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Great Panther announces restart of Mexican operations

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Global Mining Review,

Great Panther has reported the restart of mining operations in Mexico following a government order adding mining to the list of essential services.

The restart is following a phased approach to accommodate new protocols in response to COVID-19. The company's operating and health plans for both mines, in alignment with most recent government regulations, received approval from the Mexican Institute of Social Security. Mining and processing operations have commenced at the Topia Mine in Durango, and processing at the Guanajuato Mine Complex in Guanajuato is expected to start next week.

The company's Tucano Gold Mine in Brazil continues to operate under strict protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19, collaborating closely with municipal and state government agencies.

Great Panther has developed and implemented significant COVID-19 prevention, monitoring and response plans following the guidelines of the World Health Organization and the governments and regulatory agencies of each country in which it operates to ensure a safe work environment. All employees, contractors and visitors undergo medical screening on arrival and are required to complete a site-specific medical questionnaire. In addition, mandatory safety training sessions on the new health and safety protocols are being held to promote a gradual, orderly and safe reopening, including education and social awareness, social distancing and sanitation measures, transportation practices and updated working procedures. Increased cleaning and sanitising procedures have been introduced, especially in frequently visited areas. Specific procedures and areas have been prepared for the isolation, testing and care of employees showing COVID-19 symptoms.

Great Panther President and CEO, Rob Henderson, commented: "We are pleased to be resuming our Mexican operations and are conducting the ramp-up in a safe and cautious manner to protect the health and well-being of our most valuable assets: our people."

At the Topia Mine, permitting for the Phase III tailings storage facility (TSF) is underway. Geotechnical work and upgrade of monitoring instruments on the Phase II TSF is progressing on schedule and is expected to be complete by the end of June. Re-installed monitoring points, combined with the stabilisation of movement on the Phase I TSF observed over the last few months, are expected to enable the reopening of the adjacent Phase II TSF in the next two months. In the interim, Topia plans to utilise its temporary tailings capacity to allow adequate time for the granting of the Phase III permit or the recommissioning of Phase II. As a result, the company does not anticipate any interruption of operations caused by lack of tailings storage capacity at Topia in 2020.

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