Mr. Rob Henderson reports
GREAT PANTHER FILES NI 43-101 TECHNICAL REPORT FOR THE TUCANO GOLD MINE AND PROVIDES UPDATE ON EXPLORATION STRATEGY AND PROGRAMS FOR 2021
Great Panther Mining Ltd. has filed the "Technical Report on the 2020 Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources of the Tucano Gold Mine, Amapa State, Brazil." The technical report supports the company's updated mineral reserve and mineral resource estimate (MRMR) for Tucano announced by news release on Dec. 15, 2020.
(All dollar amounts expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted.)
The technical report has an effective date of Sept. 30, 2020, and is available on SEDAR and on the company's website, and will be filed on EDGAR as soon as practicable.
2021 exploration programs and exploration strategy update
"Our 2020 exploration programs were successful in extending the existing open-pit mine life at Tucano and adding significant resources to our mineral inventory for the Guanajuato mine complex," stated Rob Henderson, president and chief executive officer. "Two thousand twenty-one will represent a significant increase in our exploration efforts with a planned record of 90,000 metres of drilling representing a $13-million investment. Our key objectives will be to continue to extend the Tucano open-pit mine life, further prove up the underground with a view to extending the high-grade zones, and make meaningful inroads into key targets in the expansive Tucano regional land package. Building on our 2020 exploration success in Mexico will also be a key focus for this year."
The Great Panther exploration strategy is built on the objective of result driven exploration programs leading to resource replacement and near-mine growth, and longer-term organic growth through regional exploration.
The attached table outlines Great Panther's 90,000 metres drilling program for 2021.
Drilling program Metres U.S.$ (millions)
Open pit 24,000 $3.5
Underground 8,000 1.7
Regional 28,000 3.2
Subtotal 60,000 8.4
Mexican operating mines
GMC (1) 15,000 2.0
Topia 5,000 1.0
Subtotal 20,000 3.0
Other projects (2) 10,000 2.0
Total 90,000 13.4
(1) GMC refers to the Guanajuato mine complex comprising the
Guanajuato mine, San Ignacio mine and the Cata processing
(2) Planned 2021 drilling metres and expenditure for other
projects (described elsewhere) are new disclosures. The company
previously provided planned 2021 drilling expenditures for the
Tucano mine and Mexican operating mines in its Jan. 14, 2021,
press release which provided production and cost guidance for
Great Panther's strategy for Tucano is to explore and grow the gold resource potential of the tenement portfolio, covering an almost 2,000-square-kilometre portion of the Vila Nova greenstone belt. In 2021, five drill rigs are planned to complete 60,000 m of drilling and over 500 km of regional soil sampling will identify high-priority regional targets.
The Tucano gold mine is host to a seven-kilometre-long trend of gold deposits surrounded by the large, near 2,000 square km tenement package controlled by Great Panther. Despite the long history of the deposit, discovered in the late 1990s and with first production in 2005, little exploration or resource drilling has been carried out outside the Tucano mine trend. A number of targets were defined in aero-geophysical and regional geochemical surveys in the late 1990s and Great Panther plans include carrying exploration of those viewed as the highest potential targets within reasonable proximity of the current mining operations.
Open-pit resource replacement and expansion
The 24,000 m combined reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drilling (DD) campaign is focused on near-mine targets including Tap C, Urso and Torres, as well as testing of several geochemical anomalies associated with the mine sequence that have not been evaluated.
The current underground MRMR incorporates just part of the anomalous trend below the Urucum pits. There are a number of high-grade mineralized zones suggested by the modelling of the historical drilling. The 8,000 m diamond drilling program is focused on upgrading one of the known high-grade zones at Urucum North while testing another zone at Urucum Central. The extent of these high-grade zones is important in determining the placement of the primary decline that will be used to access the mining areas.
Regional target drilling
A total of 28,000 m have been planned for fast-track evaluation of key targets such as Mutum, Saraminda and Lona Amarela using auger, rotary air blast (RAB) and RC drilling programs plus multielement soil geochemistry. Initial orientation studies in 2020 and currently under way at Mutum suggest the interpretation of detailed soil sampling using multielement geochemical analyses will allow for the skipping of the auger drilling step and going straight to RAB or RC drilling, which is expected to accelerate the start of drill permitting processes by four to eight months. A detailed soil grid is currently being opened to cover the five km long Mutum gold trend and RAB and RC programs are being prepared for Saraminda and Lona Amarela. Mutum, Saraminda and Lona Amarela are within 15 km of the of the existing mine operations.
New target generation
Having defined the regional structural model associated with the mineralization events, Great Panther has prioritized high-potential exploration corridors within the 2,000 square km area of interest. It has initiated a program of regional multielement soil sampling over these corridors with the intention of defining new targets within the belt and prioritizing these targets using the combination of the geochemistry and existing regional aero-geophysical data.
Exploration efforts continue with 5,000 m of infill surface drilling planned along the Purisima veins south of the development of the San Pedro ramp, deeper in the Purisima/Purisima alto vein system and continue testing for Au-Ag mineralization along 1.1 km of Purisima vein north from the old San Ignacio shaft.
A concerted effort of sampling and geological mapping in accessible parts of the historical mining areas is near completion and will be followed by a planned 10,000 m of underground drilling on the most prospective areas, including along the north side of Valenciana, between Valenciana and Cata, and in the Pozos, Promontorio and Guanajuatito areas. The 2020 exploration efforts more than doubled the known inferred mineral resource estimate. See the company's news release dated Nov. 23, 2020, and the related technical report filed on Dec. 23, 2020, with an effective date of July 31, 2020, for more details.
Five thousand m exploration surface drilling are planned focused on defining new mineral resources in six areas along the strike and down-dip extents of present mining efforts.
These may include the Plomo gold project in Sonora, El Horcon which has proximity to the GMC, or Coricancha in Peru. The $2.0-million budgeted for these projects will be allocated on the basis of a number of factors including potential for return on investment, access and availability of resources, community and permitting considerations. Plans for Plomo, for example, will see detailed geological/alteration/structural mapping to confirm an earlier geological interpretation from 2012, before any surface drill testing. El Horcon drilling will be subject to a successful study on the addition of a zinc concentrate flotation for the Guanajuato plant. Drilling for Coricancha would focus on expanding readily accessible high-grade mineral resources along the Constancia, Wellington and Escondida veins and is subject to achieving acceptable community agreements for access.
All scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Neil Hepworth, chartered engineer, MIMMM, chief operating officer of Great Panther, Nicholas Winer, FAusIMM, vice-president, exploration of Great Panther, and Robert F. Brown, PEng, geological consultant of Great Panther, each a non-independent qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 -- Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
About Great Panther Mining Ltd.
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, four exploration projects and an advanced development project. Great Panther is actively exploring large land packages in highly prospective districts and is pursuing acquisition opportunities to complement its existing portfolio.
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