First Majestic Silver Corp.: 3rd Quarter Production Results
October 23, 2008First Majestic Silver Corp. (“First Majestic” or the “Company”) announces today that production in the third quarter ending September 30th 2008 was 840,918 equivalent ounces of silver representing a 34% decrease over the prior quarter production. This decline in production was due to an unusually heavy rainy season in Mexico that affected the three operations.
Operations at each mine are now back to normal and the Company is expecting to deliver record fourth quarter production. At the San Martin, thousands of tonnes of rock washed down the mountain covering three of the four entrances to the mine and causing an access bridge to collapse, no injuries were reported due to the storm activity. The excess water from the heavy tropical rainstorms also affected the crushing circuits and screens at all three mines causing lower throughput and lower recoveries.
Mr. Keith Neumeyer, President & CEO stated, “On a more positive note, with silver prices at a temporary low, it’s not a bad time to be selling less of our silver. Also, I would like to commend our staff at each mine in working through these unavoidable challenges. Each mine has recovered remarkably well; cleaning up all the debris and making repairs where necessary. Furthermore, steps are being taken in advance of the 2009 rainy season to avoid problems in the crushing circuits caused by excess water.”
The equivalent silver production for the quarter consisted of 719,399 ounces of silver representing a 35% decrease from the prior quarter, 1,518,271 pounds of lead representing a 24% decrease from the previous quarter, 536 ounces of gold representing an increase of 11% compared to the previous quarter. During the quarter the combined recoveries of silver at the three different mines showed a decrease from 70% to 67%. The overall average silver head grade in the quarter for the three mines decreased to 196 g/t of silver compared to the previous quarter of 230 g/t of silver.
The ore processed during the quarter at the Company’s three operating silver mines; the La Parrilla Silver Mine, the San Martin Silver Mine and the La Encantada Silver Mine, amounted to 170,298 tonnes representing a 20% decrease over the previous quarter and an increase of 3% over the same quarter of 2007.
The three mines are now running at or above capacity and in addition, the mill improvements at each operation are still underway which will result in higher throughputs in 2009. The San Martin mill is undergoing an expansion which will take its capacity up to 1000 tpd by year end; the La Encantada will reach a capacity of 3500 tpd by the second quarter of 2009 and the La Parrilla is being expanded to 1000 tpd and should reach that capacity by the second quarter of 2009.
The Company’s aggressive development program continued in the third quarter amounting to 8,876 metres of underground development compared with 7,161 metres of underground development completed in the previous quarter. Reserve and Resource development remains to be a top priority for the Company. The Company’s global NI 43-101 Resources are currently over 240,000,000 silver equivalent ounces. The Company is anticipating new NI 43-101 reports on each of its mines by year end which will substantially increase the Company’s compliant Resources. The Company has been operating 23 drill rigs for most of the year, and has recently reduced this number to 15 drill rigs. 26,666 metres of diamond drilling was completed during the third quarter showing an increase of 31% over the previous quarter.
As the Company releases its new NI 43-101 reports, and meets its Resource targets, the current development program and exploration program will be reduced in the fourth quarter and into 2009. Management believes, the Company is getting little incremental value for adding additional Resources/Reserves and due to current market conditions it is prudent to reduce these programs.
Management at First Majestic is focused on executing the Company’s business plan by continuing the ongoing improvements at each mine and mill and achieving its production and resource targets while at the same time taking necessary steps in order to cuts costs in these difficult market conditions.
First Majestic is a producing silver company focused in Mexico and is aggressively pursuing its business plan to become a senior silver producer through the development of its existing assets and the pursuit through acquisition of additional assets that contribute to achieving its corporate growth objectives.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION contact firstname.lastname@example.org, visit our website at www.firstmajestic.com or call our toll free number 1.866.529.2807.
FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP.
Keith Neumeyer, President & CEO