Developing the Vast Silver Deposits of Latin America
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Great Panther Silver (TSX:GPR; NYSE:GPL) is a precious metal producing and exploration company operating in Latin America, exploring deposits in both Peru and in one of Mexico’s most historically prolific mining districts–one which has produced more than one billion ounces of silver in roughly 400 years.
The company has two operational mines in Mexico: the Guanajuato Mine Complex (GMC) in the state of Guanajuato, and the Topia mine in the state of Durango. Great Panther Silver (GPR) is also currently exploring their other Mexican properties, the Santa Rosa and El Horcón projects in the states of Guanajuato and Jalisco, respectively. Additionally, GPR is undertaking a Bulk Sample Program at the past-producing Coricancha mine in the Peruvian Andes with the aim of eventually restarting production at the site.
The company’s exploration work has led to a number of findings. For the GMC, new findings led to an updated NI 43-101 mineral resource in January 2018, which outlined measured and indicated resources of nearly 11.5 million ounces of silver equivalent.
The El Horcón mine, meanwhile, has an inferred resource of over 2 million ounces of silver equivalent, according to its 2017 resource estimate. The company also updated a resource estimate for the Coricancha mine in 2017, which showed a measured and indicated resource of over 24 million ounces of silver equivalent. Additionally, GPR recently released the results of a preliminary economic study at the Coricancha mine that included an average production rate of three million ounces of silver equivalent with a head grade of 768 g/t silver equivalent, a net smelter return (NSR) of $295 per ton, an after-tax IRR of 81 percent and an after-tax NVP (7.5 percent) of $16.6 million.
GPR’s ventures are all supported by excellent infrastructure. Furthermore, the company’s exploration initiatives in Mexico, the Santa Rosa and the El Horcón projects, have the potential to become future satellite operations for the GMC, due to their proximity.
The company’s management team has over 100 years of combined mining and mergers and acquisitions experience. In 2017, GPR achieved a net income of $1.3 million, increasing revenues and silver-equivalent production from the previous year by three percent and two percent, respectively.
- Strong infrastructure supports GPR’s projects in the Mexican states of Guanajuato and neighboring Durango
- Access to multiple mining projects gives flexibility to open and close projects as needed
- Operating two mines and two exploration projects in historically producing regions of Mexico
- Coricancha Mine PEA outlined an average annual production of three million ounces of silver equivalent with a head grade of 768 g/t silver equivalent
- Coricancha Mine PEA included a NSR of $295 per tonne and an after-tax IRR of 81 percent and an after-tax NVP (7.5 percent) of $16.6 million
- GPR is debt-free
- Management team with over 100 years of mining and mergers and acquisition experience
Flagship Property: The GMC
Eight kilometers west-northwest of the city of Guanajuato, a region with a vast mining history, the GMC hosts both the San Ignacio mine and the Guanajuato mine, and is easily accessed by paved road through the towns of Cristo del Rey and Santa Ana and is located 30 minutes away from an airport.
The GMC is wholly owned by GPR. In 2017, the GMC was responsible for 73 percent of GPR’s silver equivalent production globally. Acquired in 2005 as part of the Guanajuato package, the El Horcón project is also part of the complex, though the project is still under exploration.
The San Ignacio mine
The San Ignacio mine is the predominant producer within the GMC. The San Ignacio mine in particular produced 65 percent of total ore processed at the GMC in 2017 and is operating at a rate of 500-600 tonnes of ore per day.
The mine covers nearly four kilometers of strike length along the La Luz vein system which runs parallel to the principal Veta Madre structure, host to GPR’s other projects within the complex.
Per a NI 43-101 resource estimate released in 2018, measured and indicated resources for the San Ignacio mine account for nearly 11.5 million ounces of silver equivalent. In 2018, GPR plans to oversee a 5,000-meter drilling program at the mine to test the down dip extension of the main productive structures along the Nombre de Dios structure and underground delineation drilling to expand resources for an additional 5,000 meters.
The Guanajuato Mine
Within the same complex, the Guanajuato mine has measured and indicated resources of nearly 2.5 million ounces of silver equivalent. GPR completed over 16,625 meters of drilling in August, 2017 and the mine operates at a rate of approximately 454 tonnes per day.
