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Great Panther Silver confident in hitting annual production guidance

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 7:41
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(Before It's News)

Precious metals miner Great Panther Silver Ltd (TSE:GPR, NYSEMKT:GPL) has said it remains on track to hit full-year production guidance despite closing down its Topia mine for the past three months.

Milling operations at the mine – which is in Durango, Mexico – have been suspended since December to allow Great Panther to undertake planned works to upgrade the plant and transition to a new tailings storage facility.

Most of that work has now been completed under budget, and the old TSF is temporarily being used while Great Panther gets the green light from Mexican authorities to use the new one.

Full-year guidance on track

Even while the mill was shut down though, the company continued to mine and it expects to process all of the stockpiled ore by the end of the year, hence the maintained full-year production guidance.

“The planned suspension of milling operations at Topia was in effect throughout the entire first quarter and had an obvious impact on our overall metal production,” said President and chief executive Robert Archer.

“However, we continued mining at Topia throughout this period, and with the commissioning of the graded plant and the new tailings handling facility now underway, we have commenced the processing of ore stockpiled during the shutdown.

“This will continue through the balance of the year, such that we anticipate meeting our annual guidance.”

First quarter production figures

As a result of the plant shutdown, metal production in the three months to end March fell to 727,372 silver equivalent ounces (Ag eq oz) (from 1.01mln Ag eq oz in Q1 2016).

Silver production fell 32% to 364,995oz while gold production also fell, albeit by not quite so much, to 5,177oz.

All of the production came from Great Panther’s Guanajuato mine complex which is also in Mexico and includes the San Ignacio mine.

As well as maintaining full-year production guidelines, the company also repeated its all-in sustaining costs (AISC) forecast for the year of US$5-US$6 per payable silver ounce and US$14-US$16 per payable silver ounce respectively.

Coricancha acquisition

Great Panther also told investors that the previously announced acquisition of the Coricancha mine in Peru is likely to close in the current quarter.

The miner had hoped to have the deal tied up by the end of March but local regulatory and legal processes have delayed things slightly.

Once the acquisition is complete will start work on a pre-feasibility study. Depending on the outcome of the report, development in support of operations could start in 2018, Great Panther said.

Further purchases were hinted at as well, with the firm stating it would “continue to seek and evaluate additional acquisition opportunities to meet the company’s growth objectives.”

Shares in Great Panther gained 0.5% to trade at C$2.14.

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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