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Great Panther Silver Buys Surface Rights For San Ignacio, Shares Rise

Great Panther Silver (TSE:GPR)(NYSE MKT:GPL)(AMEX:GPL) said Tuesday it has agreed to purchase surface rights for its San Ignacio project in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Shares of the company rose more than 5 per cent on the back of the news, to $1.87 as of 9:36am ET Tuesday.

The agreement, which was signed last week, is expected to be completed within the next two weeks.

The silver miner said a total of 19.4 hectares was purchased, allowing enough space for the construction of a portal for the development of a ramp, waste dumps and auxiliary infrastructure.

With the surface rights in hand, the company can now proceed with the application for permits required for undergound development. Permitting is expected to be done by the first quarter of next year.

Great Panther began exploring San Ignacio in 2010, when in October of that year, it started a diamond drilling program, discovering new silver-gold zones with the first hole.

An updated NI 43-101 compliant resource report for the project was released in May of this year, resulting in an inferred resource of 6.9 million silver equivalent ounces in 826,000 tonnes at 121 grams per tonne (g/t) silver and 2.28 g/t gold.

The company said a total of 29,789 metres of drilling has been completed so far at the property, with recent drilling extending mineralization beyond the limits of the current resource.

Great Panther stands to see more benefits from the project as due to its proximity to the Guanajuato mine complex, any mineral extracted from it will be processed at the company's Cata plant.

San Ignacio is just 20 kilometres by road from the Guanajuato complex.

A fifth phase drill program is now being planned for the property, consisting of around 7,000 metres of drilling, including 6,000 metres of detailed infill drilling.

The company said new portal and ramp construction is expected to begin early in the second quarter of next year. Production is anticipated to begin to ramp up early in 2014.

Great Panther Silver is a primary silver mining and exploration company focused on its two operating mines in Mexico, Guanajuato and Topia.

Aside from the development stage San Ignacio, the company also holds the exploration stage property, Santa Rosa, which is located 15 kilometres northeast of Guanajuato.

Earlier this month, Mexico-focused Great Panther posted a 69 per cent increase in second-quarter revenues as processed ore increased by 3 per cent sequentially.

Overall, the company said that gold production increased 22 per cent to 2,354 ounces from the second quarter of 2011 and Topia silver production reached a record 148,439 ounces, despite lower throughput.

Cash cost per silver ounce decreased by 11 per cent to US$11.42 compared to the second quarter of 2011.

Guanajuato achieved record metallurgical recoveries of 91.1 per cent and 92.3 per cent for silver and gold, respectively.

Great Panther stood by its guidance for metal production in the range of 2.50 to 2.75 million silver equivalent ounces for fiscal 2012, as compared to metal production of 2.2 million ounces in the prior year.