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Great Panther Mining's improvements at Tucano mine already showing results

Gold ounces from Tucano alone amounted to 29,899 ounces in the second quarter

A metals mine
Pictured is the Tucano mine in Brazil

Improvements to the plant at the Tucano gold mine in Brazil resulted in higher gold production in the second quarter, Great Panther Mining Limited (TSE:GPR) (NYSEAMERICAN:GPL) told investors Wednesday.

Gold ounces from across the group's mines in the three months to end June came in at 33,461 ounces, compared to 5,492 ounces in the same period of 2018 - an increase of 509%. It was also a 303% increase on the output in the first quarter of 2019.

READ THE DEEP DIVE: Growth at Tucano mine in Brazil the key focus for Great Panther Mining this year

Tucano was added to the portfolio as a result of the Beadell acquisition in March this year, and in April a supplemental liquid oxygen supply system was successfully commissioned.

Gold ounces from that mine alone amounted to 29,899 ounces in the second quarter, an increase of 27% on the same period of 2018.

"Great Panther's significant increase in gold production in the second quarter reflects the acquisition of the Tucano gold mine in March of this year," said James Bannantine, Great Panther's CEO, in a statement.

"Tucano achieved production levels of 10,900 gold ounces in May and 12,000 in June, compared to 7,000 ounces in April. This marks an important optimization milestone for Tucano which has significantly higher planned gold production in the third and fourth quarters during the dry season."

The production results Wednesday come from Tucano and the firm's two Mexican mining operations: the Guanajuato Mine Complex (which includes the San Ignacio mine) and the Topia mine.

Ore processed across all three in the second quarter was 782,568 tonnes (2018: 95,169 tonnes). Silver ounces came in at 349,668 ounces (2018: 479,809 ounces), down 27%. Lead production was 453 tonnes, down 6% on the same quarter last year, while zinc output was 575 tonnes, up 9% on last year.

Topia produced 413,467 silver equivalent ounces in Q2, a 7% increase from the same quarter last year,

Production from the Guanajuato complex continues to be sourced entirely from the San Ignacio mine and total metal production there in the quarter was 388,388 silver equivalent ounces, versus 695,829 ounces in 2018.

Great Panther says the focus for the rest of 2019 is the continued optimization of Tucano, whole at the Topia Mine, work continues on the processing plant expansion project which is expected to increase capacity by 25%.

Exploration at GMC is advancing at both mien sites and the firm plans to complete an updated NI 43-101 resource based on this year's exploration program before the end of the year.

Production decision

At the Coricancha mine in Peru, Great Panther made a positive production decision following the completion of a bulk sample program.

A restart date is expected in the first half of 2020 in order to align with the firm's other mining operations, it said.

The miner repeated its full year 2019 production guidance of total gold equivalent ounces of between 171,500 and 185,000 ounces at an AISC (all in sustaining cost) per gold ounce sold, excluding corporate general and administration expenditures of between US$1,030  and US$1,130.

Earlier Wednesday, the firm announced a US$25 million market offering to be used for operational and capital expenditures and working capital.

The precious metal miner said it had struck an at-the-market offering agreement with H.C. Wainwright & Co and Eight Capital, under which Great Panther can, from time-to-time during the term of the agreement, sell its shares having an aggregate gross sales price of up to US$25 million.

Shares in Toronto shed nearly 5% to stand at C$1.02 each.

Contact the author at giles@proactiveinvestors.com

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