Intermediate gold and silver miner Great Panther is anticipating building on 2019’s strong production growth as it goes into 2020, while continuing to execute on key operational initiatives in Brazil and Mexico, including expanded exploration programmes, interim president and CEO Jeffrey Mason has said.
The company on Monday released its fourth quarter and yearly 2019 production results from its Tucano gold mine in Brazil, and two Mexican mining operations, the Topia mine and the Guanajuato mine complex (GMC), which includes the San Ignacio mine.
“We ended 2019 on a stronger note at Tucano, exceeding the high end of our most recent guidance range for the fourth quarter,” indicated Mason.
"Reflecting on 2019 as a whole, the acquisition of Tucano has transformed Great Panther, nearly tripling our gold-equivalent production. Together with our recent key management additions and $21-million in non-equity funding, we are well positioned to execute on our 2020 plans.”
Great Panther nearly tripled its yearly production, with about 147 000 consolidated gold equivalent ounces produced in 2019, a 182% increase compared with 2018, driven by the acquisition of Tucano. Its guidance for the year was to produce 142 000 oz to 149 000 oz.
Tucano was acquired in March, transforming the company into a growing, intermediate precious metals producer.
With regard to the stronger finish to the year at Tucano, the mine produced more than 34 000 oz of gold in the fourth quarter, compared with its guidance of 31 000 oz to 33 000 oz.
The company achieved record yearly production at Topia, delivering silver equivalent production of 1.8-million ounces, benefitting from an increase in mill capacity, grade and an advancement of mine development.
Also, the miner increased mine productivities and metallurgical recoveries at Tucano, expanded Topia throughput, and advanced on-going key exploration programmes.
The company's Mexican operations combined to produce 41 292 gold equivalent ounces in 2019 or about 3.3-million silver equivalent ounces.
Topia achieved a new record for yearly production at about 1.8-million silver equivalent ounces during 2019 as a result of an increase in mill capacity, grade and advancing development of various mines in the Topia area.
The company also performed exploration drilling to better define existing mineral resources, and to extend the mineral resources into new areas, along presently mined veins and along new veins.
In the fourth quarter, production for GMC was sourced from both the San Ignacio mine and limited areas of the Guanajuato mine for which mining had been suspended for the previous three quarters to allow for a focussed exploration programme.
This explains the lower year-over-year production levels, as planned by the company. The exploration programme at the Guanajuato mine advanced with three drill rigs in operation with the objective of outlining in-situ blocks of higher-grade mineralisation and increased mill feed from the Guanajuato mine in 2020.
Great Panther expects to release an updated National Instrument 43-101 mineral resource estimate before the end of March for the San Ignacio and Guanajuato mines; while the Topia mineral resource update is targeted to be completed in July.