Great Panther Silver increased its profits by one third over last year, the TSX and NYSE-listed company reported on Wednesday. Revenues were $42.2 million in 2010, a 33% increase over the previous year. Fourth-quarter profits were $13.8 million, up 40% from the same period in 2009.
Highlights of the 2010 and Q4 financial results:
- 33% increase in mineral sales revenues to $42.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 from $31.7 million for 2009.
- 40% increase in mineral sales revenues to $13.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2010 from $9.9 million for the same period in 2009.
- 63% increase in earnings from mining operations to $18.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 from $11.5 million for the same period in 2009.
- 60% increase in earnings from mining operations to $6.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2010 from $4.2 million for the same period in 2009.
- 212% increase in cash flows from operations to $4.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 from $1.4 million in 2009.
- $5.8 million increase in net income to $5.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 from a net loss of $0.9 million for 2009.
- Record annual metal production of 2,255,802 silver equivalent ounces ("Ag eq oz"), up 2% from 2,202,456 Ag eq oz in 2009.
- Record silver production of 1,534,957 silver ounces, up 5% from 1,456,830 in 2009.
- Record metal recoveries of gold and silver at Guanajuato and silver, lead and zinc at Topia
- 33% increase in cash cost per silver ounce, net of by-products, to US$7.43 in 2010 from US$5.58 in 2009. This increase in costs during 2010 was primarily due to lower than forecasted production, lower ore grades, higher smelting and refining charges and development costs at Guanajuato, and lower ore grades and higher mining costs at Topia.
- 75% increase in cash cost per silver ounce, net of by-products, for the fourth quarter of 2010 to US$8.41 from US$4.80 for the fourth quarter of 2009 primarily due to lower than forecast production and ore grades, general inflation and higher power costs.
- Updated NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource/reserve estimate for the Los Pozos, Santa Margarita, and Cata Clavo at the Guanajuato Mine. The new Measured and Indicated mineral resource contains 5,455,650 silver equivalent ounces. Inferred mineral resources are estimated at 2,676,924 Ag eq oz. The Measured and Indicated mineral resources include 4,372,000 Ag eq oz categorized as Proven and Probable mineral reserves, using a cut-off grade of 185 g/t silver equivalent.
- A successful surface drilling program at the San Ignacio mine property in Guanajuato commenced during the third quarter of 2010 and is continuing throughout 2011. A $2.8 million budget has been approved for 2011 to drill approximately 24,000 metres and to prove up as many ounces as possible in the highly prospective San Ignacio area which has the potential to be a separate mine.
- On February 8, 2011, the Company's shares were listed on NYSE Amex stock exchange in the United States under the trading symbol "GPL."
- On February 16, 2011, Minera Mexicana El Rosario S.A. de C.V., Great Panther's Mexican subsidiary, was awarded its first distinction as a "Socially Responsible Company" for the year 2010 by CEMEFI, Centro Mexicano para la Filantropía (Mexican Centre for Philanthropy). This annual award is a milestone for the Company and has been awarded for its commitment to sustainable environmental, social and economic development.
- Issued an update on March 7, 2011 to the ongoing mineral resource development at the Topia mine. The 2011 mineral resource estimate increased Measured and Indicated mineral resources to 7,440,000 silver equivalent ounces, a 36.3% increase over the 2009 resource estimate, and Inferred resources to 11,910,000 silver equivalent ounces, a 109.3% increase over the previous estimate.
- On March 8, 2011, the Company paid off $4.05 million in two outstanding 8% unsecured convertible loan notes due on July 14, 2011 by the issuance of 1,800,000 fully paid common shares of the Company at the originally agreed upon conversion price of $2.25 per common share.
Great Panther's three-year strategy to accelerate production to 3.8 million Ag eq oz by 2012 is now commencing its second year. New equipment has been delivered to the mines, new production areas are being added, plant performance continues to excel, plant capacity is being increased, resources have been increased and reserves defined, and exploration drill programs have made significant new discoveries of high grade mineralization.
The combined production target for 2011 has been set at 2.87 million Ag eq oz, consisting of 1.94 million oz silver, 11,200 oz gold, 1,170 tonnes lead and 1,430 tonnes zinc. Silver equivalents for 2011 have been established using prices of US$1,200/oz Au, US$20/oz Ag, US$0.90/lb Pb and Zn.
Production from Guanajuato is planned to increase steadily throughout 2011 as output from the Los Pozos and Santa Margarita areas reach full capacity, Cata production returns to previous levels, and new production is added from the Guanajuatito area. Plant throughput is estimated to be 200,000 tonnes at grades of 240g/t silver and 1.80g/t gold for metal production of 1.38 million oz silver and 10,400 oz gold, equivalent to 2.0 million Ag eq oz.
Output from Topia is estimated to increase as new mine production is added as a result of development on existing and new veins and plant capacity is increased. Plant throughput is estimated to be 40,000 tonnes with metal production of 0.56 million oz silver, 800 oz gold, 1,170 tonnes lead and 1,430 tonnes zinc, equivalent to 0.87 million Ag eq oz.
No production from the new discoveries at the San Ignacio property is included in the 2011 target. However, as resources are estimated and mine plans are developed, it is anticipated that this project will positively impact the plans for 2012. Due to the proximity of San Ignacio to the Company's main operations at Guanajuato, any ore extracted during the development phase can be trucked to the plant for processing.
Diamond drilling in 2010, from both surface and underground, totaled 30,730 metres at Guanajuato, San Ignacio and Topia. Due to the success of this program in delineating new resources and making new discoveries, the drilling budget for 2011 has been more than doubled to over 60,000 metres, including at least 24,000 metres at San Ignacio, and 30,000 metres from underground at Guanajuato. This compares favourably with the 65,000 metres of diamond drilling originally proposed for the Company's overall three-year growth strategy.