By Jorge Cirett
During the 4th week of the year (January 20th to January 26th, 2020), at least 22 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. ON MEXICO ISSUES, Highlights on some advanced projects were shared, including Ermitaño, Santana, Media Luna and La Colorada skarn. A good week for Mexican mining companies on the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV), with share price increments for Grupo Mexico, Industrias Peñoles, Orbia (Mexichem) and Cemex. The president of Mexico stated no mining concessions for lithium have been granted under his term. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Riverside reported good surface sampling results from its El Cuarenta project; Minaurum completed the phase I drilling program at its Alamos Silver project, testing 19 of 25 identified vein systems; Mexus Gold is looking to JV its Mabel and Ures properties. In Zacatecas, Advance Gold released results from the first hole at a chargeability anomaly in its Tabasqueña project. In Hidalgo, Santacruz Mining staked the Lechuga property. ON MINING, Argonaut Gold, Coeur Mining, Gold Resource, Premier Gold, Sierra Metals, and First Majestic released production results for Q4 and full year 2019. ON FINANCING, Silver Spruce filed an amendment at the TSX regarding the Cocula project in Jalisco. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Minera Alamos announced construction is ongoing at its Santana project in Sonora. Argonaut Gold informed it is reviewing its option on the San Antonio project in Baja California Sur, whereas at Cerro del Gallo in Guanajuato the company is to produce a corrected bundle of documents to re-submit to the authorities for authorization. Silver Crest released high grade results from the Babi Sur vein at its Las Chispas property in Sonora. Impact Silver released good surface sampling results on two veins at an open pit at its Zacualpan property in Estado de Mexico. Mexus Gold started mining a new zone at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora. GoGold released results from nine more holes at its Los Ricos project in Jalisco. Mexican Gold released drilling results from its Las Minas project in Veracruz. Prime Mining announced surface results from road cuts and trenches from its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. GR Silver Mining updated on its exploration results at its San Marcial project in Sinaloa. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Leagold was advised to vote favorably on a proposed merge with Equinox. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. The Mining Fund allocated the resources for rehabilitation of a sports field in Santa Barbara, Chihuahua. Esperanza Silver is to apply a new model of mining on the development of the Esperanza mine, in Morelos. Minera San Xavier formalized the transference of its silver’s jewelry shop to one of its employees in Cerro San Pedro, San Luis Potosi. The Guerrero government, the Municipality of Cocula and Torex Gold are to pave a road in Cocula.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Some new projects highlights: First Majestic initiated a 3,000 m development program designed to get the Ermitaño project in Sonora into production by early 2021. Ermitaño is 4 km from First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine. Minera Alamos has started construction of its Santana mine in Sonora, where it expects to start producing gold later in the year from heap leach operations. Torex Gold released a new resource estimation for its Media Luna project in Guerrero, with 12.6 M tonnes @ 5.55 gpt Au Eq containing 2.24 M Oz AuEq as indicated resources, and 33.5 M tonnes @ 4.23 gpt Au Eq containing 4.56 Oz AuEq as inferred resources. The capital needed to take this project into production is estimated at US496 M, to reach a yearly production of 170 K Oz Au, 1.7 M Oz Ag and 21 K tonnes Cu. The giant La Colorada skarn discovery by Pan American Silver in Zacatecas has an initial inferred resource base of 73.5 M tonnes containing 102 M Oz Ag, 3.2 M tonnes Zn, 1.5 M tonnes Pb and 121 K tonnes Cu. The project is to see 44,000 m of drilling during 2020, with a cost of US$7.5 M.
- Listed mining companies in the Mexican Stock Exchange (Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, or BMV) had a good week. Grupo Mexico was up 5.9%, Industrias Peñoles 1.9%, Orbia (Mexichem) 5.75% and Cemex 8.91%.
- The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (also known as AMLO) assured this week that no concession has been delivered on his term for lithium exploitation. (In fact, the delivery of all mining concessions has been halted indefinitely by the actual government).
