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Great Panther Reports Third Quarter 2021 Production Results and Provides Operational Update

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Great Panther Reports Third Quarter 2021 Production Results and Provides Operational Update

 

 

 

 

 

UCS pushback activities complete, GMC operational alternatives under review

 

 

Great Panther Mining Limited (TSX: GPR) (NYSE-A: GPL) a growing gold and silver producer focused on the Americas, reports production results for the three months ended September 30, 2021, from its three wholly-owned mines: Tucano in Brazil, and Topia and the Guanajuato Mine Complex in Mexico.

 

Third Quarter 2021 Production Highlights

 

  • Consolidated metal production of 22,444 gold equivalent ounces, inclusive of 18,423 gold ounces and 280,245 silver ounces
  • Total gold production at Tucano of 16,325 Au oz
  • Total silver equivalent production at Topia of 242,028 silver equivalent ounces
  • Total silver equivalent production at the GMC of 278,073 Ag eq oz
  • Urucum Central South pushback activities completed in late September 2021

 

“Third quarter production was lower than planned primarily because of low ore tonnage from Tucano. The Tucano mine contractor experienced maintenance issues, which led to poor fleet availability, resulting in lower mined tonnage and a delay in the completion of the UCS pushback activities,” stated Rob Henderson, President and CEO of Great Panther. “The delay at UCS was also affected by significantly higher-than-average rainfall. The pushback at UCS is now complete and we are working with our mine contractor to resolve equipment availability issues. During the quarter we stayed the course, however, and continued investing as planned. Stripping activities at TAP AB are advancing and we are executing on our extensive exploration program to position Tucano for future growth and production.”

 

Operational Update

 

During the quarter, precipitation levels in northern Brazil were approximately 25% higher than historical averages. In September, movement was detected in the west wall of the UCS pit and to ensure safety for workers mining was suspended for four days until conditions were deemed stable. Vertical drains are currently being installed in the west wall of the UCS pit to reduce water levels and are expected to be in place by late November in preparation for the rainy season, typically the first half of the year.

 

A new mine design has been implemented allowing mining activities to safely continue on the east side of the UCS pit. Strict safety protocols are followed at all times, including radar monitoring for wall movement, prisms and drone surveys, to ensure the health and safety of workers.

 

Production at GMC and Topia during the quarter was approximately 21% behind plan. The implementation of the new labour laws in Mexico resulted in delays in tonnage mined as contractors adjust to the new requirements. In addition, production at GMC was primarily from historically mined areas and actual tonnages available were lower than estimated.

 

At GMC, the Company does not expect to receive approval to expand the tailings storage facility prior to reaching the current capacity of the TSF in December 2021. Contingency plans are being evaluated to process GMC ore at third-party facilities in 2022 and evaluation of longer-term tailings storage solutions are underway.

 

On August 18, 2021, the Peruvian government introduced a new Mine Closure Law (Law No. 31347). The new law contemplates increases to the mine closure bond requirement applicable to all mining companies in Peru. Whereas previously companies were required to provide bonds to cover “Final” and “Post-Closure” stages of the Mine Closure Plan, under the amended law the bonding requirement is inclusive of “Progressive Closure” costs (i.e., closure activities during the operation of the mine) for the main components of the mine. The law does not provide details such as specific costs, or the timing of payment or form of collateral to be provided, and these details are expected to be described in new regulations that are expected to be published by mid-November 2021. Prior to publication of the new regulations, the Company cannot estimate with certainty the amount or timing of incremental closure bond requirements for Coricancha.

 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the Company maintains a high degree of vigilance across all its operations. Although cases at the Company’s mine sites remain low and vaccinations are progressing, strict health and safety protocols remain in place.

 

Consolidated Operating Results

 

The Company’s production results for the third quarter of 2021 are detailed below.

 

Consolidated Operating Results Q3 2021 Q3 2020 Change YTD Q3 2021 YTD Q3 2020 Change
Ore processed (tonnes) 942,138 888,746 6% 2,726,272 2,616,081 4%
Gold eq production (oz) (1) 22,444 39,788 -44% 80,722 113,054 -29%
Gold production (oz) 18,423 34,030 -46% 66,204 99,329 -33%
Silver production (oz) 280,245 375,247 -25% 974,738 892,621 9%
(1) Gold equivalent ounces for 2021 were calculated using a 1:85 Au:Ag ratio, and ratios of 1:0.0005 and 1:0.0006 for the price/ounce of gold to price/pound of lead and zinc, respectively, consistent with the Company’s guidance for the year. Gold equivalent ounces for 2020 were calculated using a 1:90 Au:Ag ratio, and ratios of 1:0.0006 and 1:0.0008 for the price/ounce of gold to price/pound of lead and zinc, respectively, consistent with the Company’s guidance for the year.

 

The Company is in the process of reviewing its forecast for the balance of the year to assess whether adjustments to 2021 consolidated production and/or cost guidance are required. It is likely that the guidance will need to be adjusted as a result of lower-than-expected production in the third quarter. The Company will provide updated guidance, if needed, once forecasting is completed.

