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Great Panther Silver expects 25% increase in Topia mine output this year; posts 2018 results

The planned increase at Topia will be due to improved processing capacity, the company told investors
Mineworkers underground in Mexico
Great Panther operates two mines in Mexico

Great Panther Silver Ltd (TSE:GPR) (NYSEAMERICAN:GPL) said it expects output at its Topia mine in Mexico to increase 25% this year, as it posted financial results for full year 2018.

The Vancouver-based company has two wholly-owned operating mines in Mexico - the Guanajuato Mine Complex (GMC) and Topia.

The planned increase at Topia will be due to improved processing capacity, the company told investors, while at GMC the firm has taken steps to reduce costs and maximize operating cash flow.

READ: Great Panther Silver gets green light to acquire Beadell Resources

All production for GMC this year will be sourced from the lower cost San Ignacio Mine, which will allow for a focused exploration program for the Guanajuato Mine aimed at growing higher margin resources, it added.

Also for 2019, the firm expects to close its scale-shifting Beadell Resources acquisition early this month (March).

James Bannantine, president and CEO of Great Panther said 2018 had seen strategic advances for the company but metal prices had been challenging. This, combined with higher operating costs and investments in exploration and its plan to acquire Beadell Resources, had all contributed to a loss for the year, but 2019 will be a year of change, he said.

Lower prices, higher costs

"Significantly lower silver prices and higher costs driven by geology at our Guanajuato Mine in the third quarter reduced mine operating earnings year-over-year," he said. "Furthermore, we continued to fully expense the advancement of our Coricancha project in Peru. These factors were the primary contributors to our loss this year. 

"With regard to our costs in Mexico, we took quick action to implement cost reduction and restructuring measures and started to realize cost reductions in the fourth quarter. We also invested significantly in corporate development, which culminated in a transformational deal to acquire Beadell Resources Limited that will formally close in early March."

For the year to end December, mine operating earnings came in at US$8.1 million versus US$17.7mln last year, while revenue was down 7% to US$59.4 million compared to US$63.7 million last year.

The net loss was US$10.1 million compared to an income of US$1.3 million in 2017.

Contact Giles at [email protected]

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