- Riverside Resources Inc. reported on surface sampling and field work at its El Cuarenta project in Sonora. Three prospective targets were identified: Santa Rosalía, Santa Rosalía Sur and El Sombrero, with sampling returning five samples of sixteen above 5 gpt Au, and a best result of 25.7 gpt Au. The Santa Rosalía target consists of multiple sub-parallel low sulfide quartz veins on a fault zone 1 Km long in volcanic rocks. At Santa Rosalía Sur there is an 800 m long structural zone in volcanic rocks with shallow dipping sheeted quartz veins showing banded quartz and lattice textures. El Sombrero displays extensive alteration and high temperature alteration minerals like dickite, pyrophyllite and kaolinite, as well as a highly silicified cap.
- Minaurum Gold Inc. completed its phase I drill program at the Alamos Silver project in Sonora, testing 19 of the 25 identified vein systems with 18,810 m in 40 holes.. Fourteen of the nineteen vein systems returned high-grade silver intercepts, on a 10 km long by 6 km wide corridor. Highlighted intervals from the last round of drilling comprise: 7.60 m @ 155 gpt Ag, including 2.15 m @ 470 gpt Ag; 0.20 m @ 367 gpt Ag, 6.75 gpt Au, 1.35% Cu, 0.59% Pb, 0.56% Zn at the Púlpito and Cotera veins. 6.60 m @ 1.94% Cu, 0.5% Pb, 1.5% Zn at the Alessandra vein. 1.1 m @ 729 gpt Ag, 1.73 gpt Au, 0.13% Cu, 3.0% Pb, 5.7% Zn at the Promontorio vein. 0.50 m @ 160 gpt Ag at La Dura vein. 1.05 m @ 245 gpt Ag, 0.74% Cu, 0.4% Pb, 0.7% Zn at Las Animas vein. And 7.35 m @ 47 gpt Ag on the Rosario vein. “Phase II is expected to commence in late-March and will include a minimum of 20,000 m of drilling”.
- Mexus Gold US. is to look for a JV on its Mabel and Ures properties in Sonora. The Mabel property has 611 holes in 6 drilling campaigns since 2002. In the Ures property the targets are a porphyry copper system and high grade silver.
- Advance Gold Corp. released drill results from one drill hole at its Tabasqueña project in Zacatecas. The first hole into a 1000 x 500 m chargeability anomaly returned 78 m of continuous zinc mineralization, including 1.10 m @ 1.88% Zn, 1.40% Pb, 77 gpt Ag, 0.20 gpt Au and 34 m @ 23 gpt Au, and 1.10 m @ 101 gpt Ag, 0.59% Pb, 0.74% Zn.
- Argonaut Gold Inc. released production results for 2019 and the fourth quarter 2019. During 2019 the company produced 186,615 Oz AuEq, with 47,521 Oz AuEq produced during the Q4. During the same quarter production at El Castillo complex in Durango was 34,899 Oz AuEq (13,896 Oz AuEq from El Castillo and 21,003 Oz AuEq from San Agustin), and 12,622 Oz AuEq at La Colorada, in Sonora. For 2019, total production was 131,727 Oz AuEq at El Castillo Complex and 55,338 Oz AuEq at La Colorada.
- Coeur Mining Inc. announced production results for full year 2019 and fourth quarter 2019, including figures from Mexico. At Palmarejo, in Chihuahua, 1.76 M tonnes were milled @ 2.49 gpt Au, 151 gpt Ag, recovering 84.3% Au, 79.3% Ag, to produce 111,932 Oz Au, 6.84 M Oz Ag during the year. During the last quarter 486.8 K tonnes were milled @ 2.18 gpt Au, 159 gpt Ag, recovering 84.9% Au, 81.7% Ag, to produce 28,702 Oz Au, 1.98 M Oz Ag.
- Gold Resource Corp. provided full-year 2019 and fourth quarter 2019 production results, including figures from its Mexican operations. Production for 2019 in its Oaxaca Mining Unit was 29,435 Oz Au, 1.7 M Oz Ag, 1,859 tonnes Cu, 9,202 tonnes Pb, 23,683 tonnes Zn; during the first quarter 7,554 Oz Au, 417.9 K Oz Ag were produced.
