By Jorge Cirett
During the 13th week of the year (March 29th to April 4th, 2021), at least 38 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. To note, five companies posted exploration advances on their properties, three presented mining related news, six posted on financing or share options (including C$2.2 M, C$2 M, C$10.8 M and C$82.5 M), ten more on project development or resource definition and three posted on corporate issues. ON MEXICO ISSUES, listed mining companies in Mexico paid US$1.29 B in taxes during 2020. Americas Silver and the Mexican government are in talks to solve the company’s union issues after the president of Mexico threatened with concession cancellation. Fortuna Silver denied environmental damage by its mining unit in Oaxaca. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Heliostar Metals released drilling results from La Lola. In Sinaloa, Vizsla Silver released drilling results from Panuco; Brigadier Gold continues drilling at Picachos. In Durango, Silver Wolf released grab sample results from its Ana Maria project; Commander Resources reported results from a soil survey at the Pedro project. ON MINING, McEwen Mining negotiated the end of an illegal blockade at El Gallo in Sinaloa. Prime Mining reported financial results for its Q3, 2021. Mag Silver released financial results for 2020. ON FINANCING, Colibri Resource, Sonoro Gold, Telson Mining and Equinox Gold released news on financing (C$2.2 M, C$2 M; $10.8 M and C$82.5 M respectively. Torex Gold announced the early repayment of $40 M. Reyna Silver is to issue $699.3 K in shares to consultors and advisors. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Fortuna Silver released results from step out drilling at its San José mine in Oaxaca. Argonaut Gold released consolidated mineral resources estimates of more than 11.5 M Oz Au, 174.9 M Oz Ag on its properties. SilverCrest Metals updated on construction and exploration activities. Southern Silver reported high-grade drill intercepts at Cerro Las Minitas, Durango. Torex Gold presented a resource estimate of 5 M Oz Au for Los Filos in Guerrero. Ridgestone Mining updated on work at Guadalupe y Calvo (Chihuahua) and Rebeico (Sonora). Minera Alamos selected mining contractor for its Santana project in Sonora. GoGold Resources released results from drilling at Los Ricos North in Jalisco. First Majestic updated mineral resources for its mines and projects, for 340 M Oz Ag, 3.2 M Oz Au. Fabled Silver informed on drilling at Santa Maria, Chihuahua. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, GR Silver Mining completed the acquisition of Marlin Gold Mining and its land holdings in Sinaloa. Silver Bull informed it has won a definitive decision on a lawsuit related to an illegal blockade at its Sierra Mojada project in Coahuila. Argonaut Gold announced the cancellation of the agreement to sell the Ana Paula project in Guerrero. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Fresnillo PLC informed on cultural activities aimed at helping local communities and improving the environment.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Listed mining companies in Mexico paid US$1.13 B ($1,1293 M in Mexican notation) in taxes on profits, or 9.2% on total earnings, in 2020. This amount is 44.6% higher year on year, influenced by the raise in precious metals. All companies in mining paid US$9.9 B (US$9,888 million in Mexican notation) in 2020 and provided work to 9,600 suppliers.
- Americas Gold and Silver director and high-level government executives met to try to find a solution to the union conflict affecting the company at its Cosalá operations in Sinaloa. Last week the president of Mexico threatened with legal action to invalidate the company’s mining concession (there is no legal basis to revoke the concession).
- Minera Cuzcatlán (Fortuna Silver) informed there is no environmental damage produced by a spill of tailings during a storm in 2018 at its San José mine in Oaxaca.
- Heliostar Metals Ltd. released results from the first two holes ever drilled at the 6,360 hectare La Lola project in Sonora. The company is testing the main La Barra quartz-calcite-fluorite vein, which is up to 40 meters in width and runs for 5 kilometers and shows textures typical of shallow low sulfidation epithermal systems. A massive to crystalline quartz-calcite-fluorite subparallel vein to La Barra vein returned a core length interval of 2.5 m @ 0.01 gpt Au, 92 gpt Ag.
