First Majestic Silver Corp. announces total production in the third quarter of 2018 reached a new Company record of 6.7 million silver equivalent ounces. Total production consisted of 3.5 million ounces of silver, 35,260 ounces of gold, 4.4 million pounds of lead and 1.2 million pounds of zinc. Silver production for the first three quarters of 2018 totaled 8.4 million ounces, or 15.8 million silver equivalent ounces, remaining in-line with the 2018 production guidance of between 12.0 to 13.2 million silver ounces or 20.5 to 22.6 million silver equivalent ounces.
“We had a very strong quarter with total production achieving a new record of 6.7 million silver equivalent ounces representing a 31% increase compared to the prior quarter,” said Keith Neumeyer, President and CEO. “The record quarter was primarily due to the Company receiving a full quarter of production from the San Dimas operation, along with increases in consolidated silver and gold grades of 19% and 35%, respectively. In fact, five of our six mines recorded higher production levels as a result of these significant grade improvements. However, due to the prolonged weakness in the silver price we have implemented a 20% cost reduction program across all areas of the business which is expected to be fully realized by the first quarter of 2019.”
|Ore processed/tonnes milled||864,056||730,652||18%||851,349||1%|
|Total production – ounces of silver equivalent||6,740,315||3,986,274||69%||5,137,318||31%|
|Silver ounces produced||3,505,344||2,415,962||45%||2,756,263||27%|
|Gold ounces produced||35,260||15,414||129%||25,449||39%|
|Pounds of lead produced||4,443,290||5,171,533||-14%||3,949,410||13%|
|Pounds of zinc produced||1,234,385||922,666||34%||1,382,760||-11%|
Total ore processed during the quarter at the Company’s silver mines amounted to 864,056 tonnes, representing a 1% increase compared to the previous quarter. The increase in tonnes compared to the prior quarter was primarily due to a 106% increase in tonnes processed at San Dimas, offset by an 18% decrease in throughput processed at La Encantada and a 58% decrease at La Guitarra. The decrease at La Guitarra was due to the operation being placed in care and maintenance on August 3, 2018.
Consolidated silver grades in the quarter averaged 152 g/t compared to 127 g/t in the previous quarter. This 19% increase was primarily the result of a full quarter of production at San Dimas as well as higher grades at La Encantada, Santa Elena, Del Toro and San Martin. Consolidated gold grades increased 35% in the quarter averaging 1.33 g/t compared to 0.99 g/t in the prior quarter. The increase was primarily due to higher production at San Dimas as well as higher gold grades at San Martin.
Quarterly consolidated silver and gold recoveries averaged 83% and 95%, representing a 5% and 1% increase, respectfully, compared to the previous quarter. The Company continues to expect further improvements in recoveries associated with higher grades and with the installation of the microbubble flotation columns at La Parrilla and Del Toro. The column cells at La Parrilla are expected to be delivered and installed in the first quarter of 2019 followed by Del Toro in the second quarter of 2019. In addition, installation of the High Intensity Grinding mills at Santa Elena and San Dimas have been postponed until the second quarter and third quarter of 2019, respectively, due to additional detailed engineering and process planning. The benefits of this new technology, most notably higher recoveries and lower operating costs, are expected to be realized after completing ramp up to commercial production in the second half of 2019.
MINE BY MINE PRODUCTION TABLE
| Silver Oz
| Gold Oz
| Pounds of
| Pounds of
*The La Guitarra operation was placed in care and maintenance on August 3, 2018 and reflects only 33 operating days during the quarter.
*Certain amounts shown may not add exactly to the total amount due to rounding differences.
*The following prices were used in the calculation of silver equivalent ounces: Silver: $15.02 per ounce; Gold: $1,213 per ounce; Lead: $0.95 per pound; Zinc: $1.15 per pound.
At the San Dimas Silver/Gold Mine:
At the Santa Elena Silver/Gold Mine:
At the La Encantada Silver Mine:
At the La Parrilla Silver Mine:
At the Del Toro Silver Mine:
At the San Martin Silver Mine:
At the La Guitarra Silver Mine:
ABOUT THE COMPANY
First Majestic is a mining company focused on silver production in Mexico and is aggressively pursuing the development of its existing mineral property assets. The Company presently owns and operates the San Dimas Silver/Gold Mine, the Santa Elena Silver/Gold Mine, the La Encantada Silver Mine, the La Parrilla Silver Mine, the San Martin Silver Mine and the Del Toro Silver Mine. Production from these mines are projected to be between 12.0 to 13.2 million silver ounces or 20.5 to 22.6 million silver equivalent ounces in 2018.
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