- Premier Gold Mines Ltd. released production results for the fourth quarter and full year 2019, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Mercedes, 12,274 Oz Au, 44.8 K Oz Ag were produced during the fourth quarter, adding up to 59,901 Oz Au, 191.3 K Oz Ag for the year. The production Guidance for 2020 is 65-75 K Oz Au at cash cost $850-$875 per Oz and all-in sustaining costs of $1,125-$1,275 per Oz.
- Sierra Metals Inc. reported fourth quarter and full year 2019 production results, including figures from its Mexican operations. At Bolivar, in Chihuahua, 348.4 K tonnes were processed at a 3,982 tpd rate and a grade of 0.87% Cu, 21 gpt Ag, 0.32 gpt Au, recovering 84.8% Cu, 78.7% Ag, 62.3% Au to produce 5.66 M Lb Cu, 185 K Oz Ag, 2,216 Oz Au during the fourth quarter; and 1.27 M tonnes were processed at a rate of 3,628 tpd @ 0.85% Cu, 20 gpt Ag, 0.27 gpt Au, recovering 83% Cu, 79.2% Pb, 63.5% Zn to produce 19.83 M Lb Cu, 640 K Oz Ag, 6,794 Oz Au during the year. At Cusi, in Chihuahua, 61.4 K tonnes were processed at a rate of 702 tpd, at a grade of 210 gpt Ag, 0.14 gpt Au, 0.23% Pb, 0.23% Zn, recovering 79.8% Ag, 28.4% Au, 74% Pb, 0% Zn to produce 190 K Oz Ag, 78 Oz Au, 232 K Lb Pb during the quarter; and 285.2 K tonnes processed at a daily rate of 815 tpd at a grade of 129 gpt Ag, 0.15 gpt Au, 0.2% Pb, 0.2% Zn, recovering 79.1% Ag, 36.1% Au, 75.4% Pb, 0% Zn, to produce 936 K Oz Ag, 493 Oz Au, 904 K Lb Pb for the year.
- First Majestic Silver Corp. announced 2020 production and cost guidance. San Dimas (Durango), La Encantada (Coahuila) and Santa Elena (Sonora) are the mines to continue in operation, while production has been halted at San Martin (Jalisco) and Del Toro (Zacatecas). The projected AISC is to be in the $13.37-$15.46 range per Oz Ag. At San Martin the mine is closed since mid-2019 due to security concerns, while at Del Toro, 22,450 m of exploration drilling are planned to develop new resources.
- Silver Spruce Resources Inc. filed an amendment on the TSX Venture Exchange about the letter of agreement signed with ProDeMin, under which Silver Spruce is required to issue 1.7 M shares. Of those, 1.5 M shares are to be issued to ProDeMin and 200 K shares to the land owners of the Cocula project, in Jalisco (Pino de Plata, Chihuahua).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Minera Alamos Inc. informed that construction is ongoing at its Santana project in Sonora. The estimated construction time is six to eight months. During January and February is to start preparing the surfaces for leach pads and tailings dam, as well as roads on the mining area.
- Argonaut Gold Inc. provided an update on its development projects. At San Antonio in Baja California Sur, Argonaut is looking at a probable non-monetary, book value decrement due to the uncertainty of obtaining the needed permits for development. The company is reviewing its options, like looking for zoning regulations changes, a revised environmental application and legal action options. At Cerro El Gallo, in Guanajuato, a “Documento Técnico Unificado” (several studies bundled together, needed to start development of the project) during the second quarter 2019. SEMARNAT asked for several minor changes and re-submittal, which is to be done during 2020 first quarter. SEMARNAT is to have 60 days to present its decision afterwards. Argonaut is also evaluating the possibility of producing fewer ounces in 2020, while improving the cash flow.
- SilverCrest Metals Inc.released additional in-fill and expansion drill results from 71 holes on the Babi Sur vein at its Las Chispas project in Sonora. The current drilling has augmented the vein averages from 0.95 m (true width) @ 4.10 gpt Au, 268 gpt Ag (575 gpt AgEq) to 1.7 m tw @ 9.82 gpt Au, 382 gpt Ag (1,119 gpt AgEq). These results suggest a wider and higher grade vein than estimated in the previous resources, still open on strike and at depth. Currently there are 17 drill rigs working from the surface, and two from underground. The best drill holes returned true widths of 2.5 m @ 90.98 gpt Au, 108 gpt Ag (6,931 gpt AgEq); 7.8 m @ 10.53 gpt Au, 79 gpt Ag ((877 gpt Ag); 2.8 m @ 12.91 gpt Au, 1,141 gpt Ag (2,109 gpt AgEq).
