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%).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.