Sonoro expands valuable Mexican gold holdings
Back in January, Sonoro Metals Corp. (TSXV: SMO | OTCQB: SMOFF) (“Sonoro”) entered into an option agreement to acquire the Cerro Caliche concessions in Sonora, Mexico, but expanded the acquisition just six weeks later by acquiring 100% interest in 403.5 hectares of concessions located contiguous to the Cerro Caliche site in the prolific Cucurpe gold district of Sonora, Mexico. This purchase, known as Rosario, has increased Sonoro’s land holdings in this important gold mining district to 1,455 hectares and almost completes the company’s acquisition plan.
Exploration will continue through 2018, but the Cucurpe gold district includes Premier Gold Mines’ Mercedes mine, Goldgroup Mining’s Cerro Prieto mine, Agnico Eagle’s recently purchased Santa Gertrudis mine and other nearby potentially mineralized areas, although new activity has dwindled of late, meaning Cucurpe desperately needs new jobs and infrastructure. People have been migrating away from the area for a number of years in search of greener pastures; its population of 937 inhabitants in the 2000 census had become 798 by 2005 and has gone uncounted since.
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However, Sonoro’s project could breathe new life into the area, which has historically been regarded as a higher-grade vein-only dominated district, exemplified by the Cerro Prieto and the Mercedes mines. Cerro Prieto and Santa Gertrudis have been developed into open pit resources in more recent years with more disseminated / stockwork style gold mineralization. Sonoro’s existing San Marcial project is located about 30 kilometers further west of Cerro Caliche with gold mineralization hosted in Jurassic shale and quartzite.
The new concessions are located about 45 km southeast of Magdelena de Kino in north-central Sonora State with good road access. Older local historic mines including Los Cuervos, Japoneses, Las Abejas and Boluditos, which operated around 130 years ago are either within or near the concessions. Cerro Caliche was previously drilled by Cambior Gold and Corex Gold over a period of 20 years. During this time, 10,118 meters over 101 drill holes outlined large areas of mineralized material that could assist in delineating a significant gold mineralization.
A historic report completed by Corex (Flores, 2008) does include an estimated resource, but this went unpublished at the time. The general area is compelling primarily because it sits on a major intersection of two gold-rich structures: the prolific north-south oriented Sierra Madre Gold Belt and the northwest oriented Sonora-Mojave Megashear to the west. The addition of Rosario to the company’s Cerro Caliche concessions mostly completes the acquisition program planned for the area, which Sonoro has been targeting for exploration for quite some time.
The company’s skilled exploration team in Mexico is headed by Hermosillo-based geologist Melvin Herdrick, with 45 years of mine related experience, including 10 years as Chief Geologist for Phelps Dodge, Mexico and 7 years as Vice President, Exploration for Pediment Gold in Mexico until its takeover by Argonaut Gold in 2011. Sonoro’s Chief Geologist and Qualifying Person is Stephen Kenwood, with over 20 years of experience in mineral exploration and development.
This year, the company is fully funded to continue exploration on its portfolio of precious metals properties in Sonora and Alaska, especially since it sold its Chipriona project to Agnico Eagle for $4 million on December 22, 2016 retaining a 1% net smelter return (NSR) royalty, which Agnico may purchase at any time for an additional $1.5 million. Well-funded, experienced, and prospective, Sonoro’s TSX listing is currently trading at CAD$0.17 with a market cap of CAD$4.21 million.