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PanTerra Gold Focused On Optimising And Extending Las Lagunas Project

PanTerra Gold (ASX: PGI) will focus on optimising gold and silver production as well as extending the life of its Las Lagunas project, along with accelerating exploration activity in the Dominican Republic.

Las Lagunas is expected to produce about 69,000 ounces of gold and 630,000 ounces of silver annually, with the pilot plant testwork demonstrating expected recovery of 435,360 ounces of gold and nearly 4 million ounces of silver over a six and a half year mine life.

Optimisation of Las Lagunas plant performance will continue after this weeks' scheduled biannual plant shutdown to undertake general maintenance and minor improvements.

Plant throughput and rate of recoveries for the current quarter are expected to be up on the previous two quarters now that the grinding circuit is capable of operating at design levels.

Exploration will be carried out in the 30,000 hectares of acreage the company holds in the Fuerte, La Perseverancia and La Paciencia exploration concessions during the second quarter of 2013.

Extending the current 6.5 year mine life of Las Lagunas will be carried out through exploration, acquisition, joint venture, or toll treatment of refractory ore from within the region.

This will be aided by PanTerra's existing and competent management team in place in Santo Domingo as well as the increased efficiency of the Mines Department under the recently elected Government.

The recently appointed Director General of Mines has indicated approvals for renewal of the three exploration concessions will be issued in the near term. He is also supportive of the Las Lagunas process plant remaining in position following completion of the Las Lagunas project, to process refractory ores that are predominant within the region.

Surplus capacity in the existing Government-owned tailings dam could also be made available, and this would result in a very low entry cost to any new mining project or tolling arrangement by the PanTerra.

As part of this focus, the company has appointed Las Lagunas project general manager Anthony Edgar as president of its two subsidiaries responsible for activities in the Dominican Republic as part of its strategy to focus its activities in the country.

Edgar has over 30 years of international mining experience, and has held senior management positions for the past 15 years in the USA, Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico.

His expertise includes operations management, project start-up, business planning, safety promotion, employee recruitment and training, cost control and reporting systems.

It has also made executive director James Tyers responsible for exploration activity in the country.

However, recently elected managing director Andrew Pooler has resigned. PanTerra has decided not to carry out - in the near-term - the previous plan to locate senior management in Canada, and applying for dual listing on the TSX.

Executive chairman Brian Johnson will remain in an executive role and concentrate on corporate issues including negotiations on potential mergers and acquisitions which might accelerate the growth of the company.

He will also oversee the pursuit of potential claims against equipment suppliers and consultants to the Las Lagunas project.

PanTerra made a small cash surplus of US$180,000 in the December 2012 quarter after meeting financing costs and expenses of mining to stockpiles and increased inventory.

The company had US$7.5 million in cash at the end of December 2012.

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