GREAT PANTHER SILVER LIMITED (TSX:GPR) has reported final results from the recently completed 8,815.4 metre (expanded from the initial 6,000 metre) surface drill program on the Topia mine veins.
The drilling was extremely successful and will guide mine development to continue to expand silver production from the San Gregorio, Recompensa, and Cantarranas (Hormiguera mine) veins plus enable new production to be added from veins where no mining is currently taking place. Drilling on the recently acquired La Prieta property proved the potential for this to be an additional mine for the Topia operations, with high silver values in the three drill holes of up to 2,500g/t over 0.25 metres. There were also several significant intercepts of other veins that are not currently being mined, including the Higuera vein (close to the San Gregorio vein), and the western portion of the Oliva vein (close to the Recompensa vein).
In addition, mine development on the Cantarranas vein at the Hormiguera Mine has encountered 161 metres of strike length with an average width of 0.19 metres grading 1,403g/t silver, 0.88g/t gold, 2.02% lead, and 7.76% zinc. At Mina 7, on the San Gregorio vein, development is ongoing eastward, with 90 metres of strike length on the vein, with an average width of 0.43 metres grading 1,436g/t silver, 0.53g/t gold, 7.26% lead, and 12.23% zinc. Sub-level development and stoping is ongoing in both areas.
Mineral resource/reserve estimations have commenced on all viable areas with the completion of the surface drilling. Added mineral resource/reserve will play an important role in the Company's plans to increase production 20% per year from 2010 to 2012. The Company anticipates mineral resource/reserve estimates from 11 Topia area mines and exploration zones by late November 2010.
The recent surface drilling successfully tested the eastern extension of the La Prieta vein structure, as the vein was intersected approximately 300m east of the old workings, in drill hole ST10-151, and returned 0.50 metres grading 858g/t silver, 0.89g/t gold, 1.44g/t lead, and 2.03% zinc. In fill-in hole ST10-150, the La Prieta vein appears to fork, with the upper intersection assaying 2,400g/t silver, 2.18g/t gold, 1.75% lead, and 6.33% zinc across 0.25 metres and the lower intersection returning 565g/t silver, 1.42g/t gold, 0.59% lead and 1.17% zinc over 0.20 metres. As such, the La Prieta vein is open to the east, and may connect with the Australia vein system located approximately two kilometres eastward. These encouraging results will assist in the preparation of a mine plan for the La Prieta structure.
Drilling along the San Gregorio vein was focused on testing the structure between the San Gregorio/Mina 7 mining area and the Durangueno mining area. Surface drill holes ST10-147 and 148 intersected multiple structures including the well mineralized La Higuera vein, five intermediate breccia zones and then the San Gregorio barite-quartz vein structure across approximately 50 metres north to south. The La Higuera intersections, from drill hole ST10-148, include 777g/t silver, 0.09g/t gold, 2.77% lead, and 8.61% zinc over 1.20 metres. The intermediate breccia structures in the same hole include 363g/t silver, 0.43g/t gold, 2.09% lead, and 9.92% zinc over 0.50 metres and 617g/t silver, 0.19g/t gold, 0.35% lead, and 2.24% zinc over 0.35 metres. The San Gregorio structure, although well developed, returned sub-economic grades. These two initial drill holes open up the potential for mine development of the La Higuera vein and the multiple intermediate zones between it and the San Gregorio structure, along 500-600 metres of strike.
Topia Drilling Highlights
The gold-rich Recompensa vein, along with a footwall "intermediate" zone and the Oliva vein were tested using a "man portable" drill from sites at Recompensa. The drilling focused above the 1212 level and consisted of drill holes ST10-141 to 146. Highlights from the Recompensa vein include ST10-146 which intersected 0.25 metres assaying 229g/t silver, 16.5g/t gold, 1.53% lead, and 7.05% zinc. Some bonanza silver grades were intersected, albeit over narrow widths, including 0.15 metres of the Recompensa vein in ST10-145 which assayed 5,000g/t silver, 2.45g/t gold, 5.43% lead, and 3.12% zinc. Drill holes ST10-141 and 142 were drilled to test the base of the Recompensa vein mineralized horizon and both were drilled too deep and intersected non-economic grades.
The Recompensa vein footwall "intermediate" vein also intersected some excellent grades, with ST10-143 intersecting 0.30 metres assaying 1,230g/t silver, 4.14g/t gold, 5.41% lead, and 7.82% zinc, and ST10-145 intersecting 0.12 metres assaying 6,610g/t silver, 7.88g/t gold, 7.49% lead, and 18.2% zinc.
The Oliva vein (west) was intersected in the drilling at Recompensa and also 400 metres to the east following up on some detailed surface sampling of old adits and trenches. In the Recompensa area, the Oliva vein is approximately 60 metres into the footwall (north) of Recompensa vein. Due to drilling conditions only two of the six recent drill holes went far enough north to intersect the Oliva vein. A highlight includes ST10-143 which intersected 0.20 metres grading 1,400g/t silver, 0.16g/t gold, 0.73% lead, and 0.03% zinc. From the drilling completed 400 metres east (drill holes ST10-137 and 138), ST10-137 intersected 0.23 metres grading 1,200g/t silver, 1.8g/t gold, 3.62% lead, and 7.07% zinc. Further exploration along the three kilometre long Oliva vein is warranted as it now appears that sulfide rich high grade intersections are found beneath upper near-barren quartz vein (typical of the Oliva vein surface expression). Mine development of the intermediate and Oliva veins from the Recompensa mine is being considered.
Four additional holes were drilled into the Cantarranas vein, two approximately 40 metres below the Hormiguera production (ST10-154 and 155), and two (ST10-135 and 136) east of a major normal fault located at the east face of the Hormiguera development. The best results for the former holes include 0.40 metres in ST10-155 grading 426g/t silver, 0.28g/t gold, 0.75% lead and 1.27% zinc. The latter two holes were drilled below the base of the epithermal productive horizon with non-economic results. Excellent potential still lies eastward and at higher elevations on the Cantarranas vein, as attested to by the Company's 2004 drilling and previous mine exploitation. While the above holes were drilled to guide mine development, further exploratory drilling is planned several hundred metres east to test the vein continuity along strike.
Overall, the surface drilling program at Topia has been extremely successful in providing guidance for increased mine development and in demonstrating the continuity of silver-gold-lead-zinc mineralization that will make a significant addition to the resource base and extend the mine life at Topia.
Robert F. Brown, P Eng. and Vice President of Exploration for the Company is the Qualified Person for the Topia mine, under the meaning of NI 43-101. A full QA/QC program is being followed including the regular insertion of splits, blanks, and standards into the core sampling sequence. All surface drill core was assayed at the Company's assay lab in Guanajuato, independently managed by SGS. Aspects of both mines relating to mining and metallurgy are overseen by Charles Brown, Chief Operating Officer for Great Panther and its Mexican subsidiary, Minera Mexicana El Rosario, S.A. de C.V.
Source: GREAT PANTHER SILVER LIMITED