By Miguel A Heredia
During the twenty five week of the year (June 15th to June 21tt, 2020), at least 44 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico, with twelve disclosing deals and corporate issues, ten announcing financial rounds, six commenting on Mexican issues, five informing on exploration results, five discussing on social issues, four reporting on resources and developments, and two communicating production and financial results, ON MEXICO ISSUES, Minera Fresnillo published a press release regarding the events of last Friday, June 12, when a group of people committed excesses in the vicinity of the Fresnillo mine in Zacatecas. Fresnillo plc announced recruitment of 130 mine workers who labored at the Francisco I Madero mine in Zacatecas. Bacanora Lithium announced that it is set to start production at its Sonora project in Mexico in 2022, despite COVID-19 interruptions. Mexico has some of the largest undeveloped Ag deposits that have been slowed by economic weakness and price fluctuations. Senator Miguel Angel Lucero Olivas, president of the Mining and Regional Development commission, will present a point of agreement to maintain the Undersecretariat of Mining and, if possible, raise it to the Secretariat level. ON EXPLORATION, In Sonora, Magna Gold announced plans to conduct initial drill programs at its La Pima, San Judas and Veta Tierra projects. In Sinaloa, Vizsla added a second rig at its Panuco project, and Kootenay released drill results from the first core hole collared at its Copalito project. In Durango, Mithril provided an update on its Copalquin project. In Jalisco, GoGold released drill results from nine holes collared at its Los Ricos South project. ON MINING, Magna Gold provided an update and reported production and financial results for May 2020 from its San Francisco mine in Sonora. Santacruz reported consolidated Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from their Mexican mine operations. ON FINANCING, Aztec Minerals arranged a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of CAD $3M (Cervantes project, Sonora). Candelaria Mining entered in a medium term loan facility for USD $9M (Pinos project, Zacatecas). Mammoth closed a non-brokered private placement for net proceeds of $141,250, which due to demand was increased to $167,475 (Tenoriba project, Chihuahua). Megastar closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $ 926,800 (Rama de Oro, Oaxaca). Telson formed a strategic funding alliance with Accendo Banco for USD $12M (Tahuehueto project, Durango). First Mexican closed the first tranche of its previously announced brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $1,235,229.73 (Guadalupe project, Sonora). GR Silver completed a bought deal private placement for gross proceeds of $9,153,000 (Plomosas project, Sinaloa). Magna Gold announced a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to $7,000,750 (San Francisco mine, Sonora). Mexus announced that it has paid $178,855.49 to satisfy an outstanding debt obligation (Santa Elena mine, Sonora). One World Lithium approved a temporary management cease trade order which, if granted, will prohibit trading in securities of the Company by certain insiders of the Company, whether direct or indirect (Salar del Diablo project, Baja California Norte). ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Discovery Metals extended higher grade and expanded the drill program at its Cordero project in Chihuahua. Canuc announced that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with M3SH Technologies Inc., to distribute and sell technological solutions (San Javier project, Sonora). Magna Gold provided plans for its San Francisco mine in Sonora, and reported that a mine design has been completed and plans to advance a pilot test program for its Mercedes project in Sonora. Sierra Metals released drill results and confirmed the discovery of a new high grade Ag area at its Cusi mine in Chihuahua. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Bacanora Lithium received notification of the off-market transfer of a portion of the shares beneficially owned by Mark Hohnen (Sonora Lithium project, Sonora). Fortuna Silver reported results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (San Jose mine, Oaxaca). Oroco announced that its shares have been approved to trade on the OTCQB Venture market in USA (Santo Tomas project, Sinaloa). Prime Mining announced key management changes and amended its Los Reyes option agreement in Sinaloa. Silver Dollar signed a letter of intent (LOI) to acquire La Joya project, Durango from First Majestic. Newmont was ranked top miner in the 100 best corporate citizens list for 2020 (Peñasquito mine, Zacatecas). Torex announced management changes and results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (El Limón-Guajes mine complex, Guerrero). Tarachi Gold retained Digital 257 Technologies Inc., for digital media and capital market communication services and granted stock options to directors, officers and consultants of the compnay (Juliana project, Sonora). SilverCrest presented results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (Las Chispas project, Sonora). Silver Spruce granted 6.75M stock options to directors and consultants of the company (Pino de Plata project, Chihuahua). ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Mining companies operating in Mexico have shown their support in different ways to face the COVID-19 pandemic. The Grupo Mexico Foundation donated preventive kits to the Fire Department, Red Cross and Civil Protection of the Sonoran capital, and delivered health and safety kits to the Taxco, Guerrero health sector. Minera Media Luna (Torex Gold), delivered preventive material for the COVID-19 health contingency in the municipalities of Cocula and Valerio Trujano, in Guerrero State. Minera Penmont (Fresnillo plc), strengthened security protocols to guarantee safe and contagion-free workspaces for its collaborators. Mina San Dimas of First Majestic received medical equipment to face contingency for COVID-19.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- Minera Fresnillo (Fresnillo plc), published a press release regarding the events of last Friday, June 12, when a group of people committed excesses in the vicinity of the Fresnillo mine in Zacatecas, in which there were arrests of armed persons. The company initiated legal proceedings before the competent authority. Minera Fresnillo reiterated its respect for union autonomy, and the application of the Mexican rule of law, in particular, current labor legislation. The company also pointed out that there is a disinformation campaign promoted by a group of people that has not been conducted by the institutional media established by the law.
- Fresnillo plc, announced recruitment of 130 mine workers who labored at the Francisco I Madero mine in Zacatecas. The Francisco I Madero mine was indefinitely suspended a month ago but Fresnillo called them to present their documentation and participate in the contracting process to join the Fresnillo and Saucito mines in Fresnillo, Zacatecas. With this measure, the Mexican mining company will increase its base of collaborators, which will have a positive impact in the region, as 130 new direct and 520 indirect jobs will be generated.
- Bacanora Lithium plc, announced that it is set to start production at its Sonora project in Mexico in 2022, despite COVID-19 interruptions. The company could benefit from the momentum of a “green recovery” after the pandemic that could spur growth in the electric vehicle market, according to the analyst. The USD $420M project, to be carried out through a 22.5: 77.5% JV with strategic partner Ganfeng Lithium, will be the first to produce significant volumes of lithium in Mexico. Production is estimated to approximate 17,500tonnes per year of lithium carbonate, doubling to 35,000 tonnes starting in 2026 following a USD $380M expansion.
- Mexico has some of the largest undeveloped Ag deposits that have been slowed by economic weakness and price fluctuations. Four deposits with reserves totaling 178 B Oz Ag remain in the list: Cordero deposit in Chihuahua and owned by Discovery Metals, has resources for 595 M Oz Ag; Pitarrila in Durango, owned by SSR Mining with 552M Oz Ag, Metates in Durango, owned by Chesapeake with 526M Oz Ag; and La Preciosa in Durango owned by Coeur with 105M Oz Ag.
- Senator Miguel Angel Lucero Olivas, president of the Mining and Regional Development commission, will present a point of agreement to maintain the Undersecretariat of Mining and, if possible, raise it to the Secretariat level. Mexico can gain strength thanks to mining and this is a key point of support for the economic reactivation of the country, therefore it is necessary to have a government agency that can lead and represent a strategic sector such as mining.
- Undersecretary of Mining, Francisco Quiroga Fernández, assured that the six mines he visited in Sonora are free of COVID-19. He also verified that strict protocols are being applied. So far, there have been no confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in any of the resumed Sonoran mines. The Undersecretariat of Mining, previously had already visited other mines in the states of Durango, Chihuahua, Zacatecas, and Coahuila, pointed out that there have been no outbreaks or contagions of COVID-19.
- Magna Gold Corp., announced plans to conduct initial drill programs at its La Pima, San Judas and Veta Tierra projects in Sonora. At La Pima, a highly prospective high-grade underground Ag project located 30km NE of the San Francisco open pit, Magna plans to commence a 2,000m core drill program once it completes the permitting process and surface ownership negotiations. At San Judas, located 50 km W of San Francisco open pit, it wants to initiate a first phase of RC drilling in Q4,2020, which will comprises 3,000m to test three of the seven priority targets identified to date. At Veta Tierra, located 5.5 Km NW of the San Francisco open pit, the company wants to re-initiate activities to complete an unfinished drill program that was commenced by Timmins Gold in 2013, which will include 2,000 of RC to test the lateral continuity of the Au mineralization indicated by previous drilling along a 300m trend of an exposed diorite intrusion.
