Great Panther Silver has reported plans for 21,800 m of diamond drilling at three projects during the second half of 2015, at the Guanajuato mine complex and the Guadalupe de los Reyes projects in Mexico and at the Coricancha mine complex in Peru.
At the Guanajuato mine complex in Guanajuato state, Mexico, Great Panther plans to drill 8,900 m to refine resources at depth on the Cata, Los Pozos, San Cayetano, Guanajuatito, and Valenciana zones at the Guanajuato mine and on the Intermediate and Melladito zones at the San Ignacio satellite mine. Also at San Ignacio, a permit application has been filed for a 2,200-m, 16-hole surface drilling program to upgrade the classification of the resource estimate and test the strike extension of high-grade silver-gold mineralization discovered in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Great Panther holds the Guadalupe de los Reyes gold-silver project in Sinaloa state, Mexico, under an option from Vista Gold. Cleaning of old underground workings for mapping and sampling began in July, and the company has filed a permit application for a 5,200-m, 37-hole surface drill program. A previous resource estimate was predicated on an open-pit mining scenario. Great Panther now is targeting higher-grade veins, with the intention of revising the geological model and resource estimate in line with a combined underground/open-pit mining scenario. Portions of the Guadalupe and San Miguel veins appear to have the best potential for underground mining and will be targeted first. Provided permits are received in a timely fashion, the company expects to complete a resource estimate by year-end 2015.
At the Coricancha mine complex 90 km east of Lima, Peru, gold-silver-lead-zinc-copper mineralization (approximately 80% gold and silver) occurs as massive sulphide veins. As the topography is steep, most of the upcoming drilling will be from existing underground workings. Higher-grade areas will be targeted first to test their potential to support a renewed mining effort at prevailing metal prices.
While the Coricancha mine has been on care and maintenance since August 2013, it has fully permitted and operational 600-metric-tons-per-day (mt/d) flotation and BIOX bio-leach plants that could be re-started fairly quickly once a new resource model and mine plan have been generated and pre-production mine development has been completed.
The underground drilling will comprise approximately 8,800 m in 53 holes and was scheduled to begin in August. Ten holes comprising 2,400 m will also be drilled from surface, pending permitting. Of the 11,200-m total, approximately 5,500 m is planned for 2015. Geological mapping and sampling will be conducted coincident with the drilling, with the combined program continuing into the first quarter of 2016.
“The primary objective of our drilling campaigns on these projects is to further define and expand zones of higher-grade mineralization, upon which we can base new resource estimates,” Great Panther president and CEO Robert Archer said. “Beyond that, the plans for Guadalupe de los Reyes include a revised preliminary economic assessment in 2016, and at Coricancha, we will evaluate plans for future mine development and startup.