In 2017, underground exploration at the site targeted the mines’ Cata, Los Pozos, Guanajuatito, San Cayetano, Santa Margarita and Valenciana mining areas. GPR has slated a 14,000-meter underground drill program to replenish mineral resources for 2018.
The Topia Mine
Covering over 6,500 hectares in the Mexican state of Durango, the Topia mine is located roughly 235 kilometers northwest of the city of Durango by paved highway and gravel road.
The Topia mine contains silver, gold, lead and zinc deposits and consists of multiple narrow-vein, subterranean operations which use a modified cut-and-fill mining method called ‘resuing’, a technique which allows for ore and waste to be mined separately, maximising the amount of metal gained.
Wholly owned by GPR, the mine produced 596,000 ounces of silver in 2017 in addition to 1,000 ounces of gold, 1,300 tonnes lead and 1,760 tonnes zinc. Broken ore from the mine is transported by truck to a nearby processing plant located in the town of Topia.
The plant can process approximately 270 tonnes per day and makes use of a two-stage crusher which produces a finwe ore mill feed, a grinding circuit which consists of three ball mills and two conventional flotation circuits. These produce high-quality silver and gold-rich lead concentrates in addition to zinc concentrates.
The Coricancha Mine
Located in Peru, the Coricancha mine is comprised of 3,700 hectares in the Central Polymetallic belt high in the central Andean mountains. Elevations at the property range between 3,000 to nearly 4,000 meters above sea level. The mine is found within Huarochirí Province and is 90 kilometers east of Lima which is easily accessible by the Central National Highway.
GPR acquired the mine in good standing from Nyrstar NV (EBR:NYR) in June, 2017, meaning the Coricancha mine’s licenses and permits needed to resume operations are fully valid. Included with the Coricancha mine is a600 tonne per day flotation and a gold BIOX bio-leach plant in addition to the necessary mining infrastructure.
The Coricancha mine is a Cordilleran polymetallic ore deposit consisting of a system of sizable sulphide veins and replacement bodies created at epithermal to mesothermal conditions. Extreme structural compressions have produced strong fracturing patterns in the area, allowing for polymetallic mineralization and gold and silver deposits. Total measured and indicated resources for the mine total over 24 million ounces of silver equivalent, per an NI 43-101 resource estimate released in 2017.
Falling commodity prices placed the mine on care and maintenance in 2013, but engineering and environmental studies are currently underway to determine the likelihood of reopening the mine are expected for release in the second quarter of 2018.
In May 2018, GPR released the results of their PEA. Here are the highlights of the PEA:
- Average annual production of three million ounces of silver equivalent with a head grade of 768 g/t silver equivalent
- NSR of $295 per tonne
- After-tax IRR of 81 percent and an after-tax NVP of 7.5 percent
- $8.8 million in initial capital costs
The PEA outlined several areas that could enhance the economics of the project and increase the mine life along with the potential to optimize the mine plan. GPR will be conducting a bulk sample program to confirm their expectations regarding the grades and recovery rates. The bulk sample program is expected to take approximately eight months to complete.
GPR’s silver and gold exploration project, the Santa Rosa mine, is located 15 kilometers northeast of the Guanajuato mine. The project is comprised of a cluster of non-contiguous mineral claims which overlap portions of prolific veins within the Sierra vein system.
Combined with two additional claims to the north, the Santa Rosa project covers approximately 20,400 hectares of land. Although GPR described their current exploration at the project as grassroots, its proximity to the Cata processing plant, part of the GMC, is a benefit, increasing the Santa Rosa project’s viability as a potential satellite operation.
In the neighbouring state of Jalisco, GPR’s El Horcón exploration project hosts nine mineralized epithermal veins similar to those in their other operations. GPR is targeting the project’s gold, silver, zinc and lead deposits which occur in veins reaching, at their peak, for a strike length of five kilometers.
The property is approximately 100 kilometers by road from the company’s Cata processing plant in Guanajuato and has inferred resources of over two million ounces of silver equivalent.