- Silver Wolf Exploration Ltd. released results from surface grab samples from its 2,549 ha Ana Maria project in Durango. Initial work includes ASTER image analysis followed by a drone Lidar and hyperspectral data acquisition and analysis. Results from the 22 grab samples include up to 0.96 gpt Au, 12 gpt Ag, 3,770 ppm Cu, 1,440 ppm Pb, 278 ppm Zn, 50% Fe, 4.5% Ba, 2,450 ppm W. CRD mineralization is the target in a sedimentary package affected by an intrusive igneous stock.
- Commander Resources Ltd. reported results from a soil survey program at its 1,750 ha Pedro project in Durango. The epithermal gold target is 4 km long by 1 km in width, as defined by gold and arsenic in soils, rocks and IP geophysics. “Outcrop exposure comprises prominent hematite-stained silica-rich ridges of angular chalcedony fragments and silicified sedimentary rocks within an angular course breccia. The mineralization extends beneath post-mineral volcanic rocks, colluvium … and alluvium”.
- Vizsla Silver Corp. released results from 16 holes on the Tajitos zone of the Panuco project in Sinaloa. These holes expand the length of Tajitos to over 525 m, while nine other completed holes are awaiting results. Highlighted true width intervals comprise 2.5 m @ 1,586 gpt Ag, 7.72 gpt Au; 4.48 m 351 gpt Ag, 4.52 gpt Au; 7.94 m @ 387 gpt Ag, 2.25 gpt Au (including 1.44 m @ 1,365 gpt Ag, 8.35 gpt Au).
- Brigadier Gold Ltd. continues drilling at its Picachos property in Sinaloa. To date 4,538 m of the planned 5,000 m on phase-1 diamond drilling program has been completed in 43 holes that mainly targeted the more than 7 km long Colcomeca vein system. “Several stages of mineralization are apparent from inspection of the drill core: (i) pervasive silicification with disseminated sulfide that is oxidized to hematite, (ii) crustiform quartz veining with sulfides, and (iii) cockade breccias in the central part of the structure. These breccias consist of angular rock fragments that are altered to a soft black mica on fragment margins”.
- McEwen Mining Inc. informed activities at El Gallo project in Sinaloa have been restored after the illegal blockade. A new 10-year agreement was reached providing additional support to the communities and greater long-term certainty for El Gallo operation.
- Prime Mining Corp. reported its operating and financial results for third quarter of fiscal year 2021, ended on January 2021. In January Prime paid Vista Gold Corp. US$1.1 M in accordance with terms on the Los Reyes project (Sinaloa) agreement; a final payment of $1 M is due in July 2021. Before the end of the quarter 1,053 m of drilling were completed in 5 holes. Two more drill rigs have been mobilized to the project for expansion of known in-pit resources along strike and dip, and infill drill areas to increase measured and indicated resources and target other structures for resource expansion and discovery.
- Mag Silver Corp. released its audited consolidated financial results for 2020. Processing at the nearby Fresnillo mine plant of mineralized material from development headings began in August, with 71,859 tonnes milled @ 328 gpt Ag, producing 616.3 K Oz Ag, 1,029 Oz Au, 163 tonnes Pb, 224 tonnes Zn, netting $11.46 M as gross profit. Construction of the 4,000 tpd Juanicipio plant continues and the underground development now exceeds 35 km. The plant is now expected to commence commissioning in Q4-2021 and to reach 90-95% capacity in 2022. By the end of the period the company had cash and cash equivalents of $94 M.
- Colibri Resource Corp. is to conduct a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to CAD$2.2 M. (Evelyn, Sonora).
- Sonoro Gold Corp. will undertake a non-brokered private placement offering to raise up to C$2 M (Cerro Caliche, Sonora).
- Telson Mining Corp. closed the non-brokered private placement announced in February, for aggregate gross proceeds of $10.08 M (Tahuehueto, Durango).
- Equinox Gold Corp. announced that in response to a request from Solaris Resources Inc. the company has agreed to sell 10 M shares of Solaris for gross proceeds of C$82.5 M (Los Filos, Guerrero).
