GREAT PANTHER SILVER LIMITED
(TSX: GPR; the "Company") is pleased to announce the unaudited financial results for the Company's quarter ending March 31, 2010. The full version of the financial statements and the management discussion and analysis can be viewed on the Company's web site at greatpanther2012.q4web.com
or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com
"We are very pleased to be able to report another all-time record net profit for the first quarter of this year. Excellent results were achieved at our Topia mine, while Guanajuato made a solid start to the year," said Kaare Foy, the Company's Executive Chairman.
First Quarter Highlights
- 10% increase in total metal production to 526,949 Ag eq oz in the first quarter 2010 from 480,266 Ag eq oz in the first quarter 2009. It includes: 357,131 silver ounces ("Ag oz"), 1,598 gold ounces ("Au oz"), 640,200 lbs of lead, and 760,640 lbs of zinc.
- Record metal production of 211,129 Ag eq oz at Topia, a 25% increase from the first quarter 2009.
- 2% increase in metal production to 315,820 Ag eq oz at Guanajuato compared to the first quarter 2009. Plant performance at Guanajuato improved with silver recovery at an all-time high of 86.1%.
- 25% increase in revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2010 to $7.9 million compared to $6.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2009 due to higher metal prices and an increase in payable silver ounces.
- 29% decrease in Topia's first quarter 2010 cash cost per silver ounce, net of by-product credits, to US$5.53 from US$7.76 for the full year 2009. An increase in both payable silver production and the value of by-product credits resulted in a sharp improvement in the cost per ounce for Topia.
- 35% increase in earnings from mining operations to $3.5 million in the first quarter 2010 from $2.6 million in the first quarter 2009 primarily due to higher metal prices.
- Net income of $1.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2010 compared to a net loss of $1.6 million for the same period in 2009.
- 98% increase in Adjusted EBITDA to $1.9 million for the three months ended March 31, 2010 from $1.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2009.
- The Company invested $2.2 million in capital expenditures and $1.1 million in mineral property exploration expenditures during the quarter as it continued the implementation of its three-year growth strategy which commenced during the fourth quarter 2009. The Company plans to invest $13 million in capital expenditures and $6.3 million in mineral property exploration expenditures in 2010.
- New mobile equipment being acquired at both mines is expected to lead to mining efficiencies thereby increasing production by the second half of 2010.
- Exploration drilling programs underway at Guanajuato and Topia and updated resource estimates anticipated for both mines by the fourth quarter of 2010.
Great Panther has initiated its strategy to accelerate production and increase resources at both Guanajuato and Topia. The plan forecasts increases in production to 2.6 million Ag eq oz in 2010 and to 3.8 million Ag eq oz by 2012. In the fourth quarter of 2009, the Company successfully raised the financing required to initiate and accelerate this strategy. Accordingly, new equipment has been ordered and is being delivered to the mines, and exploration drill programs have started during the quarter.
Some highlights from the 2010 plan include:
The Topia operation made a very encouraging start to 2010 with record production and low unit costs of US$5.53 per oz of silver and is well on its way to achieving its targets. At Guanajuato, production was below plan due to a temporary fall in ore grades. Mining plans are being revised for the remainder of the year with the intent to recover the shortfall during the second half of 2010. Grades at Guanajuato have improved through April to bring mine production back to within 4% of its target level for the month.
The cost per ounce of silver is sensitive to mine site operating costs, silver production, the cost of smelting and refining, the relative value of the Mexican peso against the US dollar and the value of by-product credits. The fall in ore grades at Guanajuato is considered to be temporary and management anticipates that unit costs will continue the current downward trend such that the Company remains on course to achieve costs of US$4.00/oz by 2012. Cash flow generated from mining activities will be reinvested in operations for exploration and capital expenditures to increase resources and production. Surplus cash flow will be available for potential acquisitions as the Company continues to grow.
Great Panther's emphasis will continue to be on maintaining profitability while developing and exploring to continually increase metal production. The Company's production strategy is to increase silver production by 20% year-on-year at continually decreasing unit costs.
"We are extremely pleased to see the continued growth in earnings, despite the temporary drop in production in the first quarter," said Robert Archer, Great Panther's President & CEO. "The Topia mine continues to excel with its best quarter ever and we are already seeing an improvement in grades at Guanajuato. We are confident that we will see significant growth through the balance of the year."
Great Panther Silver Limited is one of the fastest growing primary silver producers in Mexico with strong leverage to future rises in the price of silver. The Company owns a 100% interest in two operating mines in Mexico. The Company's mission is to become a leading primary silver producer by acquiring, developing and profitably mining precious metals in Mexico.
For further information, please visit the Company's website at greatpanther2012.q4web.com
, contact B&D Capital at telephone 604 685 6465, fax 604 899 4303 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
"Robert A. Archer"
Robert A. Archer, President & CEO
"Kaare G. Foy"
Kaare G. Foy, Executive Chairman
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and forward-looking information within the meaning of the Securities Act (Ontario) (together, "forward-looking statements"). Such forward-looking statements may include but are not limited to the Company's plans for production at its Guanajuato and Topia Mines in Mexico, exploring its other properties in Mexico, the overall economic potential of its properties, the availability of adequate financing and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements to be materially different. Such factors include, among others, risks and uncertainties relating to potential political risks involving the Company's operations in a foreign jurisdiction, uncertainty of production and cost estimates and the potential for unexpected costs and expenses, physical risks inherent in mining operations, currency fluctuations, fluctuations in the price of silver, gold and base metals, completion of economic evaluations, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined, the inability or failure to obtain adequate financing on a timely basis, and other risks and uncertainties, including those described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2009 and reports on Form 6-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available at www.sec.gov and Material Change Reports filed with the Canadian Securities Administrators and available at www.sedar.com.
- "Earnings from mining operations" is a non-GAAP measure and is defined as mineral sales less cost of sales (excluding amortization and depletion).
- "Adjusted EBITDA" is a non-GAAP measure in which standard EBITDA (earnings before interest expense, taxes, and depreciation and amortization) is adjusted for stock-based compensation expense and non-recurring items.
- The non-GAAP measure of cash cost per ounce of silver is used by the Company to manage and evaluate operating performance at each of the Company's mines and is widely reported in the silver mining industry as a benchmark for performance, but does not have a standardized meaning.
- Silver equivalent ounces in 2010 were established using prices of US$1,000/oz Au, US$16/oz Ag, US$0.80/lb Pb and US$0.80/lb Zn.