- Vizsla Resources Corp., added a second rig at its Panuco project in Sinaloa. The company recently resumed its 14,500m drilling program focused on testing over 20 initial drill targets on its unexplored Panuco mining district. To date, only approximately 4,500m have been drilled.
- Kootenay Silver Inc., released drill results from the first core hole collared at its Copalito project in Sinaloa. The first hole (BDH-20-001) reached a depth of 105.2m and tested the eastern edge of the Cinco Señores vein, returning 106 g/t Ag over 22m, including 1.09 g/t Au and 244 g/t Ag over 3m and including 286 g/t Ag over 1m, and other interval of 0.25 g/t Au and 250 g/t Ag over 5m, including 0.1 g/t Au and 360 g/t Ag over 1m. The 3,500m drill program will continue with the next holes planned to test the Cinco Señores vein where chip sampling returned encouraging Au and Ag values such as 2.9 g/t Au and 426 g/t Ag over 3.2m; 0.24 g/t Au and 401 g/t Ag over 5.3m; 1,155 g/t Ag over 1m; 1.8 g/t Au and 396 g/t Ag over 1m; and 534 g/t Ag over 1m. Five additional principal veins of epithermal affinity remain to be drill tested.
- Mithril Resources Limited, provided an update on the exploration activities at its Copalquin project in Durango. “A permit for the drill program was issued in 2019 and is being fast tracked and expanded to include additional drill target areas. All drill pads have been constructed for the initial drill program with clear access tracks established. Drilling support infrastructure is progressing as planned, ahead of the arrival of the drill rig in the coming weeks”. Drilling will begin at La Soledad target, where over 600m of vein have been mapped at surface with an additional 400m of vein splaying off towards the El Indio mine workings to the east. Drilling will continue at Los Pinos and Los Reyes targets, each with approximately 400m of vein mapped at surface. These structures are the eastern extension of El Cometa. There are other interesting targets in the property but need further mapping and sampling to better define drill targets.
- GoGold Resources Inc., released drill results from nine holes collared at its Los Ricos South project in Jalisco, including three at San Juan, four at the main Area, one at Rascadero and one at the East Vein. Significant intersections were encountered in hole LR-GG-174 (Main Area) with 2.56 g/t Au and 173 g/t Ag (4.86 g/t AuEq or 365 g/t AgEq) over 15m, including 8.33 g/t Au and 496 g/t Ag (14.94 g/t AuEq or 1,120 g/t AgEq) over 4.4m; hole LR-GG-169 (San Juan) with 3.18 g/t Au and 188 g/t Ag (5.68 g/t AuEq or 426 g/t AgEq) over 4.1m; and hole LR-GG-178 (East Vein) with 1.09 g/t Au and 97 g/t Ag (2.38 g/t AuEq or 178 AgEq) over 4.4m, including 1.88 g/t Au and 171 g/t Ag (4.17 g/t AuEq or 312 g/t AgEq) over 2.0m.
- Magna Gold Corp., provided an update on its San Francisco mine in Sonora and reported May 2020 production and financial results. In this period, Magna produced and sold 2,349 Oz Au at an estimated cash cost of USD $607 per Oz, resulting in Au sales of USD $4.2M and an operating profit of USD $2.8M. It also announced the commencement of mining and processing fresh mineralized material in August.
- Santacruz Silver Mining Ltd., reported Q4 and full year 2019 production and financial results from their Mexican mine operations. In Q4, 2019, Santacruz processed 220,154 tonnes to produce 1.32M Oz AgEq at a cash and AISC of USD $ 18.75 and $21.29 per Oz AgEq produced respectively. It reported revenues of USD $9,964 and a net loss of USD $16,017. In 2019 full year, the company processed 469,291 tonnes to produce 2.83M Oz Ag at a cash and AISC of USD $18.34 and USD $21.55 per Oz AgEq produced respectively. It reported revenues for USD $27,140 and a net loss of USD $20,432.
