The Guanajuato Mine Complex is Great Panther Silver's flagship operation. The property consists of 28 claims, totaling 1,107 hectares. The concessions are 100%-owned by Great Panther's Mexican subsidiary, Minera Mexicana El Rosario, S.A. de C.V. The main claim block covers 4.2 km of the prolific Veta Madre vein structure in the City of Guanajuato in central Mexico.
For the fourth quarter of 2013, the Guanajuato operation processed 55,547 tonnes, an increase of 10% compared to the same period in 2012. Ore grades were 202 grams/tonne ("g/t") Ag and 2.26g/t Au. Metal production included a record 330,949 Ag oz and 3,750 Au oz, or 555,933 Ag eq oz, which represents an increase of 21% over the same period in 2012.
Plant metallurgical performance was the highest the Company has achieved on a quarterly basis, with metal recoveries of 91.7% for silver and 92.9% for gold.
For the year 2013, 221,545 tonnes were processed at ore grades of 169g/t Ag and 2.31g/t Au. Metals produced totaled 1,079,980 Ag oz (up 8% from 2012), plus 15,063 Au oz (up 46% from 2012 and a record), or 1,983,820 Ag eq oz (up 22% from 2012).
Topia is a high-grade silver-lead-zinc Mine in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Durango State, where silver has been mined intermittently since the 1500's. Great Panther owns 100% of the concessions that comprise 6500 hectares and are accessible by road and air. Topia includes 11 small mining operations all feeding a central plant.
For the fourth quarter 2013, the Topia operation reported metal production of 153,988 Ag oz, 135 Au oz, 286 tonnes of lead, and 402 tonnes of zinc from milling 14,054 tonnes of ore, down by 18% from Q4, 2012. This equates to 207,948 Ag eq oz, which is 3% down from Q4, 2012.
For the year 2013, Topia reported metal production of 631,235 Ag oz, 651 Au oz, 1,116 tonnes of lead and 1,673 tonnes of zinc, from milling 62,063 tonnes of ore, up 14% from 2012. In terms of silver equivalents, this equates to 857,025 Ag eq oz, up 14% from 2012. The average grades of ore processed were 351g/t Ag, 0.57g/t Au, 1.96% Pb and 2.73% Zn and plant metallurgical performance, with metal recoveries of 90.4% for Ag; 56.4% for Au; 92.5% for Pb; and 91.9% for Zn.
Overall metal production for 2014 is expected to increase gradually through the year as San Ignacio comes on stream. The project is expected to start production in the first half of 2014 at a rate of about 100 tonnes per day, ramping up to approximately 250 tonnes per day by year-end. Adding this to steady production from the main Guanajuato Mine Complex and the Topia Mine, the Company expects to increase overall production by approximately 10% in 2014, to 3.1 to 3.2 million Ag eq oz.
As precious metals prices dropped significantly in 2013, the Company has heightened its focus on improving and strengthening the operational efficiency of its mines. Cash cost guidance will be provided in our year-end earnings release, expected in early March.