Great Panther Makes Positive Production Decision for Coricancha
Monday, July 8th, 2019
Great Panther Mining Limited (TSX: GPR; NYSE American: GPL) (“Great Panther”, the “Company”) is pleased to report that it has approved a positive production decision for its 100% owned Coricancha gold-silver-lead-zinc-copper mine (“Coricancha”) in Peru. The decision was based upon the final results of the trial stope and bulk sample program (the “Bulk Sample Program” or “BSP”), which confirmed the key operating assumptions for Coricancha contained in the Preliminary Economic Assessment (the “PEA”) and detailed in the Company’s May 31, 2018 press release.
“We are pleased with the results of the BSP and look forward to advancing Coricancha towards commercial production,” stated James Bannantine, President and CEO. “The actual restart date is expected in the first half of 2020 and will be aligned with our other mining operations to ensure the project has the necessary planning and resources in place to optimize operations and profitability. Coricancha is expected to produce approximately 40,000 gold equivalent ounces annually and will be an important addition to Great Panther’s production portfolio going forward.”
The objective of the BSP was to validate key mine and processing plant operating parameters in the PEA, (PEA technical report can be found here). A total of 5,089 tonnes of mineralized material mined from the Constancia and Escondida veins was processed through the plant. The BSP produced 15,561 ounces of silver, 303 ounces of gold, 107,319 pounds of lead, and 99,889 pounds of zinc through the production of a zinc concentrate and a lead concentrate.
Highlights of the BSP
- The BSP utilized an overhand cut-and-fill mining method to mine an average vein width of 40 cm. The mining widths experienced during the BSP were between 94 – 110 cm. The PEA assumed a minimum mining width of 90 cm for vein widths of less than 50 cm.
- The BSP achieved development rates in the range of 3.2 m/day, which were consistent with the development rates assumed in the PEA (3.0 m/day).
- Metallurgical recoveries of the BSP were 90.3% Ag, 76.0% Au, 85.7% Pb and 82.9% Zn. These recovery levels are in line with those in the PEA.
Opportunities to Enhance Economics
The Company identified several opportunities during the BSP to enhance overall economics of the project. These include opportunities to reduce dilution levels, lower transportation costs, improve plant recoveries, and optimize tailings management.
During the BSP, the Company did not utilize the bio-oxidation circuit due to the sample size and lead time required to initiate the process. The tradeoff between operating cost and additional gold recovery associated with the utilization of the bio-oxidation will be analyzed and optimized in advance of a restart. In addition, a copper concentrate was not produced due to the low copper grades of the mined sample, however, a copper circuit exists and will be available for processing higher grade materials.
There is also potential to increase the life of the mine through developing a mine plan for the resources not incorporated into the PEA, which utilizes only approximately 28% of the overall resource. The restart of Coricancha also opens a significant exploration opportunity through additional underground drilling and development.
With the BSP completed, the Company will keep Coricancha on care and maintenance while additional engineering and operational planning is completed prior to start-up to further optimize and de-risk the project. The development timeline necessary to restart Coricancha and reach full scale production is expected to be less than one year.http://www.greatpanther.com