GREAT PANTHER SILVER LIMITED (TSX: GPR; NYSE Amex: GPL; or “the Company”) announces the financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2011. Great Panther is pleased to report revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 of $40.3 million, representing a 42% increase over the same period in the prior year. The Company also significantly grew earnings from mining operations to $20.9 million for the nine month period, a 97% increase over the comparable period in 2010. Revenues for the three months ended September 30, 2011 increased by 46% to a record $16.3 million, while earnings from mining operations increased by 78% to $8.3 million. Working capital increased to $53.8 million from $18.8 million at December 31, 2010. The full version of the financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis can be viewed on the Company’s website at www.greatpanther.com or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
“We are extremely pleased that our financial results continue to show significant growth in our revenues and earnings”, stated Robert Archer, President and CEO. “The partial draw-down of concentrate inventory at Guanajuato during the latter half of the third quarter resulted in near-normal shipments for the period and brought stability back to our revenue stream.”
“Recent discoveries of high grade silver and gold mineralization have been accessed in an extention of our Cata Mine in Guanajuato, which should contribute to higher grades and improved metal output in the coming quarters”, added Mr. Archer. “In addition, we are very excited about the prospects for our San Ignacio and Santa Rosa properties which are located within trucking distance to our Guanajuato Mine Complex. The initial resource estimate at San Ignacio is an excellent start in proving up this new discovery for Great Panther, and we have accelerated our drilling program as a result.”
2011 THIRD QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS
- 46% increase in revenue to a record $16.3 million.
- 78% increase in gross profit (earnings from mining operations) to $8.3 million.
- 81% increase in Adjusted EBITDA (refer to “Non-GAAP Measures” below) to $7.9 million.
- 12% increase in net income to $3.4 million ($0.03 per share).
- Cash and cash equivalents increased to $35.1 million at September 30, 2011, from $14.0 million at December 31, 2010.
- Working capital has increased to $53.8 million.
- Consolidated cash cost per ounce of silver, net of by-product credits, was US$9.02, a 33% increase from Q3 2010 but a 24% decrease from the second quarter 2011.
- 16% increase in plant throughput at both operations to 53,375 tonnes from 46,039 tonnes for the third quarter 2010.
- 18% decrease in overall metal production to 484,550 silver equivalent ounces (“Ag eq oz”) from 588,454 Ag eq oz for third quarter of 2010.
- 2% decrease in overall metal production to 1.65 million Ag eq oz for the nine-months ended September 30, 2011 compared to a year ago. This decrease is mainly due to lower grades at the Company’s Guanajuato mine during the third quarter of 2011.
- On July 12, 2011, the Company purchased the new Santa Rosa silver-gold project totalling 1,514 hectares, approximately 10 to 15 kilometres northeast of Guanajuato, Mexico for US$1.5 million, subject to a 1.3% NSR, thereby increasing land holdings in Guanajuato by 136%.
- On August 30, 2011, the Company announced the discovery of additional high grade silver-gold mineralization in an extension of the Cata Mine in the core of the Company’s Guanajuato Mine Complex.
- On October 11, 2011, the Company reported an initial NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate, comprising Inferred Mineral Resources of 4.5 million Ag eq oz, for its San Ignacio project in Guanajuato.
- On October 13, 2011, the Company reported third quarter production figures and revised its production guidance for fiscal 2011 to approximately 2.2 million Ag eq oz.
- On October 19, 2011, the Company extended the strike length of the silver-gold veins at its San Ignacio property in Guanajuato by 50% or 150 metres.
(1) “Adjusted EBITDA” is a non-IFRS measure in which standard EBITDA (earnings before interest expense, taxes, and depreciation and amortization) is adjusted for stock-based compensation expense, foreign exchange gains or losses, and non-recurring items. Refer to the “Non-IFRS Measures” section for a reconciliation of standardized and adjusted EBITDA to the financial statements.
(2) Silver equivalent ounces in 2011 were established using prices of US$1,200 per oz of gold, US$20 per oz of silver, US$0.90 per lb of lead, and US$0.90 per lb of zinc.
(3) Silver payable ounces represent the silver sold during each period. Due to the partial drawdown of concentrate inventory in the third quarter, the silver payable ounces is higher than the silver ounces produced for the period.
(4) “Cash cost per silver ounce” is a non-IFRS measure and 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. Refer to the “Non-IFRS Measures” section.
Following four years of rapid growth in metal production, the first nine months of 2011 has been a period of consolidation. Throughput has continued to climb by over 20%, however this has been off-set by a drop in ore grades at both operations. The latter is being addressed and management expects an improvement in grades in the coming quarters.
Key to the success of the Company’s growth strategy is the delineation of new NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resources and continuous improvements in mine production. To this end, exploration drilling has been accelerated, mineral resources have been added, and further resource updates are expected in the following quarters. The 2012 mine plans will be confirmed once the drill results for the current programs have been interpreted, and mineral resources are updated. Published resources do not include estimates for the Guanajuatito area and these will be included in the upcoming resource update. The Company continues to work towards achieving the goals of its growth strategy for its operations.
