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New York, NY – September 30, 2020 – Mexico has a mining history that goes back over 500 years and continues to be a hotbed for high-grade silver discoveries. In 2019, the Latin American country was responsible for close to 200 million ounces of silver. Junior miners who were lucky enough to gain a stake in the prolific region have continued to see promising results. Mexico is the world’s top silver-producing country and offers exciting opportunities to companies like Minaurum Gold Inc. (TSXV:MGG) (OTCQX: MMRGF), Endeavour Silver (TSX: EDR) (NYSE: EXK), SilverCrest Metals (TSX: SIL) (NYSE: SILV), MAG Silver Corp. (TSX: MAG) (NYSE: MAG), and Great Panther Mining Limited (TSX: GPR) (NYSE: GPL).
Hitting Bonanza-Grade Silver in Mexico
Mexico-based gold exploration company Minaurum (MGG.V) (MMRGF.QX) began drilling on its flagship Alamos silver project in Sonora, Mexico, in August 2017 and has continued to uncover exceptionally high silver grades ever since.
In February 2020, Minaurum acquired historical data on the project, including mine maps, sections, and results of 40 holes (6,099 meters) drilled in multiple surface and underground exploration campaigns that occurred from the 1960s through the early 1980s. The majority of these historic drill holes cut wide widths of high-grade silver, including 4.6 meters (m) grading 2,838 grams per tonne (g/t) (82.8 oz/t) silver, 11.3m of 785 g/t (22.9 oz/t) silver, and 1.2m of 5,588 g/t (163 oz/t) silver. At the Promontorio mine, drill holes intersected mineralization over 50m below the historic mining level and indicate an aggregate 735m strike length of mineralization. The historical data indicates mining ended in mineralization, offering the potential for more silver to be discovered.
On July 15, Minaurum commenced its Phase II drilling program at the Alamos project, which includes a minimum of 20,000 meters. One drill will offset the Europa-Guadalupe discovery hole, which returned 8.25m grading 1,760 g/t (57 oz/t) silver, including 2.2m grading 5,098 g/t (164 oz/t) silver, while the other drill will test targets at Promontorio, both along the vein trend and beneath the Promontorio Mine. With multiple rigs drilling 75 to 150 meter step-outs, the company anticipates to release ongoing results from the Phase II drilling program over the next 12 to 18 months.
On September 24, Minaurum’s first drill results came in from its Phase II program, discovering more high-grade silver with intercepts such as 3.50m of 404 g/t (13 oz/t) silver, including 1.15m of 999 g/t (32 oz/t) silver, and 6.35m of 356 g/t silver (11 oz/t), including 0.70m of 2090 g/t (67 oz/t) silver. President & CEO Darrell Rader commented, “We are encouraged by how these results from the first Phase II holes into the Europa-Guadalupe vein show a downwards increase in grade and thickness from AL20-041 and -042 to AL17-007. This trend suggests that we are in the uppermost portion of a silver shoot…Europa-Guadalupe is just one of many newly identified mineralized veins discovered through our Phase I drilling and we are simultaneously drilling the Promontorio vein. Initial Promontorio results will be released shortly.”
SilverCrest Metals (TSX:SIL) (NYSEAMERICAN:SILV) is another Mexico-focused miner that has continued to experience drill success at its properties. In August, the company announced additional drill results for the Babi Vista Vein at its Las Chispas Property, which is also located in Sonora, Mexico. The current drill program on the Babi Vista Vein is designed to expand and in-fill high-grade precious metal mineralization, which will be included in the updated resource for the ongoing feasibility study. The most significant result was Hole BV20-60, which intersected 1.3 meters (estimated true width) grading 634.56 g/t gold and 26,003.6 g/t silver, or 73,595 g/t silver equivalent (AgEq).
Mexico Silver Miners Report Encouraging Second Quarter Financial Results
During the second quarter, mining companies in Mexico were forced to temporarily shut down their mines due to the health crisis. Luckily, operations began to resume in May after the Mexican government declared mining as an essential service and most companies weren’t impacted too greatly.
Endeavour Silver (TSX:EDR) (NYSE:EXK) reported its Q2 2020 results on August 4, noting that despite the suspension of mining operations, the company was able to reduce its quarter-over-quarter loss thanks to improved operating performance and higher precious metals prices. In the second quarter, Endeavour reported a net loss of $3.3 million ($0.02 per share), including $2.2 million in care and maintenance costs during the mine suspension period and $1.1 million in general and administrative expenses related to the mark to market of deferred share units due to the higher share price.
For MAG Silver Corp. (TSX:MAG) (NYSEAMERICAN:MAG), the temporary suspensions during COVID-19 hindered surface construction at its Juanicipio Project, a joint venture with Fresnillo. The Juanicipio Joint Venture is currently constructing and developing the surface and underground infrastructure on the project to support a 4,000 tonnes per day mining operation. Luckily, the anticipated development timetable remains unchanged, with the Juanicipio processing plant expected to be commissioned in mid-2021.
Meanwhile, silver and gold producer Great Panther Mining Limited (TSX:GPR) (NYSEAMERICAN:GPL) reported record net income of $8.6 million and operating cash flow of $19.5 million for Q2 2020 despite temporary shutdowns at two of its three mines. The company also finished off the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $60.2 million, an increase from $37 million at December 31, 2019.
With silver prices expected to remain elevated for the foreseeable future, it’s encouraging to see silver mining companies move forward with projects and add value for shareholders. Silver market enthusiasts will likely keep their eyes on Minaurum and upcoming results from its Phase II drill program at Alamos.
For more information on Minaurum Gold Inc. (TSXV:MGG) (OTCQX: MMRGF), click here.
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