There has been limited exploration of the El Horcón project in recent years. GPR drilled less than 2,200 meters across 24 holes, compiling NI 43-101 compliant documentation on inferred resources totaling over 2 million ounces of silver equivalent, but the project is largely being considered as a satellite project to the GMC.
James M. Bannantine, PE, MBA–President & Chief Executive Officer
James M. Bannantine was appointed president and chief executive officer of Great Panther Silver in August 2017 and is a member of the board of directors. He is responsible for the development of the company’s strategic direction as well as for its day to day operations. He has more than 20 years’ experience in senior management level roles in both private and public companies spanning several industries.
Before joining Great Panther Silver, he served as president and chief executive officer of Aura Minerals Inc and was the co-founder and managing partner of Atlantic Capital Group. Prior to Atlantic Capital Group, he had served as president and chief operating officer of Broadwing Corporation and held several positions over 10 years at Enron Corporation culminating as CEO of Enron South America.
He holds a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science, mechanical engineering concentration, from West Point. He is a licensed professional engineer, fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, and has served 12 years in the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Jim Zadra, CPA, CA, MBA–Chief Financial Officer
Jim Zadra joined Great Panther Silver in September 2011 and has responsibility for corporate finance, including financial reporting, planning & forecasting, taxation, and treasury. He is a chartered accountant and has over 15 years of experience in senior corporate finance roles with significant experience in the areas of financial reporting, taxation, strategic planning, capital markets, M&A and corporate governance.
Prior to joining Great Panther, he served over three years as chief financial officer and corporate secretary of DDS Wireless International Inc (TSX:DD). Prior to DDS he was vice president of finance, North America, at Sophos, (2003-2008) a leading global information technology security company with a offices in 19 countries. He has also held senior roles at ActiveState Corporation, Canaccord Capital and Deloitte, and has served as a director for several venture stage public companies.
He holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University of British Columbia.
Brian Peer, B.A.Sc.–Vice President Operations, Mexico
Brian Peer was appointed vice president of operations, Mexico in August 2017 and has more than 30 years of mining experience including 19 years in senior management. Most recently, he was general manager with Red Eagle Mining in Colombia, responsible for implementing new narrow vein mining methods.Previously, he held the position of country manager, Mexico for Alamos Gold, where he was responsible for the safe and efficient operation of two mines and the development of two additional underground mines. He also worked for Coeur Mining and for 10 years at Barrick Gold. He is a graduate from the University of Texas El Paso with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and is fluent in Spanish.
Samuel Mah, P.Eng., M.A.Sc.–Vice President Corporate Development
Samuel Mah joined Great Panther Silver in April 2017 as vice president corporate development with the responsibility of identifying and evaluating acquisition opportunities to meet Great Panther Silver’s growth objectives.
He has more than 20 years’ experience in the mining industry and was most recently employed at Silver Wheaton Corp as senior director project evaluations where he was a key player in conducting the technical appraisal and due diligence reviews for their streaming deals. During his tenure of more than eight years, he evaluated over 300 projects and mines spread across 43 countries. Prior to Silver Wheaton Corp, he held engineering roles with AMEC Americas (Metals and Mining), SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc, Goldcorp Inc and Placer Dome Inc (now Barrick Gold Corporation).
He is a registered professional engineer and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mining and Mineral Process Engineering, and a Master of Applied Science degree, both from the University of British Columbia.
R.W. (Bob) Garnett, CPA, CA, ICD.D.–Chair
Bob Garnett is a chartered professional accountant and obtained a Bachelor of Commerce from Simon Fraser University. He is currently a commissioner for the Financial Institutions Commission of BC (FICOM). FICOM is responsible for administering 10 statutes that regulate the pension, financial services and real estate sectors in British Columbia.