- Aztec Minerals Corp., arranged a non-brokered private placement financing for gross proceeds of CAD $3M with sophisticated investors, shareholders and directors of the Company. Finder´s fees may be payable in cash and / or warrants on certain portions of the financing, subject to regulatory approvals. Part of the net proceeds will be used to conduct exploration work on its Cervantes porphyry Cu-Au project in Sonora and for general working capital purposes.
- Candelaria Mining Corp., entered into a medium term loan facility with Accendo Banco S.A. for USD $9M. Funds will be used for financing construction of its Pinos project in Zacatecas and for working capital purposes.
- Mammoth Resources Corp., closed a non-brokered private placement for net proceeds of $141,250, the same that due to demand was increased to $167,475. Gross proceeds will be used for working capital purposes, including corporate development expenses (Tenoriba project, Chihuahua).
- Megastar Development Corp., closed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $926,800. Net proceeds will be used to continue exploration on multiple properties within the Oaxaca, Mexico Au-Ag belt optioned from Minera Zalamera S.A. de C.V. (Yautepec, Magdalena and Rama de Oro projects, Oaxaca).
- Telson Mining Corporation, formed a strategic funding alliance with Accendo Banco for USD $12M. Funds will be used for the construction of the Tahuehueto mining project in Durango and general working capital purposes. Accendo also intends to purchase up to USD $500K of existing debt with Tahuehueto mining project´s suppliers and convert the debt into common shares of Telson. Additionally, Telson intends to conduct a non-brokered private placement for up to $750K.
- First Mexican Gold Corp., closed the first tranche of its previously announced brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $$1,235,229.73 (Guadalupe project, Sonora).
- GR Silver Mining Ltd., completed a previously announced bought deal private placement for gross proceeds of $9,153,000. GR plans to use the net proceeds to fund resource expansion and drilling at its Plomosas and San Marcial projects in Sinaloa, and for working capital and general corporate purposes. Brokers who helped with the financing will receive a cash commission of $636,660 and an aggregate of 2,358,000 non-transferable broker warrants at an issue price for a period of 12 months from the closing date of the offering.
- Magna Gold Corp., announced a non-brokered private placement for net proceeds of up to $7,000,750 and includes lead investments by Eric Sprott and two mining industry participants. The net proceeds from the private placement will be used for working capital purposes in connection with the company’s existing projects. In connection with the private placement, certain parties may receive a finder’s fee payment equal to 6% of the gross proceeds of the offered shares (San Francisco mine, Sonora).
- Mexus Gold US, announced that on June 13, 2020 it has paid $178,855.49 to satisfy an outstanding debt obligation (Santa Elena mine, Sonora).
- One World Lithium Inc., approved a temporary management cease trade order which, if granted, will prohibit trading in securities of the company by certain insiders of the company, whether direct or indirect (Salar del Diablo project, Baja California Norte).
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Discovery Metals Corp., released results from 8 drill holes, and extends higher grade at is Cordero project in Chihuahua. Highlights include hole C20-326 with 2,470 g/t Ag, 0.02 g/t Au, and 0.4% Zn (2,489 g/t AgEq) over 0.7m; hole C20-328 with 69 g/t Ag, 0.13 g/t Au, 1.1% Pb, and 1.9% Zn (197 g/t AgEq) over 51.9m, and 62 g/t Ag, 0.22 g/t Au, 1.2% Pb, and 1.3% Zn (174 g/t AgEq) over 62.2m; and hole C20-330 with 38 g/t Ag, 0.16 g/t Au, 0.8% Pb, and 0.8% Zn (112 g/t AgEq) over 85.5m. Based on results Discover has expanded its drilling program from 30,000-35,000m to 50,000-55,000m and will be focused on: 1) “Targeting of broad zones of breccia-hosted mineralization in the east and north-east of both mineralized corridors and 2) Testing of the width, grade and continuity of extensive high-grade vein systems identified in and adjacent to historical artisanal underground workings during the early history of the Project”.
