It seems record numbers of Canadian companies are exploring in Mexico. News of over 65 projects has crossed my desk in the last two-and-a-half weeks. Some projects are in the earliest stages of exploration, some are options to new interests, some have updated resource numbers and a few come from producing mines. Here is a whirlwind tour of some of them.
At the producing La Parilla silver mine near Durango, FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER of Vancouver has released new NI-43-101 figures. Proven and probable reserves are 553,394 tonnes grading 326 g/t Ag, 0.59% Pb and 0.43% Zn. Measured and indicated resources add another 2.7 million tonnes grading 287.0 g/t Ag to the total. (www.FirstMajestic.com)
Vancouver-based AURCANA is expanding its La Negra mill in Queretaro State to 1,800 t/d from 1,000 t/d. The latest NI-43-101 report estimates there are 434,825 tonnes of minable reserves averaging 740 g/t Ag, a 98% increase from historically reported reserves; 36,900 tonnes of mined ore stored in stockpiles ready for processing; and 181,239 tonnes of inferred resources in addition to the reserves, not reported historically. (www.Aurcana.com)
GREAT PANTHER RESOURCES of Vancouver says it set new production records last year at its Guanajuato mine. Production of 1.34 million oz gold equivalent during 2007 was more than double the 2006 number. (www.GreatPanther.com)
Vancouver's IMPACT SILVER has acquired a third mill with which to increase production at silver mine near Mexico City. Throughput will be going to 700 t/d from 500 t/d. (www.InpactSilver.com)
Gold and silver production from the Ocampo mine of Halifax-based GAMMON GOLD is increasing. After ironing out several operational problems, the company is now considering doubling the mill capacity to 2,800 t/d. (www.GammonGold.com)
The San Jose silver-gold project in Oaxaca Mexico is moving closer to production. FORTUNA SILVER MINES (76%) of Vancouver and CONTINUUM RESOURCES (24%) have let the contracts for scoping, environmental and metallurgical studies as well as underground development. (www.FortunaSilver.com)
New NI-43-101-compliant numbers have been released for base metal projects as well as precious metals.
FARALLON RESOURCES of Vancouver is examining the G-9 deposit at its Campo Morado polymetallic project in Guerrero State. Total measured and indicated resources in all zones at a cutoff of 2% Zn are 1.8 million tonnes at 10.7% Zn, 3.01 g/t Au, 222.9 g/t Ag, 1.47% Cu and 1.32% Pb. (www.FarallonResources.com)
The latest report on the La Balsa copper project in Michoacan puts measured and indicated resources in oxide, mixed and sulphide portions of the deposit at 11.4 million tonnes grading 0.77% Cu. The project belongs to ROGUE RIVER RESOURCES of Vancouver, but a business combination with BELL RESOURCES and GRANDCRU RESOURCES is in the works to advance the project. (www.BellResources.com)
Work is less advanced at the El Creston molybdenum project in Sonora State, but CRESTON MOLY of Vancouver puts the indicated resource at 82.9 million tonnes at 0.083% Mo and 0.06% Cu. There is also an inferred resource of 84.2 million tonnes grading slightly less. All told the deposit may contain over 300.0 million lb of molybdenum. (www.CrestonMoly.com)
Going back to precious metals, ECU SILVER MINING of Toronto reports that measured and indicated resources have more than doubled at its Velardena properties in Durango State. Grades are given as 167.0 g/t Ag and 3.08 g/t Au in oxide material and 112.0 g/t Ag, 2.00 g/t Au, 0.41% Pb, 0.62% Zn and 0.16% Cu in the sulphide portion. (www.ECU.ca)
I've run out of time before I can get to the 40-or-so remaining news items. However, I like to finish on an upbeat note, so here it is:
Vancouver's CANGOLD sampled 290.0 g/t Au on its Plomo project in Sonora. The exceptional grade came from a chip sample taken at the Banco de Oro zone, meaning the project is in the earliest stages of work. (www.Cangold.ca)
Seems the Spanish Conquistadores didn't run off with all the gold in Mexico.