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When I started looking at exploration projects in Mexico in 2012, what fascinated me about silver and gold exploration in the country was the large volume of significant geological discoveries in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada, in contrast to the much smaller number of discoveries across the border in Mexico.
In the mid-1990s, Mexico signed the first version of the NAFTA agreement with the US and Canada. As a result, a new mining code was established that allowed for 100 percent ownership by foreign companies as well as a favorable taxing, permitting and royalty regime.
The view on Bay Street at the time was that if large Mexican companies like Grupo México, Peñoles and Fresnillo had not found anything significant, there must not be much left to find. What happened next was the greatest geological discoveries in modern times.
The first wave of Canadian Junior mining companies had tremendous exploration success. With their high tolerance for risk and early-stage exploration expertise, Canadian Juniors took historic projects mined by the Spanish over 400 years and expanded them into district-scale projects. They also discovered entirely new districts, such as the Guerrero Gold Belt. The Canadian Junior mining companies of the late 90s, through M&A and organic growth, became the basis of Major and mid-tier producers, such as Goldcorp, Panamerican Silver, First Majestic, Endeavour Silver and Torex.
The past year, given silver and gold prices, has seen a new wave of funding for Junior mining companies not seen in the past decade.
Mexico is still massively under-explored. The first wave of Canadian Juniors focused on the “easy pickings.” This second wave can take advantage of advancements in exploration technology in the past 10 years that include satellite imaging, with resolutions that were not previously available, better ways to interpret geophysics and the use of big data to process exploration data.
I am excited to be part of this new wave of exploration with Reyna Silver, a company I founded in 2018 and which focuses on looking for high-grade and district-scale projects in Chihuahua, Sonora and Nevada.