Great Panther Silver (TSE:GPR) said Tuesday it has appointed chartered accountant R.W. Garnett as independent chairman to the company’s board of directors.
Garnett has served as an independent director of the company since May 3, 2011, and is chairman of Great Panther’s audit committee.
He was recently the vice-chair of the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority, and serves on the board of VRX Worldwide (CVE:VRW), where he is the chair of their audit committee.
From 2009 to 2010, he was a director and audit committee member of Central 1 Credit Union, which is the central banker for credit unions in Ontario and British Columbia.
Further, he was an owner and president of Eaglequest Golf Centres, and has held senior financial roles within the residential and commercial real-estate sector.
This recent appointment is in line with Great Panther’s internal board mandate to further increase independence of board members, it said.
The company plans to add another independent director before its annual general meeting, which is being held in June.
Garnett replaces Kaare Foy, who stepped down after serving more than 18 years as a director of Great Panther and almost eight years as executive chairman.
Foy will continue as a consultant to the company.
Last month, the company reported improved fourth-quarter 2011 production results at its two wholly owned Mexican silver mining operations, Guanajuato and Topia.
For the three months to December 31, the company said metal production for the quarter rose by 13 percent to 545,294 silver equivalent ounces from the previous quarter.
Silver production of 354,754 ounces was up three percent from the previous quarter and gold production of 2,281 ounces was up 53 percent.
Mexico-focused Great Panther said that ore grades improved at Guanajuato to 235 grams per tonne (g/t) silver and 2.12 g/t gold in November and December, the highest since September, 2010.
The company, founded in 1965, mainly produces silver. It also produces gold, lead and zinc. It holds a 100 percent interest in the Guanajuato silver-gold mine, comprised of roughly 28 claims totalling 1,107-hectares located on the central plateau of Mexico in the state of Guanajuato.
Great Panther’s shares rose 1.53 percent to $2.66 each today in Toronto.