He also serves on the board of MediaValet Inc (previously named VRX Worldwide). MediaValet creates, and distributes high-quality rich media content that educates, inspires, and compels online travel consumers. Most recently he was the vice-chair of the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (Translink) and chaired their audit committee. TransLink is responsible for the buses, trains, bridges and major roads in the lower mainland of BC administering $8 billion of assets. From 2009 to 2010 he was a director and member of the audit committee of Central 1 Credit Union which is the liquidity provider to credit unions in Ontario and British Columbia. He served 11 years as chair or vice-chair of Coast Capital Savings, a $12 billion financial institution. In 2007 he completed the certified director’s program with the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Robert A. Archer, P.Geo–Director
Robert A. Archer is a co-founder of Great Panther Silver Ltd and served as president and chief executive officer from 2004 until he stepped down in August, 2017. He has more than 35 years’ experience in the mining industry, working for mining companies throughout North America, including Newmont Exploration of Canada Ltd, Rio Algom Exploration Inc, Placer Dome Canada Ltd and Noranda Exploration Inc. From 1996 to 2004, he held several senior management positions in the junior mining sector, leading to his role with Great Panther Silver. He is a Professional Geologist and holds an Honors BSc from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario.
John Jennings, MBA, CFA–Director
John Jennings started his early career in mining operations before transitioning to the financial services industry as a mining analyst with one of Canada’s leading investment dealers. Following post-graduate studies, he spent 25 years as an investment banker in Canada and the U.K., executing M&A assignments and raising debt and equity capital for public, private and sovereign clients. In 2012, he transitioned again into executive search with a global talent management firm. Today, he is practice lead, director and executive search with WATSON, a leading boutique focused on corporate governance and recruiting board directors and executive talent.
He earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Western University and an Master of Business Administration degree from London Business School. He also holds the designation of chartered financial analyst.
W.J. (James) Mullin, B.Sc.–Director
James Mullin, spent his entire 33-year career with Newmont Mining Corporation. After advancing through progressively senior roles at the Similkameen Mine in Princeton, BC (now Copper Mountain), he was appointed vice president and general manager of that operation. In 1989, he moved to Nevada where he managed several of Newmont’s operations. His career culminated in the position of senior vice president of North American operations. His responsibilities included open pit and underground mines and processing plants in Canada, the United States and Mexico.
He has a lengthy, successful history of establishing safety and production records, with particular emphasis on reducing cost, improving efficiencies and developing operating synergies between mine sites. He holds a degree in mining engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and is a retired professional engineer in British Columbia.
Elise Rees, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D–Director
Elise Rees is an experienced director, having served on the boards of a number of profit and not-for profit organizations, including as board chair, treasurer, and audit and finance committee chair. She currently sits on the boards of Enmax Corporation, EasyPark, and Westland Insurance, as well as the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. She retired from Ernst & Young LLP in June 2016 after a 35-year career in professional accountancy. She spent 18 years as a partner with Ernst & Young, LLP with the last 14 years of her tenure focused on acquisitions, mergers and corporate reorganizations. She has a breadth of experience in a large variety of industries with specific focus on mining, infrastructure, transportation, technology, real estate, retail and distribution.
She has been recognized for her leadership with the designation of fellow chartered professional accountant (“FCPA”) and fellow chartered accountant (“FCA”) in 2010; Community Builder Award, Association of Women in Finance (2012); Influential Woman in Business Award (2007); and the Ernst & Young Rosemarie Meschi Award for Advancing Gender Diversity (2007). She was also recognized as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada in 2015 by Women’s Executive Network. She was a frequent lecturer and tutor for CPA Canada and the Canadian Tax Foundation. She has bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland and is a graduate of the ICD-Rotman Directors Education Program with the designation of ICD.D.
Jeffrey R. Mason, CA, ICD.D-Director
Mr. Mason has over 25 years of public company experience in mineral exploration, development, construction and operations in precious and base metals and other minerals in the Americas, Asia and Africa. He was previously awarded the BC Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Natural Resources Category). Mr. Mason has extensive experience in corporate governance, financial and regulatory reporting, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance, including 15 years as a Principal and Chief Financial Officer of Hunter Dickinson Inc. In addition, he has served in roles as Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Secretary and Director for 15 public companies listed on the TSX, TSXV, NYSE MKT and NASDAQ. Mr. Mason began his career with Deloitte LLP as a Chartered Accountant, followed by 6 years at Homestake Mining Company in mineral exploration, construction and operations reporting.
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