VANCOUVER , Feb. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - GREAT PANTHER MINING LIMITED (NYSE American: GPL; TSX: GPR) ("Great Panther", or the "Company") is providing an exploration update for its wholly owned Tucano Gold Mine ("Tucano") in Brazil. Great Panther acquired the mine in March 2019 and conducted 17,400 metres of exploration drilling through the balance of 2019. Concurrent with the drill program, an evaluation of Tucano's extensive land package was initiated, which is ongoing. Exploration is divided into "near-mine" and "regional" categories, with a total of US$6.6 million (55,000 metres) budgeted for 2020.
"With a three-fold increase in drilling metres planned for 2020, we are working to capitalize on Tucano's exploration potential," stated Jeffrey Mason, Interim President & CEO. "We have identified near-mine targets that could lead to the development of new mineralized zones, and we are prioritizing prospects for new discoveries farther afield. In addition, with the current gold price well above the prices used in the historic pit shell designs, we are analyzing opportunities to expand the existing pits."
NEAR MINE EXPLORATION
An important consideration for near-mine exploration is the distinction between oxide ore and sulphide ore (fresh rock) in that historic production at the mine was focused on the oxide ore due to mill processing constraints. The completion of a plant upgrade in 2019 enabled the processing of sulphide ore, achieving gold recoveries of about 92%, and opens up the depth extensions for evaluation and exploration. Furthermore, current gold price levels provide the potential to widen and deepen some open pits, and delineation drilling is being undertaken between the current pit outlines and proposed deeper pit shells. The 2020 near mine exploration program will consist of 10,000 metres of reverse circulation ("RC") and 18,000 metres of diamond core drilling ("DD") and the following describes the plans for individual target areas.
The four TAP AB pits are entirely in oxide ore and are considered to have expansion potential. Secondary mineralized zones in the footwall (Carbonate Lodes) and hanging wall (NEO and NEO North Lodes) are to be drilled in more detail as they provide potential to reduce strip ratios and support a deeper pit. A combined 9,000 metres of RC and DD is planned for 2020 to better define these zones. Recent intersections below the currently scheduled $1,250/oz pit shell include good grades and widths (see table below and Great Panther press release of July 30, 2019) and, in conjunction with a higher gold price, justify deepening the pits, wherein gold grades increase.
Highlights of Mineralized Intervals From TAP-AB3 2019 Exploration Drilling*
Previously released on July 30, 2019
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