VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 15, 2005) - GREAT PANTHER RESOURCES LIMITED (TSX VENTURE:GPR) is pleased to provide additional details on the commencement of production at its Topia Silver-Lead-Zinc Mine in Durango, Mexico, at the request of the TSX Venture Exchange and the BC Securities Commission.
In its December 13 news release, Great Panther disclosed that, following the processing of low grade silver-lead-zinc mineralization in the commissioning stage of the Topia plant, the Company would begin processing high grade stockpiled ore within a few days. Representative sampling of this stockpile averaged 1,075 g/t Ag, 1.85 g/t Au, 11.34% Pb and 8.73% Zn. Historically, recoveries at the plant have been 86% for silver, 55% for gold, 94% for lead and 85% for zinc. Using silver, gold, lead and zinc prices of US$8.00/oz, $480/oz, $0.40/lb and $0.75/lb, respectively, this would put a value on the recovered metal of US$469.76 per tonne of ore, or 58.7 ounces per tonne of silver equivalent before operating costs.
National Instrument 43-101 provides that the Company must include certain cautionary language when announcing the commencement of production without a formal feasibility study. Management is required to state that, "without a formal and independent feasibility study, there is no assurance that the operation will be profitable". Similarly, the terms "ore" and "commercial production" may not be used until such time as the Company proves that the operation is profitable.
The restoration of the past-producing Topia Mine and Milling Complex without a feasibility study, relies upon the extensive technical expertise of the Company's management. Collectively, Great Panther's President, Vice President Operations, Vice President Exploration and General Manager at the Topia Mine have approximately 115 years experience in the mining industry, most of that in Mexico. This experience includes feasibility studies, design and construction of new plant facilities, and putting mines into production. More specifically, Ing. Jesus Rico, General Manager at the Topia Mine was the Mine Manager at that operation for Penoles in the mid-1980's and is familiar with the details of the mine and plant. Great Panther also has all of the operating records from the period that the mine was operated by Penoles. Thus, management's decision to proceed straight to production without a feasibility study was based not only on a thorough evaluation of the Topia Mine and its potential but also upon a knowledge of the operating environment at Topia and in Mexico in general. Obviously, current commodity prices factor into the Company's outlook.
As any good mine plan requires that a certain amount of reserves be calculated, the Company has initiated an independent evaluation of the resource base at the mine. This study will evaluate the historical resources and Great Panther's diamond drilling and underground sampling in order to generate a new NI43-101 compliant resource calculation for the Topia Mine. The report should be complete by February 2006. By establishing mining and milling costs through direct production, the Company should be abe to upgrade at least part of the resource to a reserve category later in 2006.
Aspects of the project relating to mining and metallurgy are overseen by Ing. Francisco Ramos Sanchez, Vice-President of Operations for Great Panther and its Mexican subsidiary, Minera Mexicana El Rosario, S.A. de C.V. (MMR). Robert F. Brown, P.Eng. and Vice-President of Exploration for Great Panther and MMR is designated as the Qualified Person for the Topia Project under the meaning of NI 43-101, and has reviewed this news release.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Robert A. Archer, President & CEO
SEC 20-F Statement Filed
Standard & Poor's Listed
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Great Panther Resources Limited
Great Panther Resources Limited
(604) 685-9744 (FAX)