Great Panther Reports Reopens Several Mines at Topiaadmin
GREAT PANTHER RESOURCES LIMITED said that new underground exploration development at the Company’s 100% owned Topia Mine in Durango, Mexico has identified high grade silver, gold, lead, and zinc mineralization in the Gregorio and Rosario Veins. Meanwhile, costs have been cut throughout the operation and eight of the recently closed mines have been reopened with a profitable plan for 2009, which restores Topia to previous production levels.
New underground development by the Company in 2008 along approximately 80 metres of strike length of the Gregorio Vein (1675 metre level) in the Durangueno area (see plan and longitudinal maps on the Great Panther website) has averaged grades of 1,299g/t silver, 0.41g/t gold, 5.54% lead, and 11.73% zinc with a 0.30 metre width. Shallow workings by Penoles (Mina 8), completed pre-1990, along the Gregorio Vein to the WSW have been re-sampled by the Company, yielding average grades of 539g/t silver, 0.07g/t gold, 3.8% lead, and 0.56% zinc along a strike length of 50 metres and width of 0.49 metres. There is a 300 metre strike length of high grade mineralization which includes Mina 8 and the Company’s development on the Gregorio Vein. A series of old workings by Penoles follow the Gregorio Vein another 450 metres WSW. Further to the WSW the Gregorio Vein has been traced for about one kilometre.
New underground development along a 55 metre strike length of the Rosario Vein (1675 metre level) in the Durangueno area (see plan and longitudinal maps) has averaged grades of 1,259g/t silver, 0.30g/t gold, 7.05% lead, and 5.82% zinc over a 0.39 metre width. Shallow workings by Penoles (1710 level), completed pre-1990 to the northeast on the Rosario Vein, have been re-sampled by the Company, indicating several zones of high grade mineralization. Results include 25 metres strike length with grades of 717g/t silver, 3.0% lead, and 5.24% zinc, and 25 metres strike length with grades of 861g/t silver, 3.22% lead, and 3.5% zinc. There is a 300 metre strike length of high grade mineralization which includes the Penoles old 1710 level and the Company’s new development on the Rosario Vein.
During 2004 and 2005 the Company drilled 7 surface holes targeting the Rosario Vein below the present development. Comparisons between drill core and underground sampling indicate far better grades in the latter than indicated by drilling.
New exploration development on the extensions of the Gregorio and Rosario Veins is now providing excellent grade mill feed for the Topia Mine. Production stopes will be prepared in this area early in 2009 and will contribute to the ongoing expansion of silver production at Topia. The Company has negotiated lower cost contracts for the mining of these and other veins and many of the local mine workers have been returned to work in January. In all, twelve of the former fourteen mines are now being exploited.
Like many silver mines with significant lead and zinc base metal credits, the value of the by-products has dropped and the cost of producing silver has risen throughout 2008. A revised plan has been implemented for 2009 which limits exploration development to the high grade veins, such as Rosario, Gregorio, Cantarranas East (Hormiguera and San Miguel), and Recompensa, where the value of the ore being explored outweighs the cost of development. The focus is on stope preparation and stoping in these and the other more established veins such as the Argentina, Animas and Don Benito. Mining costs have been reduced, and although the tonnes of ore will be slightly lower than in 2008, the grades of ore milled will continue to improve and the metal production in 2009 is expected to be similar to 2008. Operating costs have been reduced to around $10.00 per ounce, net of all costs and by-product revenues. The Topia mines are expected to produce more than 400,000 ounces of silver (650,000 silver equivalent ounces) in 2009.