High grade silver-gold mineralization has been discovered in an extension of the Cata Mine in the core of the Guanajuato Mine Complex. The discovery was made during the course of a detailed deep drilling program being conducted at 12.5 to 25 metre intervals from several drill stations in the Cata Mine access ramp at the 510 metre level, the deepest mining development to date. The drilling program, covering an area of approximately 70 metres down-dip and 100 metres along strike, has been successful in extending silver-gold mineralization below the current level of mining and the existing mineral resource/reserve estimate. Highlights of the discovery include Alto 2 zone intersections from UG11-135 that returned 29.44g/t gold and 6,447g/t silver over a width of 3.20 metres, and UG11-137 that returned 7.38g/t gold and 2,114g/t silver over a width of 5.40 metres. The Alto 1a zone in UG11-137 returned 1.82g/t gold and 485g/t silver over a width of 4.80 metres, while the Veta Madre zone in UG11-133 returned 6.02g/t gold and 1,347g/t silver over a width of 2.25 metres. These zones have already been accessed by mine development and management believes that they will contribute to improved grades during the fourth quarter and into 2012.
The NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource for Topia supports current and future mine expansions and the plant capacity has been increased to accommodate the planned expansions. The NI 43-101 resource estimates for Guanajuato support current production and plant capacity has already exceeded what is required to achieve the future targets.
Drilling has been accelerated at the San Ignacio advanced exploration property, where an initial mineral resource estimate of 4.5 million Ag eq oz has been released (see news release dated October 11, 2011). Seven silver-gold mineralized zones, some stretching over the 450 metre strike length of the present drilling and up to nine metres true width, have been identified. The mineralization remains open over the entire four kilometre property. Further updates will be released as new results are compiled and interpreted. This and the prospective Santa Rosa property provide significant upside potential for future growth for the Guanajuato operations.
During the second quarter the Company experienced delays in concentrate shipments from its Guanajuato mine because of issues stemming from its metal trader’s smelter. In response to those delays the Company has been working directly with other metal traders and smelters to sell the excess inventory. Consequently, during the third quarter, the Company has made new arrangements to sell additional concentrates from the Company’s Guanajuato operations. The Company expects that these arrangements will enable the sale of the majority of the excess concentrate inventory through the remainder of 2011.
For the first nine months of 2011, the Company’s overall metal production was 1.65 million Ag eq oz as compared to 1.69 million Ag eq oz for the same period in 2010. Production for the fourth quarter is expected to improve to 550,000 Ag eq oz for a year-end total of approximately 2.2 million Ag eq oz. Production targets for 2012 and beyond are currently under review and management expects to provide further guidance late in the fourth quarter.
CONFERENCE CALL TO REVIEW THIRD QUARTER 2011 FINANCIAL RESULTS
The Company will hold a conference call to discuss the financial results tomorrow, November 15, at 7 AM Pacific Time 10:00 AM Eastern Time. Hosting the call will be Mr. Robert Archer, President and Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Martin Carsky, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Management welcomes interested shareholders, analysts, investors and media to join the live conference call by dialing just prior to the starting time.
Dial in number (Toll Free): 1-877-407-9205
Dial in number (International): +1-201-689-8054
No passcode is required
Replay number (Toll Free): 1-877-660-6853
Replay number (International): +1-201-612-7415
Replay Passcodes (both are required for playback):
Account #: 286
Conference ID #: 382663
A replay of the teleconference call will be available on November 15, 2011 from 10:00 AM Pacific Time, 1:00 PM Eastern Time until November 29, 2011 by dialing the numbers above. In addition, the call will be archived on the Company’s website.
INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL REPORTING STANDARDS
The financial results discussed in this press release have been prepared in accordance with IFRS standards applicable to the preparation of interim financial information as required for all publicly traded companies in Canada in 2011. Readers should note that some comparative figures in this press release and the Company’s financial statements and Management Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) have been restated to reflect IFRS. Please refer to the Company’s Condensed Consolidated Interim Financial Statements and MD&A for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2011 for a detailed description of the Company’s accounting policies under IFRS and for disclosures and reconciliation of the impact of IFRS on previously reported results.
The discussion of financial results in this press release includes reference to Adjusted EBITDA and Cash Cost per Ounce which are non-GAAP measures. The Company provides these measures to provide additional information regarding Company’s financial results and performance. Please refer to the Company’s MD&A for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2011 for a definition and reconciliation of these measures to reported GAAP results.
ABOUT GREAT PANTHER
Great Panther Silver Limited is a profitable, primary silver mining and exploration company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol GPR and on the NYSE Amex, trading under the symbol GPL. The Company’s current activities are focused on the mining of precious and base metals from its two wholly-owned operating mines in Mexico. In addition, the Company is also pursuing acquisition opportunities throughout Latin America to add additional mines to its portfolio of properties. Great Panther’s mission is to become a leading primary silver producer by acquiring, developing and profitably mining precious metals.
All shareholders have the ability to receive a hard copy of the Company’s complete audited financial statements free of charge upon request. Should you wish to receive Great Panther Silver’s Financial Statements or the Annual Report on Form 20-F in hard copy, please contact us at the Company toll free at 1-888-355-1766 or 604-608-1766, or e-mail [email protected].
For further information, please visit the Company’s website at www.greatpanther.com, contact B&D Capital at telephone 604-685-6465, fax 604-899-4303 or e-mail [email protected].
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
“Robert A. Archer”
Robert A. Archer, President & CEO
“Kaare G. Foy”
Kaare G. Foy, Executive Chairman