- Impact Silver Corp. announced results of a sampling program in the Veta Negra area on its Zacualpan property in Estado de Mexico. At Veta Negra two parallel veins averaging 14 m in width at an historic open pit, with a 650 m strike length. At the open pit about 50 m of vein strike were sampled, averaging 22.70 m @ 206 gpt Ag, 0.02 gpt Au, 0.14% Pb, 0.31% Zn on the El Socorro vein, and 16.02 m @ 208 gpt Ag, 0.13 gpt Au, 0.41% Pb, 0.56% Zn on the Veta Negra vein. A sub parallel vein 120 m from the Veta Negra returned up to 1.20 m @ 59 gpt Ag, 2.11 gpt Au, 0.19% Pb, 0.11% Zn; 1.30 m @ 286 gpt Ag, 1.07 gpt Au, 0.27% Pb, 0.05% Zn; 0.80 m @ 1,595 gpt Ag, 0.64 gpt Au, 0.19% Pb, 0.06% Zn; 0.80 m @ 309 gpt Ag, 1.53 gpt Au, 0.31% Pb, 0.06% Zn; 0.80 m @ 70 gpt Ag, 13.85 gpt Au, 0.21% Pb, 0.09% Zn; 1.90 m @ 215 gpt Ag, 1.04 gpt Au, 0.22% Pb, 0.08% Zn.
- Mexus Gold US. began mining on the Julio vein/shear zone via a 300 x 20 m open pit at its Santa Elena mine in Sonora (not to mistake with First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine, also in Sonora). Mined material was crushed and added to the heap leach facilities, with ore assaying 4 gpt Au, and as high as 16 gpt.
- GoGold Resources Inc. released results from nine more drill holes at Los Ricos project in Jalisco. Highlighted hole length intervals comprise 16.8 m @ 0.36 gpt Au, 86 gpt Ag (1.51 gpt AuEq); 17.1 m @ 0.21 gpt Au, 60 gpt Ag (1.01 gpt AuEq), including 4.5 m @ 0.60 gpt Au, 104 gpt Ag (1.99 gpt AuEq); 18.9 m @ 2.01 gpt Au, 496.4 gpt Ag (8.63 gpt Au), including 5.0 m @ 7.30 gpt Au, 1,833 gpt Ag); 22.7 m @ 0.63 gpt Au, 65 gpt Ag (1.49 gpt AuEq), including 6.7 m @ 1.76 gpt Au, 114 gpt Ag (3.28 gpt AuEq); 12.9 m @ 0.57 gpt Au, 96 gpt Ag (1.86 gpt AuEq), including 6.5 m @ 1.08 gpt Au, 175 gpt Ag (3.41 gpt AuEq); 13.9 m @ 0.62 gpt Au, 80 gpt Ag (1.69 gpt AuEq), including 5.8 m @ 1.34 gpt Au, 141 gpt Ag (3.23 gpt AuEq).
- Mexican Gold Corp. released drilling results on its Las Minas project, Veracruz. The 13 holes targeted a TEM anomaly, infill at El Dorado, Cinco Señores and Pueblo Nuevo zones. One hole at the TEM anomaly intersected endo skarn and is a good guide to further drilling; Two holes on El Dorado infill intersected higher grade mineralization than expected, a third one did not reach the sought contact zone; The two holes at Cinco Señores did not intersect the contact; At Pueblo Nuevo, drilling intersected several gold bearing veins, without the high gold and base metal values sampled at surface. Highlighted results comprise: 19.5 m tw @ 0.95 gpt Au,4 gpt Ag, 1.30% Cu; 6.0 m tw @ 1.36 gpt Au, 5 gpt Ag, 1.08% Cu; 5.2 m @ 8.94 gpt Au (including 2.0 m @ 21.37 gpt Au); 0.7 m @ 3.23 gpt Au; 0.9 m @ 2.69 gpt Au; 0.95 m @ 2.71 gpt Au.
