Teck still has at least one advanced project poised and ready for an upswing in metal prices: San Nicolas VMS, Zacatecas. Because of low metal prices San Nicolas is still considered a "mineral resources" at this point in time. Teck was a major player in Mexico even prior to finally consuming the last part of Cominco it didn't already own. Cominco was active in Mexico long before the 1992 change in the mining law when Teck thought it would be a good idea to head south. Teck and Cominco finally merged and Cominco can now probably be considered the "Zinc Division" of this major international mining giant.
Teckcominco's second advanced project was Nukay & Los Filos a gold deposit in Guerrero. This was sold to Wheaton River Resources.
Teck Cominco Limited TEK.B (TSE) (VSE) (MSE)
Guadalajara Office Minera Teck and/or Cominco Mexico S.A. de C.V.
Phone: (52-33) 3122-9085 Ave. Mariano Otero No. 2347, Piso 3B
Fax: (52-33) 3122-9082 Colonia Verde Valle
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Guadalajara, Jalisco CP 45050
Two very advanced projects in Mexico as well as numerous other exploration interests. Has been active in Mexico as Teck almost 13 years now. In 1995 exploration was carried out on 20 properties, six of which were drilled. Of those 6, three deserved further work in 1996. Primary targets were porphyry Cu, polymetallic skarn and Au-Ag deposits. ('96 Annual Report). In 1997 there were 3 major projects in the Annual Report (Nukay, another Au project and San Nicolas). Teck also participates indirectly in Mexico by taking a position in other major and junior companies active there. For example by acquiring 100% of Cominco Ltd. who has been active in Mexico for a long time through Cia. Minera Constelación S. A. de C. V. (recently re-named Cominco Mexico). Also by controlling 14.2% of Silver Standard Resources (as of 10Jun98 - CMH '98-'99) and over 13% of Western Copper. Teck enjoys indirect participation with several other properties. Another example is of a typical arrangement is the 1992 deal with Northern Crown Mines which provided Teck the right to earn a 50% interest in the Guadelupe de los Reyes Project, Sinaloa. (GCN #248 24Dec92).
San Nicolas VMS Deposit, Zacatecas:
Current status as of March, 2002 is that a positive bankable feasibility study has been tabled. This study was based around a plant to treat 15,500 tonnes of ore per day over a 12 year mine life that would produce 2.1 billion pounds of Zn, 1.4 billion pounds of Cu, 171,000 oz Au and 18 million oz of Ag. Sensitivity analysis shows metal prices and freight costs to be critical factors in the project's economics. Weak Zn prices are the Achilles heel at the moment.
San Nicolas Preliminary Geologic Resource (January, 2001)
Density Tonnes Au Ag Cu Zn
(t/m3) (1000's) (g/t) (g/t) (%) (%)
Upper Massive Sulfide
High-grade Zinc Zone: 4.0 17,316 1.3 75.3 0.8 6.1
Low-grade Zinc Zone: 4.2 17,496 0.6 22.8 0.7 1.7
Copper Zone: 4.1 42,867 0.1 12.3 1.9 0.5
Subtotal: 77,679 0.5 28.7 1.4 2.0
Lower Massive Sulfide
Copper Zone: 4.1 9,745 0.2 11.8 1.6 0.8
Stringer Zone: 2.8 12,099 0.0 1.6 1.1 0.1
Subtotal: 21,844 0.1 6.1 1.3 0.4
TOTAL: (99.5 million tonnes) 99,523 0.4 23.7 1.4 1.6
Work through 1998 on the San Nicolas discovery had delineated a measured open pit resource of 74 million tonnes grading 1.4% Cu, 2.1% Zn with an overall strip ratio of 4.3:1 to a depth of 420 m. High-grade Cu mineralization extends beneath the planned pit. Now at the pre-feasibility stage with final feasibility expected to be completed in the year 2001.
Initially started out as exploration JV with Western Copper Holdings on oxide Cu and polymetallic massive sulfide near Zacatecas. As of 10/28/98 the preliminary reserve estimate for an open-pit stood at 72,000,000 tonnes averaging 1.35% Cu, 2.27% Zn, 0.53 gpt Au and 30 gpt Ag to a depth of 400 m with a waste to ore ratio of 8:1 (MEG Luncheon Talk Abstract)
Present JV is Teck/Western 55/45 participating interests (Minera Tama S.A. de C.V.) on a 22,000 ha land package over El Salvador and La Virgen concessions. Total package is around 225 sq km. Additional ground was optioned from Luismin and acquired by Teck on 6Mar00 after Minera Tama's right of first refusal. This new acquisition represents another 25% interest in the deposit itself. Overall ownership and options between Teck's indirectly owned company that owns the San Nicolas deposit (Quiriego Compania Minera S.A. de C.V.) and Western Copper are complex, but to make a long story short - if Teck exercised all of its options it could increase it's direct participating ownership in the deposit to a total of 81.5%, the remainder being Western Copper.