- Magna Gold Corp., provided an update on its Mercedes and San Francisco properties in Sonora. It reported that a mine design has been completed for its Mercedes project in Sonora, based on the initial drill program completed last year. It also reported that a suite of metallurgical tests work is currently underway. Magna´s objective is to extract 20K Oz Au with minimal associated operating and capital expenditures to provide additional information on the deposit that will guide future drilling and work programs. At San Francisco mine, it announced the execution of an initial four-month drill program in and around San Francisco and La Chicharra open pits to support the conversion of mineral resources to reserves. Magna also has retained Micon International Limited to complete a PFS to re-evaluate the resource model, examine potential operational improvements, and develop an optimized production schedule that incorporates all currently available drill data, updated operating costs and revised gold price assumptions. It is expected to be completed by the end of July, 2020.
- Sierra Metals Inc., released drill results and confirmed the discovery of a new high grade Ag area called Northeast-Southwest system of epithermal veins at its Cusi mine in Chihuahua. The new high-grade silver vein system was discovered as a consequence of a combination of mine development work in recent months and confirmatory drilling. Significant drill intersections were encountered in hole DC20M658 with 0.1g/t Au, 304 g/t Ag, 0.34%Pb, and 0.25% Zn (327 g/t AgEq) over a true width (TW) of 9.35m; hole DC20M677 with 0.03 g/t Au, 1,140 g/t Ag, 0.37% Pb, and 0.36% Zn (1,163 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 4.90m; hole DC20M686 with 0.04 g/t Au, 428 g/t Ag, 0.46% Pb, and 0.76% Zn over a TW of 17.45m; and hole DC20M687 with 0.45 g/t Au, 890 g/t Ag, 1.74% Pb, and 3.2% Zn (1,151 g/t AgEq) over a TW of 0.85m.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Bacanora Lithium plc., received notification of the off-market transfer of a portion of the shares beneficially owned by Mark Hohnen, Executive Chairman of the Company. The transfer is ultimately to an existing superannuation pension fund of Mr. Hohnen (Sonora Lithium project, Sonora).
- Canuc Resources Corporation, announced that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with M3SH Technologies Inc. This will allow Canuc to distribute and sell technological solutions enabling Canuc to facilitate application with mining and extractive industry clients (San Javier project, Sonora).
- Fortuna Silver Mines Inc., reported results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (San Jose mine, Oaxaca).
- Oroco Resource Corp., announced that its shares have been approved to trade on the OTCQB Venture market in USA under the symbol “ORRCF”, effective immediately (Santo Tomas project, Sinaloa).
- Prime Mining Corp., announced key changes in executive management and board of directors, appointing its new CEO, Executive VP, and two new board members. The company also announced that it entered into an amendment to its option agreement on Los Reyes project in Sinaloa, with Vista Gold Inc. The amendment provides for the cancellation of all ongoing NSR and back-in rights held by Vista, in consideration for accelerating the final USD $1.5M option payment owing to Vista and completing a series of additional cash payments totalling USD $2.1M. “Upon the company making the option payment, Vista will no longer retain a capped NSR on production from open-pit mining and a perpetual NSR on production from underground mining. In addition, Vista will no longer have the Back-in Right to assume a 49% non-carried interest in any underground mining project developed at the property”.
- Silver Dollar Resources Inc., signed a letter of intent (LOI) to acquire an initial 80% of interest following the exercise of which it may earn an additional 20% for an aggregate 100% interest in La Joya project, Durango from First Majestic Silver Corp. To acquire an 80% interest in la Joya, Silver Dollar will make a cash payment of $1.3M over four years, issue shares equal to 19.9% of Silver Dollar´s then outstanding common shares within one year, incur $1M of exploration expenditures within the first five years, and grant First Majestic a 2% NSR. If Silver Dollar incurs the exploration expenditures within the first three years; however, First Majestic will waive the remaining $600K – or nearly half – of the cash option payments. Silver Dollar may exercise its second option and acquire the remaining 20% (for an aggregate 100%interest) of the La Joya property by providing notice to First Majestic within 30 days of earning the first 80% interest and issuing to First Majestic additional shares equal to 5% of Silver Dollar’s then-outstanding common shares within five years. If Silver Dollar does not provide such notice, Silver Dollar and First Majestic will enter into a joint venture.