- Torex Gold Resources Inc. announced the early repayment of the $40 M of debt in relation to the 2019 Debt Facility and is now debt free other than approximately $5 M of finance leases. Torex has signed a Third Amended and Restated Credit Agreement in connection with a two-year senior secured $150 M revolving debt facility (Limón Guajes, Guerrero).
- Reyna Silver Corp. will make an application to the TSX Venture Exchange for issuing $699.3 K in common shares as compensation to technical consultors and advisors advancing the portfolio properties of Reyna Silver (Guigui, Chihuahua).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Fortuna Silver Mines Ltd. released results from step-out drilling at the San Jose mine in Oaxaca. The 4,670 m program in 22 holes established continuity of high-grade mineralization in the upper levels of the La Trinidad footwall structures. Highlighted true width intercepts comprise 4.1 m @ 699 gpt Ag, 3.57 gpt Au; 5.4 m @ 1,931 gpt Ag, 6.76 gpt Au; 9.5 m @ 306 gpt Ag, 1.38 gpt Au; 3.4 m @ 760 gpt Ag, 3.24 gpt Au; 8.4 m @ 967 gpt Ag, 4.25 gpt Au; 1.4 m @ 809 gpt Ag, 2.78 gpt Au; 14.9 m @ 473 gpt Ag, 1.25 gpt Au. “The Brownfields exploration program budget for 2021 at the San Jose Mine is US$10.9 million, which includes 33,800 meters of diamond drilling and 1,770 meters of underground development for drilling access, platforms, and services”.
- Argonaut Gold Inc. released a new mineral resource estimate to the end of 2020, including figures for its projects in Mexico. The table below includes figures for El Castillo and San Agustin in Durango, La Colorada in Sonora, Ana Paula in Guerrero and San Antonio in Baja California Sur.
- SilverCrest Metals Inc. released financial results for 2020 and updated on construction and exploration activities. At Las Chispas, in Sonora, 173,000 m of in-fill and expansion drilling and 6.1 km of underground development and in-vein drifting were completed in 2020. At the end of the year SilverCrest entered into a $76.5 M construction contract for a 1,250 tonnes per day process plant at Las Chispas. In February 2021 a feasibility study (FS) was completed, at an estimated cost of $137.7 M; also in February the company completed a bought deal offering for gross proceeds of $138.1 M. The Picacho property, 40 km from Las Chispas, was acquired in mid 2020, and 5,800 m were drilled before the end of the period. For 2021, 356,000 m of drilling are planned, mostly at Las Chispas; currently there are six core rigs at Las Chispas and three at Picacho, with 22,000 m and 10,000 m already drilled during 2021 respectively. At the end of 2020 the company held $135.1 M as cash and cash equivalents.
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp. reported high-grade Cu-Au-Ag intercepts at its Cerro Las Minitas project in Durango. At Mina La Bocona target, highlighted true-width intervals comprise: 6.3 m @ 134 gpt Ag, 0.5 gpt Au, 2.3% Cu (including 1.1 m @ 567 gpt Ag, 2.3 gpt Au, 11.2% Cu in the Bocona Chimney, and 3.8 m @ 217 gpt Ag, 0.3 gpt Au, 3.3% Pb, 0.7% Zn in the Muralla Chimney.
- Torex gold Resources Inc. reported that in 2020 total reserves for El Limón Guajes complex in Guerrero declined 15% due to depletion. The table below shows total reserves and resources to the end of 2020.
- Ridgestone Mining Inc. provided an update on activities at its Rebeico and Guadalupe y Calvo projects. At Guadalupe y Calvo in Chihuahua, Ridgestone is working to review all the historical data in the project, which includes over 78,000 m of drilling since the early 2000’s. “The Company anticipates a phased exploration drill program which will serve to confirm the continuity within the historical resource area, in addition to targeting a significant expansion of known mineralization”. At Rebeico, in Sonora, “The Company is currently recompiling and reinterpreting the results from prior exploration campaigns and anticipates providing an update in the near-term”.
- Minera Alamos Inc. selected TRIGUSA as mining contractor for its Santa mine in Sonora. “Trigusa’s mining experience includes open pit mining, crushing, tailings dam construction and heap leach pads and ponds at projects in multiple states including Sonora”. The major construction activities related to the gold recovery (carbon) plant are now complete and the initial heap leach pad area has also been completed.