EARLY HISTORY: Near-surface oxide zone believed to be 10m thick. Air-track drilling deliniated the oxide horizon over 350m by 600m and from 3 to 30m thick and grades around 1.0-1.5% Cu. First discovered massive sulfide horizon is 75m beneath oxide zone and is 5.1 ft (<2m) thick) at grades of 16.57% Zn, 2.07% Cu, 1.53% Pb, 3.68 grams Au and 213 grams Ag. This skinny horizon was cut by 5 or 6 holes out of the first 11 drilled. Hole SAL-97-01 (now renamed SAL-12) hit a 13.3 m massive section between 73.4 and 86.7m beneath the surface. This zone varies from 1 to 13m thick over a 150m wide by 400m long trend. and this upper horizon is not the same as the bigger, deeper one at San Nicolas.
A Dighem airborne survey was completed in 1Q97. Discovery hole SAL-25 on what is now known as the San Nicolas Massive Sulfide Orebody intersected 176 m of massive sulfides in November, 1997. The deposit is buried 200m beneath Tertiary volcanics and conglomerates and was discovered using geophysical survey techniques and some excellent interprative work by Joe Ruetz, Roger Scammel, Jim Janzen, Gillian Kearvell and Antonio Montante. By the end of 1997 six holes had intersected massive sulfides ranging from 59 to 260m in thickness. (NOTE: A lot of news came out on San Nicolas in 1998 and it is best to follow it on Western Copper's website).
See Western Copper and their website for a lot of details and latest data on San Nicolas.
GCN #236 9Dec98
GCN #207 28Oct98
GCN #141 23Jul98
MBD January, 1997
MBD November, 1996
LAMR November, 1996
GCN #210 30 Oct96
GCN #185 24Sep96
Nukay Project or "Los Filos", Guerrero: (Sold to Wheaton River) 70/30 JV Minera Nutek with privately-owned Miranda Mining located 150 km SW of Mexico City and NW of Chilpancingo. Small producer currently at 20,000 opy. In 1995 over 20,000 m were drilled outlining potential for both open-pit and underground mining. 1996 program concentrating on infill drilling. A drill hole late in 1994 intercepted 1.6 grams over 200m in skarn-altered zone adjacent to intrusive. Grade and tonnage numbers are hard to come by but in Aug. 1995 NMN reported 4.4 M tonnes at 4.47 grams Au or over 656,000 oz of contained Au in the Nukay, Aguita and Subita skarn zones and an inferred additional 800,000 in the Dona Marta Area. Los Filos zone showed drilled out resource of 28.4 M tonnes averaging 1.64 gpt Au. A 1.6 million ounce open pittable resource has been defined at Nukay and preliminary metallurgical testing looks good for heap-leach processing. Preliminary feasibility studies were planned for 1st half of 1998. Low gold prices has slowed this project down a bit in 1999, but it is still very much on track.
NOTE: As of 1Q02 TeckCominco lists the drill indicated mineral resource at Los Filos at 55 million tonnes at 1.25 grams/tonne.
For a lot of information on this project go to MMDC's website (includes maps and figures etc.)
1997 Annual Report
GCN #133 13Jul98
1995 Annual Report
GCN #105 30May96
Morelos Reserve Norte, Guerrero: 60/40 JV named "Minera Media Luna" with privately-owned Miranda Mining and Development as minority partner. Successful bidders in 1998 for 26,000 Ha northern part of the Morelos Reserve located several km north of Nukay Property. Bid was US $3,120,000 with 60% up front and balance in 1 year.
GCN #133 13Jul98
Lachatao Property, Oaxaca: (Dropped it) Located around 35 km NE of city of Oaxaca near Santa Catarina Lachatao. Dropped this back to Northair in 1998. Was a 51/49 JV with International Northair to explore 8km by 8km property in the Natividad District. Initial work focused on San Pedro-San Pablo system. Trenching gave positive results. RC drilling to began in November, 1996. Five of nine RC holes returned good results. Hole-1 returned 27m of 120 ppb, Hole-2 hit 49.5m of 510 ppb and 10.5m of 2.14 gpt. Hole 3 hit 85.5m of 0.97 gpt which included 7.5m of 1.3 gpt and 15m of 2.14 gpt. Other holes contained encouraging results. Teck plans to spend $450,000 in 1997. Teck holds 100% interest in nearby 16,879 ha of ground.