- Prime Mining Corp. announced surface results from trenches and road cuts from its Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. These samples show gold grades over significant widths in an area outside the historical resource at El Zapote North and South. Road cut sampling returned 24.5 m @ 7.94 gpt Au, 59 gpt Ag; 13.5 m @ 12.17 gpt Au, 71 gpt Ag; 27.0 m @ 1.53 gpt Au, 25 gpt Ag; 37.5 m @ 0.76 gpt Au, 18 gpt Ag. Surface trenching at Zapote Central returned 30.0 m @ 3.93 gpt Au, 40 gpt Ag; 7.5 m @ 8.71 gpt Au, 60 gpt Ag; 10.5 m @ 0.88 gpt Au, 62 gpt Ag; 25.5 m @ 0.33 gpt Au, 15 gpt Ag.
- GR Silver Mining Ltd. (Goldplay Exploration Ltd.) updated on its exploration results for 2019 at its San Marcial project in Sinaloa. Late 2019 drill holes returned up to 28.7 m @ 92 gpt Ag, including 13.75 m @ 154 gpt Ag and 0.6 m @ 138 gpt Ag, 0.56 gpt Au. High-grade depth extensions are to be sought by underground drilling below the current resource. XRF litho-geochemistry for target generation has re-commenced and due diligence work started on the potential acquisition of the Plomosas and La Trinidad projects.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Santacruz Mining Ltd. acquired by staking the La Pechuga property in Hidalgo. The mining concession (application??) covers 3,025 ha 25 km SE from the Zimapan mine. Several historic mines are developed in 3-8 m wide carbonate replacement or skarn mineralization hosted on El Doctor Formation limestone. Previous sampling by the SGM (Servicio Geológico Mexicano) reported up to 770 gpt Ag, 0.50 gpt Au, 21.9% Pb, 13.4% Zn, 0.47% Cu.
- Leagold Mining Corp. announced a recommendation by advisory firms for a favorable vote on a proposed merger with Equinox Gold Corp., on the special meeting to be held on January 28, 2019 (Leagold: Los Filos, Guerrero. Equinox: Mesquite, California, USA).
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- The Mining Fund allocated the resources needed for the rehabilitation of the sports field in Santa Barbara, Chihuahua. The facilities were inaugurated by Antonio Bilbao, president of the Municipality, where 336 square meters were rehabilitated, with lighting and other improvements performed, counting on a total investment of $796,381 pesos. Approximately 500 inhabitants benefit with the resources provided by the Mining Fund..
- Esperanza Silver (Alamos Gold) is to start operations at its Esperanza project in Tetlama, Morelos, by the end of 2020 or early 2021. The company has initiated to inform the communities on the permits obtained and the remaining, in the high margination zone. The project is proposed as “Nuevo Modelo de Minería Social y Ambientalmente Responsable” (A New Model on Socially and Environmentally Responsible Mining), promoting community development, with the respect to human rights and social and environmental issues standing prominently in the company model. By this approach the project would stick by the rules set by the UNO 2030 schedule, with plans for Social Management, Cultural Management and Economic Management. To eradicate poverty, mining can pay taxes and royalties, develop local supply lines, strengthen local value chains, promote inclusive employment, preserve land access, conservation and recycling of water, water management, improve energy efficiency, incorporate renewable energy and keep the public aware of opportunities and limitations.
- Minera San Xavier formalized the delivery of the company’s silver jewelry shop, “La Victoria”. The shop is located on the historic down town of Cerro San Pedro, in San Luis Potosí, with the sale were included the machinery, tools and silver inventory. The shop was offered to employees and workers of Minera San Xavier through an open bid, of which Mónica Daniela Fierros obtaining the shop by presenting a plan with continuing local team, sustainability, innovation, creativity, quality and leadership.
- Guerrero’s Governor, Héctor Astudillo, signed an agreement with Minera Media Luna and the Cocula Municipalty, to pave 5 km of road between Real del Limón-La Fundición, benefiting more than 1,200 inhabitants. Each of the agreement signers is to deliver $5 M pesos for the construction work.
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: Underground picture of a quartz vein in an orogenic gold system of Oaxaca, by Jorge Cirett.