Canadian Mining Journal


GOLD: Great Panther optimistic after exploration campaign at Tucano project

BRAZIL – Great Panther Mining reported that the first results from in-mine exploration since its acquisition of the Tucano gold mine back in March are returning high gold grades over notable widths below the existing TAP AB3 open pit.

In a press release, the Vancouver-based miner said results from 10 of the first 12 holes have returned intersections such as 15.35 g/t gold over 13.6 metres, including 30.94 g/t over 5.4 metres, in hole 19TABDD001; and 13.00 g/t gold over 25.5 metres, including 63.40 g/t over 5.0 metres, in hole 19TABDD010.

“These first results from the in-mine drilling are highly encouraging and are the first step in unlocking the potential that we see at Tucano,” Jim Bannantine, Great Panther’s president and CEO, said in the media brief. “We have already made significant operational improvements and gold production is increasing. Exploration of Tucano is a key focus for Great Panther with the objective of increasing the mine life and ultimately enhancing the economics.”

Tucano’s in-mine exploration program, designed to convert inferred resources to measured and indicated, is focused on infill drilling below the AB3 and Urucum pits where mineralized zones have demonstrated high potential for depth extension.

According to the Great Panther, these high grade results from AB3 will add more confidence to the mineral resource estimates and are expected to increase the life of mine of the final pit.

“The drilling at AB3 covered a strike length of approximately 350 metres and has locally extended the mineralized zones by more than 100 metres below the existing pit.  Significantly, some of these intersections are below the final pit outline and indicate the potential for an underground resource at AB3. At Urucum, a pre-feasibility study has already been completed on an underground mining scenario below the existing pit,” the release states.

Tucano is located in the Amapá state of northern Brazil. It sits on the Guyana Shield and belongs to the sub-category of greenstone-hosted gold deposits known as iron formation hosted gold deposits, which includes mines such as the historic Homestake mine in South Dakota that produced 44 million oz. of gold, and the Musselwhite mine in Northern Ontario, which produced 7 million oz. of gold in past production and reserves.

The project is currently the second largest gold producer in Brazil, producing around 145,000 oz. per year from several open pit mines. Formerly a heap leaching operation, it ran from late 2005 until January 2009, producing approximately 292,000 oz. of gold from 8.8 million tonnes of ore.

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