 783 gpt Ag, 2.57 gpt Au, 6.5% Pb, 9.5% Zn, 0.32% Cu at the deep west zone; 6.3 m @ 246 gpt Ag, 1.78 gpt Au, 7.2% Pb, 11.6% Zn, 0.40% Cu at the deep zone east; 6.2 m @ 275 gpt Ag, 4.02 gpt Au, 7.3% Pb, 9.2% Zn at the Anticipada vein; 3.2 m @ 472 gpt Ag, 0.31 gpt Au, 0.4% Pb, 0.4% Zn, 0.03% Cu at the Pre-Anticipada vein.
  • Mag Silver Corp. announced the discovery of the northeast trending Venadas vein at the Juanicipio property in Zacatecas. The vein was inferred from the alignment of fifteen previously unconnected intercepts before being cut in an underground development working as a 1.1 m vein @ 116 gpt Ag, 3.16 gpt Au. The first hole designed to test the Venadas vein cut 3.0 m (core length) @ 392 gpt Ag, 5.54 gpt Au. “Venadas is the first ever mineralized vein in the overall Fresnillo District oriented at a high angle to the historically mined NW oriented veins. Notably, other much larger NE structures with intense surface alteration are known farther afield within the Juanicipio property and are now priority exploration targets. None have ever been directly drilled.”

ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES

  • Oroco Resource Corp. informed on the legal actions being taken to acquire interest in the Santo Tomás project in Sinaloa. “At present, the following initiatives, amongst others, are expected to validate and maintain the status quo of the titles and eventually remove any unwarranted ownership claims to the Santo Tomas Concessions as are currently being made by Aztec Copper Inc., an Arizona company, and its Mexican subsidiary, Prime Aztec Mexicana S.A de C.V.” (Santo Tomas, Sinaloa).
  • Alio Gold Inc. informed its chief executive officer, Greg McCunn is resigning to pursue other opportunities. The board of directors appointed Mark Backens as CEO, position which he has served previously on an interim basis (San Francisco, Sonora).
  • Great Panther Silver Ltd. completed the acquisition of Beadell Resources Ltd., owner of the Tucano mine in Brazil, with 1.3 M Oz Au in reserves. As part of the evolution in strategy, the company name has been changed to Great Panther Mining Ltd (Topia, Durango).

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 above, weathered intrusive rock with oxidized quartz-sulphide veinlets in a Michoacán project. Picture by Jorge Cirett.