LAMR June, 1998
LAMR December, 1997
NMN v83#14 2/6/97
NMN v82#49 2/3/97
NMN v82#15 6/10/96
LAMR v3, #6 June 96
Cominco Ltd. (Now officially part of Teck-Cominco)
As of 2002 all of what was Cominco is now in TeckCominco, the combined company. Mexican operations were historically through Cia. Minera Constelación S. A. de C. V. until early 1999 when the name was officially changed to Cominco Mexico S.A. de C.V. Cominco Ltd. acquired the remaining 44.3% of Cominco Resources International Ltd. in June of 1995 and the later operated as a 100% owned subsidiary of parent company. (CMH 1995-1996).
Four separate properties out of an initial 12 property package were optioned to Ecstall Mining Corporation as late as early 1999. These were:
San Fernando Porphyry Cu Prospect
Marly Porphyry Copper replacement Ag Prospect
Santa Lucia epithermal Ag-Au Prospect
Amaltea-Cuatro Minas VMS Zn-Pb-Ag-Cu Prospect.
GCN #6 11Jan99
Zacatecas and SLP Massive Sulfide Play: Cia. Minera Constelación S. A. de C. V. entered into JV with Aurado Exploration Ltd. ("Aurado") on eight base metal and silver properties encompassing 21,543 ha within Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi States. Two of these properties are adjacent to and immediately west of the Western Copper Holdings Limited Teck Corporation San Nicholas Massive Sulphide Discovery and may lie in the same mafic felsic volcanic sequence. Airborne surveys and detailed IP were conducted prior to a minimum of 500m of diamond drilling to test favorable Chilitos Formation volcanic sequence. The properties are:
Amapola (3194 ha): Cominco Mexico de C.V., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cominco Ltd. has commenced diamond drilling (Nov98) on the Amapola property, one of eight in the joint venture. The drill program is designed to investigate targets that were defined in geophysical and geological programs. At least three vertical diamond drill holes are planned to test coincident chargeability, gravity and magnetic signatures on the Amapola property.
Piedrotas (189 ha) and Venaditas (2365 ha): Gravity and magnetic profiles over the coincident IP anomalies on the Venaditas and Piedrotas claim blocks southwest of the Teck/Western Copper San Nicolas mineral copper/zinc sulphide deposit, have defined two circular residual gravity anomalies over mafic volcanic units. Both anomalies are interpreted to be 150 meters from surface and warrant a diamond drill test.
Press Release 12Nov98
Other properties include:
Gabriela (8950 ha)
Sauz (1065 ha)
Belecbu (828 ha)
El Garabato (3600 ha)
Carmen (1352 ha)
Press Release 6Mar98
Press Release 16Feb98
Maria underground Cu-Mo mine near Cananea, Sonora. Cominco controls 49% and Empresas Frisco has 51% and is operator. Production began in 1990, high grade Cu ore depleted near the end of 1994 and present production is lower grade Cu-Mo ore.
Mariquita OP SX/EW Cu property. Cominco controls 49% and Empresas Frisco controls remaining 51%. Located in the Cananea District just 5 km NNW of the Maria Mine with 33 MM tons at 0.4%% Cu and a possible additional resource of 19 M tonnes at 0.4% Cu. Plans are for OP/HL SX/EW operation. Construction restricted in mid-1995 pending review of project and planned expansion to a capacity of 21,000 tonnes of cathode Cu/yr from an initial plan for only 15,000 tonnes. Initial plan were for cathode Cu production to begin in 1996. Nearby astrophysical observatory in Mariquita Mountains is a problem
GCN #28 9Feb95
El Pilar, Chihuahua. Project is 496 ha and located 250 km SE of Hermosillo (NOTE: this is not the same El Pilar that Santa Catalina drilled by Suaqui Grande, Sonora). Silicified area 500 by 400m with gold in scattered outcrops. Values of 1.5 to 3.0 grams have been collected over wits up to 37m. Planed at least 700m of drilling.
GCN #226 25Nov94
Pinos District, Zacatecas. Advanced 32,000 acre exploration project under JV agreement with Golden Quail Resources Ltd. Completed mapping and sampling in October, 1995. Target was low grade OP/HL Au. Cominco had right to earn in up to 65%. Claims renounced by Golden Quail 04/12/96 and assigned to Windham Resources as part of settlement of a legal dispute involving properties in US and Canada (see Golden Quail).
MR v106 #41 10/11/95