Canada-based Great Panther Mining has approved a positive production decision for its Coricancha gold-silver-lead-zinc-copper mine in Peru.

The company announced its decision based upon the final results of its trial stope and bulk sampling programme (BSP).

The programme confirmed key operating parameters for Coricancha contained in the 2018 preliminary economic assessment (PEA).

Great Panther Mining president and CEO James Bannantine said: “The actual restart date is expected in the first half of 2020 and will be aligned with our other mining operations to ensure the project has the necessary planning and resources in place to optimise operations and profitability.

“Coricancha is expected to produce approximately 40,000 gold equivalent ounces annually and will be an important addition to Great Panther’s production portfolio going forward.”

The BSP was aimed at validating key mine and processing plant operating parameters in the PEA.

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Great Panther processed approximately 5,089t of mineralised material mined from the Constancia and Escondida veins through the plant.

The BSP used an overhand cut-and-fill mining method to mine an average vein width of 40cm.

Metallurgical recoveries of the programme were 90.3% Ag, 76.0% Au, 85.7% Pb and 82.9% Zn.

The company now plans to keep Coricancha on care and maintenance while additional engineering and operational planning is completed prior to start-up in order to further optimise and reduce the risks of the project.

According to the company, the development timeline to restart Coricancha and reach full scale production is expected to be less than one year.

Located approximately 90km by road east of Lima, Peru, the Coricancha mine was previously owned by European smelting giant Nyrstar.