The Concessions Landscape Will Not ImproveBy Paloma Duran | Thu, 06/24/2021 - 13:33
The government's stance of not granting mining concessions is expected to continue because MORENA, President López Obrador's party, still has a majority in the Senate. US interest rate projections and China's plan to release its reserves have caused prices of precious metals to fall, as well as Mexican mining stocks. In addition, Equinox Gold announced the suspension of operations at its Filos mine due to an illegal blockade.
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While certain industry stakeholders consider the midterm election results as a sign that the mining sector landscape will eventually improve, some experts believe the government is unlikely to change its position regarding concessions. Jorge Ruiz, Lawyer at Baker McKenzie, said told the government will continue its position of not granting mining concessions and although the Mexican legal framework allows the granting of concessions, there will be no concessions unless the government believes it has greater control over the extracted mineral.
Interest rate projections from the US Federal Reserve have pushed gold prices down, causing the prices of other precious metals to drop as well. Furthermore, China's plans to release its industrial metal reserves have caused copper prices to fall even further. These two events have strongly impacted the market value for Mexican mining companies.
Industrias Peñoles shares fell 5.04 percent to MX$282.85 (US$13.70), while Grupo México's shares fell 1.92 percent to MX$86.64 (US$4.20). The fall in the price of Peñoles shares represented a loss in its market capitalization value of MX$6.215 billion (US$300.95 million) in one day. While Grupo México lost MX$13.234 billion (US$640.81 million) in market value. Between the two companies, the value lost in one day totaled MX$19.450 billion (US$941.76 million).
Minera Alamos has released an update on their start-up mining operations at their Santana gold mine in Sonora. All construction has now been completed with the full leach pad now lined and available for stacking. In addition, the first loading of mined material from the Nicho Norte pit commenced earlier this month in preparation for the commissioning of leach operations around the end of June.
Current planning is focused on the optimization of key parameters for full scale operations at the Santana project. This includes blast designs suitable for efficient fragmentation of mined material; crushing circuit optimization to provide throughput maximization for material from the Nicho Norte pit; leach pad stacking plans; open pit haulage optimization and construction of roads for future pit development phases; and leach plant testing and reagent preparation.
Vizsla Silver Corp. has released the results of 14 drill holes from its Napoloen prospect at its Panuco silver-gold project in Sinaloa. Among the most important drilling discoveries was hole NP-21-112 that returned 898 g/t silver equivalent over 8.36 meters true width (mTW) from 142.55m, which include 5,197 g/t silver equivalent over 1.34mTW from 142.55m.
The mineralization in the southern half of the zone shows better epithermal textures, which include colloform and cockade banding and rare quartz after bladed calcite. The presence of adularia in the zone, a wide vein and higher gold to silver ratio, indicates that the core of the mineralization is there.
Equinox Gold has announced that it has suspended its mining activities at its Los Filos mine in Guerrero due to an illegal blockade caused by a group of unionized employees and members of the Xochipala community, who demand payments that exceed the agreed contracts.
The new blockade occurred two months after the company signed a new social collaboration agreement with members of the Carrizalillo community, who blocked the mine during the 4Q20. The company announced it is working to achieve a log-term solution to resume operations effectively.