- Newmont Corporation, was ranked top miner in the 100 best corporate citizens list for 2020. It moved from 20th on last year´s list to 13th overall in 3BL Media´s (formerly Corporate Responsibility Magazine´s) 100 Best Corporate citizens (Peñasquito mine, Zacatecas).
- Torex Gold Resources Inc., notified management changes and results from its annual general meeting of shareholders. It announced the appointment of its new CEO, Executive Chair, and Independent Director (El Limón-Guajes mine complex, Guerrero).
- Tarachi Gold Corp., retained Digital 257 Technologies Inc., for digital media and capital market communication services. The Company will compensate Digital 257 $10K per month for three months of service. Tarachi also granted 2,735,000 incentive stock options to directors, officers and consultants of the company at an exercise price of $0.31 per share (Juliana project, Sonora).
- SilverCrest Metals Inc., presented results from its annual general meeting of shareholders (Las Chispas project, Sonora).
- Silver Spruce Resources Inc., granted 6.75M stock options to directors and consultants of the company with an exercise price of $0.05 per share (Pino de Plata project, Chihuahua).
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Mining companies operating in Mexico, have shown their support in different ways to the communities where they operate to face the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Mexican Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX), 26 mining companies that operate in 16 entities of the country have made different contributions to the sanitary emergency. The contributions have been of a different nature, including donations of medical equipment and personal protection kits, basic services such as water and electricity, medical services, pantries, etc.
- The Grupo Mexico Foundation, donated preventive kits to the Fire Department, Red Cross and Civil Protection of Hermosillo, Sonora, in order to support public institutions that work daily for the benefit of the community in the face of the health contingency by COVID-19. The Grupo Mexico Foundation delivered 500 protection kits containing goggles, N95 masks to the Fire Department, 500 kits to Civil Protection, and 300 kits to the Red Cross Delegation in Hermosillo, Sonora. It also delivered 35 health and safety kits to the Taxco, Guerrero health sector such as the Adolfo Prieto General Hospital, the Mexican Red Cross Taxco delegation, the Mexican Institute of Social Security and Civil Protection. The donation consisted of 10 packages of safety kits that include tyvek suits, face shield and gloves, and the donation of 25 health kits consisting of tyvek suits, gloves, caps, shoe covers and disposable aprons.
- Minera Media Luna (Torex Gold), delivered preventive material for the COVID-19 health contingency and surgical material to strengthen the health infrastructure in the Health Centers and Houses of the communities of Nuevo Balsas, Atzcala, Real del Limón and La Fundición, in the municipality of Cocula and Valerio Trujano and in the neighborhood of Tepecoacuilco, in Guerrero state.
- Minera Penmont (Fresnillo plc), strengthened security protocols to guarantee safe and contagion-free workspaces for its collaborators. The protocols that the company has implemented have been in accordance with the guidelines defined by the Secretaries of Health, Economy and Labor of the Federal Government. Minera Penmont reinforced the cleaning tasks in all its facilities and disinfection of transport trucks for collaborators and suppliers. It placed disinfectant gel in areas of greater affluence and promoted the use of masks in offices and respirators in operating areas. In addition, it installed sanitary filters in which the health status of the personnel was evaluated with first-class equipment and the latest technology such as infrared thermometers and a thermal imager.
- Mina San Dimas of First Majestic received medical equipment to face contingency for COVID-19 in the San Dimas communities through the company clinic. It received specialized medical equipment to care for patients with acute respiratory diseases, other equipment including oxygen concentrators, laryngoscopes, as well as a capnograph and a portable emergency ventilator that together have a market price of around USD $65K.
Content like what you have just read can be seen at https://gambusinoprospector.com/ and at LinkedIn’s Mexico Mineral Exploration Group.
On the picture above, ptygmatic folds developed in a meta-sedimentary sequence in an orogenic Au prospect in Michoacan, Mexico. Photo by Miguel A Heredia.