 

Tucano

 

Tucano Operating Results Q3 2021 Q3 2020 Change YTD Q3 2021 YTD Q3 2020 Change
Total material mined (tonnes) 4,618,128 5,687,291 -19% 17,195,310 18,877,807 -9%
Total waste mined (tonnes) 4,416,899 5,313,363 -17% 16,434,702 17,769,281 -8%
Ore mined (tonnes) 201,229 373,928 -46% 760,608 1,108,526 -31%
Ore processed (tonnes milled) 886,362 823,353 8% 2,555,831 2,457,187 4%
Au grade (g/t) 0.64 1.31 -51% 0.78 1.30 -40%
Au recovery (%) 88.8% 92.1% -4% 88.7% 91.3% -3%
Gold production (oz) 16,105 31,803 -49% 56,812 93,400 -39%
Carbon fines gold recovery 220 100% 3,206 100%
Total gold production (oz) 16,325 31,803 -49% 60,018 93,400 -36%

 

Tucano produced 16,325 Au oz in Q3 2021, a decrease of 49% compared to the third quarter of 2020, primarily due to equipment availability issues and the temporary halting in mining activities due to slope instability previously mentioned.

 

Plant throughput in the third quarter was 8% higher compared to the same period in 2020, due mainly to a higher amount of oxide material processed this quarter in the absence of sulfide ore from UCS. However, gold grade was 51% lower due to a higher than planned proportion of lower-grade stockpile ore being processed.

 

Topia

 

Topia Operating Results Q3 2021 Q3 2020 Change YTD Q3 2021 YTD Q3 2020 Change
Ore processed (tonnes) 14,433 20,292 -29% 48,956 47,431 3%
Ag grade (g/t) 373 353 6% 401 355 13%
Au grade (g/t) 0.64 0.85 -25% 0.86 0.84 2%
Ag recovery (%) 93.7% 92.5% 1% 93.1% 92.4% 1%
Au recovery (%) 72.2% 55.5% 30% 61.0% 55.1% 11%
Silver eq production (oz) (1) 242,028 383,897 -37% 917,605 906,328 1%
Silver production (ounces) 162,188 213,320 -24% 587,860 499,931 18%
Gold production (ounces) 215 308 -30% 829 708 17%
Lead production (tonnes) 268 457 -41% 1,150 1,021 13%
Zinc production (tonnes) 347 565 -39% 1,444 1,420 2%
Gold eq production (oz) (2) 2,847 4,266 -33% 10,795 10,070 7%
(1) Silver equivalent ounces for 2021 were calculated using an 85:1 Ag:Au ratio, and ratios of 1:0.041 and 1:0.049 for the price/ounce of silver to price/pound of lead and zinc, respectively, consistent with the Company’s guidance for the year. Silver equivalent ounces for 2020 were calculated using a 90:1 Ag:Au ratio, and ratios of 1:0.058 and 1:0.068 for the price/ounce of silver to price/pound of lead and zinc, respectively, consistent with the Company’s guidance for the year.
(2) See footnote (1) under the heading Consolidated Operating Results above for information on the calculation of gold equivalent ounces for 2021 and 2020, respectively.

 

Silver equivalent production at Topia in Q3 2021 was 242,028 Ag eq oz compared with 383,897 Ag eq oz in Q3 2020, a decrease of 37% primarily due to the implementation of new labour laws in Mexico as previously mentioned.

 

Guanajuato Mine Complex

 

GMC Operating Results Q3 2021 Q3 2020 Change YTD Q3 2021 YTD Q3 2020 Change
Ore processed (tonnes) 41,343 45,101 -8% 121,485 111,463 9%
Ag grade (g/t) 102 131 -22% 114 128 -11%
Au grade (g/t) 1.64 1.59 3% 1.58 1.74 -9%
Ag recovery (%) 87.1% 85.5% 2% 86.9% 85.4% 2%
Au recovery (%) 86.4% 83.4% 4% 86.8% 83.9% 3%
Silver eq production (oz) (1) 278,073 334,675 -17% 842,262 862,505 -2%
Silver production (oz) 118,057 161,927 -27% 386,877 392,691 -1%
Gold production (oz) 1,883 1,919 -2% 5,357 5,220 3%
Gold eq production (oz) (2) 3,271 3,719 -12% 9,909 9,583 3%
(1) Silver equivalent ounces for 2021 were calculated using an 85:1 Ag:Au ratio, consistent with the Company’s guidance for the year. Silver equivalent ounces for 2020 were calculated using a 90:1 Ag:Au ratio, consistent with the Company’s guidance for the year.
(2) See footnote (1) under the heading Consolidated Operating Results above for information on the calculation of gold equivalent ounces for 2021 and 2020, respectively.

 

Silver equivalent production at the GMC in Q3 2021 was 278,073 Ag eq oz compared with 334,675 Aq eq oz, a decrease of 17% over Q3 2020 as a result of the implementation of new labour laws in Mexico and production from historically mined areas and actual tonnages available being lower than estimated, as mentioned above.

 

The Company has not yet been granted a permit from the Comisión Nacional del Agua to expand the TSF at the GMC, which only has sufficient capacity to continue milling operations until December 2021. While the Company continues to proactively engage CONAGUA to expedite the permitting process, the operating assumption is that a permit will not be forthcoming and numerous longer-term solutions are currently being assessed, including processing ore at third-party facilities.

 

Technical Disclosure

 

The technical information contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Fernando A. Cornejo, P. Eng., Chief Operating Officer, a non-independent Qualified Person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

 

ABOUT GREAT PANTHER

 

Great Panther is a growing gold and silver producer focused on the Americas. The Company owns a diversified portfolio of assets in Brazil, Mexico and Peru that includes three operating gold and silver mines, an advanced development project and a large land package with district-scale potential. Great Panther is focused on creating long-term stakeholder value through safe and sustainable production, reinvesting into exploration and pursuing acquisition opportunities to complement its existing portfolio. Great Panther trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange trading GPR, and on the NYSE American.

 

Posted October 8, 2021

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