GREAT PANTHER SILVER (TSX: GPR; NYSE MKT: GPL) (Great Panther; the Company) announces that it has successfully completed the commissioning phase of the refurbished processing plant at its Topia Mine in Durango. The plant, including the new handling facilities for dry stack tailings, is now operating at planned capacity.
The Company is continuing to deposit dry tailings at the existing Phase I Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) while it works on a resolution for an outstanding permitting condition. The Mexican Environmental Authority (SEMARNAT) has denied the request for the Change in Use of Soils permit required for the Phase II TSF, until this condition is met.
The Company believes it can resolve this over the next few weeks and transition to the new TSF without interruption, but cannot provide complete assurance. Discussions to date with the authorities and other interests have been positive and are continuing.
Robert Archer, President & CEO commented:
We are pleased with the operation of the plant and progress to date on the permitting front. We have had extensive discussions with all stakeholders regarding the permitting requirements and we are optimistic this will be favourably resolved in the coming weeks.
We still expect to be able to process all of the ore stockpiled during the shutdown through the balance of 2017. Furthermore, the higher ore grades of the stockpiled ore put us in good position to meet our 2017 production guidance.
Run of mine ore is now being processed along with the stockpiled ore. Due to the improved grade control at the mines, the silver grade of ore milled year-to-date, through the commissioning phase, has increased by approximately 18% over 2016 levels. Further production details will be provided in the quarterly update in early July.