- GoGold Resources Inc. released the results from 7 drill holes from El Orito area at its Los Ricos North project in Jalisco. Highlighted core length intercepts comprise 25.9 m @ 9 gpt Ag, 0.25%Pb, 0.85% Zn; 20.0 m @ 10 gpt Ag, 0.27% Pb, 1.08% Zn; 28.2 m @ 45 gpt Ag, 0.10 gpt Au, 0.58% Pb, 1.26% Zn; 11.4 m @ 27 gpt Ag, 0.24% Cu, 2.04% Pb, 5.20% Zn; 48.6 m @ 35 gpt Ag, 0.19% Cu, 1.24% Pb, 2.36% Zn (including 6.4 m @ 139 gpt Ag, 0.17 gpt Au, 0.82% Cu, 3.76% Pb, 6.70% Zn); 31.4 m @ 44 gpt Ag, 0.10 gpt Au, 0.13% Cu, 0.89% Pb, 0.86% Zn; 31.4 m @ 35 gpt Ag, 0.20 gpt Au, 0.14% Cu, 0.36% Pb, 0.28% Zn. “The El Orito deposit is unique in the Los Ricos district as it is the deeper part of the system where silver and base metals are present, while the other targets in the system to date have shown only silver and gold”.
- First Majestic Silver Corp. filed updated technical reports for its three operating mines: San Dimas in Sinaloa, Santa Elena in Sonora and La Encantada in Coahuila. Below is a table that also includes the resources for San Martín in Jalisco, La Parrilla in Durango, Del Toro in Zacatecas and La Guitarra in Estado de Mexico.
- Fabled Silver Gold Corp. informed on the currently ongoing 8,000 m drilling program at its Santa Maria project in Chihuahua. “We are heading into areas never explored before, with new ideas to test our structure-on-structure theory over the Property. Hole SM20-07 intercepted two broad zones of northwest trending, never seen before, semi-massive marcasite, (pyrite) in hornfels, and to the east 225 meters, we tried to cross the major C1 regional north – south fault in the center of the Property.”
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- GR Silver Mining Ltd. completed the acquisition of Marlin Gold Mining Ltd., which owns La Trinidad mine in Sinaloa and 12 concessions totaling 107,392 ha adjacent to GR Silver’s existing portfolio of properties. The properties come with a database that includes 700 stream sediment samples, 500 rock samples and over 9,000 soil samples. A total of 40,500 m of diamond, RC and sonic drilling were completed by previous operators. GR Silver will pay CDN$50 K to Mako, and “Oro Gold will grant Mako a 1% net smelter return (“NSR”) royalty on the concessions owned by Oro Gold. GR Silver Mining and/or Oro Gold will be granted the right to purchase the NSR at any time upon making a one-time payment of US$2,000,000. Mako shall be responsible for and shall pay all costs related to the Closure Plan Activities at La Trinidad….”.
- Silver Bull Resources Inc. announced “it has won a definitive and conclusive decision in its favor in a lawsuit filed by a local mining co-operative called Minera Norteños in relation to the Sierra Mojada project” (Coahuila). “Despite the fact that the Company has at all times proceeded in accordance with the law, the Sierra Mojada project remains under an illegal blockade manned by a small group of radical members from within Minera Norteños. We believe their actions do not represent the view of the vast majority of the Minera Norteños members and wider local community, and we are working with authorities to resolve the situation in a safe, fair, and timely manner. We remain committed to good faith dialogue with selected members from Minera Norteños to find a solution….”
- Argonaut Gold Inc. informed that the previously announced definitive agreement to sell its Ana Paula project in Guerrero expired in March 31, 2021. “The acquiring company did not fulfill its obligations in relation to financing and receipt of certain regulatory and other approvals”.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Fresnillo PLC informed on cultural activities aimed at helping local communities and improving the environment.
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: Boiling texture in a quartz vein from a project in Sonora. Picture by Jorge Cirett.