Thursday, 12 July 2012

Great Panther Silver Q2 gold production up 22%

Great Panther Silver (AMEX:GPL) Thursday reported that second-quarter gold production was up 22 per cent to 2,353 ounces while silver production was down 3 per cent to 374,723 ounces.

Overall, total metals production was down 1 per cent to 555,721 silver equivalent ounces as total ore processed at its Guanajuato and Topia operations fell 7 per cent to 52,956 tonnes.

Great Panther Silver is a primary silver mining and exploration company focused on its two wholly-owned operating mines in Mexico, Guanajuato and Topia.

The company said that at Guanajuato, ore grades of 189 grams per tonne (g/t) silver and 1.82 g/t gold, or 298 g/t silver equivalent, were up 8 per cent. Guanajuato achieved record metallurgical recoveries of 91.1 per cent and 92.3 per cent for silver and gold respectively.

The Guanajuato operation processed 40,964 tonnes at ore grades of 189 g/t silver and 1.82 g/t gold. Metal production included 226,284 silver ounces and 2,213 gold ounces or 359,063 silver equivalent ounces, up 2 per cent from a year earlier.

Great Panther said that improved ore grades continued with further development and initial stoping of the high-grade, Deep Cata area, and from improved gold production from new development of the Santa Margarita vein.

At Topia, ore grades, of 570 g/t silver equivalent were up 2 per cent.

While gold, silver and zinc production was higher than in the second quarter of 2011, metal production, in terms of silver equivalents, at 196,658 silver equivalent ounces was down 7 per cent primarily due to the lower lead and zinc price ratios.

Topia metal production improved from Q1 2012 to 148,439 ounces silver, 140 ounces gols, 539,030 pounds of lead and 773,160 pounds of zinc from milling 11,992 tonnes of ore.

Plant metallurgical performance was steady for Q2. Silver recovery was 90.7 per cent, gold recovery was 64.3 per cent, lead recovery was 93.6 per cent and zinc recovery was 91.2 per cent. In addition to processing the company's ore, 2,053 tonnes were custom milled for a local miner.

While first half 2012 metal production of 1,113,388 silver equivalent ounces shows no increase over first half 2011, several operating efficiencies have already demonstrated improvements for increased production in the second half of this year.

At Guanajuato, the mine is now operating on a 7-day-week schedule to allow for increased equipment utilization and production.

Production from Cata, the highest grade area of the mine is expected to increase.

In addition, a sill pillar will be recovered on the 470 metre level using a newly acquired longhole drilling rig and remote ore loading. Production and development from the gold-rich Santa Margarita vein continued with almost 9,000 tonnes at grades of 4.8 g/t gold being produced.

The processing plant, which is already achieving record metallurgical recoveries, will be further improved with the recent installation of a new double-deck crushing screen that became operational in June, and a new tertiary crusher scheduled to be operational later in Q3.

Underground diamond drilling at Guanajuato is ongoing on 50 metre exploration centres at Guanajuatito and Valenciana, while more production detailed 25 metre centre drilling is ongoing at Santa Margarita, Los Pozos, and Cata.

Drilling at Guanajuatito is expanding a new discovery approximately 100 metres to the northwest from current workings between the 160 and 200 metre levels. This new zone is open both up and down dip and to the northwest.

At Topia, the rainy season is well underway and processing capacity increased from 160 to 220 tonnes per day in June. Mined ore has been stockpiled and mining rates are increasing with additional mobile equipment acquired.

Ore grades have improved and have been maintained for the last four months in the 425 g/t silver range. Vein grades from assays of new drilling and development are encouraging.

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