First Majestic Silver Corp.: Operations Update
November 19, 2008First Majestic Silver Corp. (FR-T) (“First Majestic” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that production during the month of October has increased significantly from the average monthly production achieved in the third quarter.
The Company’s three producing mines; the La Parrilla Silver Mine, the San Martin Silver Mine and the La Encantada Silver Mine have experienced a substantial increase in throughput at each mill in October. Ore processed through the mills increased to a combined 71,172 tonnes, an increase of 25% compared to the monthly average throughput of 56,766 tonnes achieved in the third quarter. This increased throughput is expected to result in lower costs on a per ounce basis for the fourth quarter.
At the La Parrilla mill, several modifications have been made to increase capacity from 800 to 840 tpd. The mill has been running at this new higher capacity since the early part of November. Total tonnage processed for the month of October reached 21,918 tonnes compared with the average monthly tonnage in the previous three months of 17,274 showing an increase of 27%.
The San Martin mill has also been undergoing improvements which are in the process of being completed. Mill capacity is being increased from 800 tpd to 1000 tpd and is expected to be completed by the end of November. Ore processed in the month of October reached 22,808 tonnes compared with the average tonnage of the previous three months of 18,690 tonnes, an increase of 22%.
Several modifications have now been completed at the La Encantada mill to increase the mill capacity from 800 to 1000 tpd. The mill processed 26,447 tonnes of ore in the month of October amounting to an increase of 27% compared to the average of 20,802 tonnes achieved during the three months in the third quarter. The mill expansion to 1000 tpd was achieved in late October.
Also at the La Encantada, construction of the 3,500 tpd cyanidation circuit is proceeding as planned. Construction is expected to be completed in April 2009, which will allow the Company to significantly ramp up silver production at this operation. In the interim, in order to reduce smelting costs, a cyanidation circuit designed to leach concentrates has been constructed. This new cyanidation circuit is presently in the testing stage. Once fully operational, the silver precipitates produced from the concentrates will be shipped to the La Parrilla mill for the production of Doré bars. The production of Doré bars which is anticipated to begin within the next few weeks will result in a significant reduction of smelting and refining costs associated with selling concentrates.
First Majestic completed a very aggressive drill campaign in 2008 with the use of 23 drill rigs spread throughout the Company’s four core projects. A total of 57,247 metres were drilled to the end of September which has resulted in significant growth in Resources. The Company will be releasing new NI 43-101 Technical Reports on each of the Company’s three producing mines prior to year end. This drill program has now been reduced to four drill rigs in operation, leaving one in each mine and one at Del Toro.
At the Del Toro Silver Mine, development and exploration programs have been reduced however, due to the significance of this project to the future of the Company, current activities will continue for the foreseeable future. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the construction of a flotation plant at Del Toro is underway and full permitting applications are expected to be submitted to the government authorities in the first quarter of 2009. The timing of the construction of a new mill at Del Toro will be determined at a later date.
All activities at the Cuitaboca Silver Project have been temporarily suspended. The Company has also suspended the construction of the new crushing circuit at the San Martin which was designed to increase the capacity of that mill to 2000 tpd. The expansion planned at the La Parrilla mill to increase its capacity from 850 tpd to 1000 tpd has also been temporarily suspended.
Given the current financial environment, management has undertaken several measures to protect cash and costs structures at its operations while at the same time maintaining or increasing production where possible. Management is continuing its detailed review and may decide that further operating and or capital expenditure cuts may be required dependant on market conditions going forward.
The Company’s direct sales of finished silver products continue to be very robust. The Company presently is selling approximately 5% of its production in the form of 1 oz, 2 oz, 5 oz and 10 oz coins, 5 oz and 10 oz Ingots and 1 kilo bars containing 99.9% pure silver. These products are actively marketed on the Company’s web site and sales are anticipated to reach 10% of the Company’s production by February 2009. The sale of silver in these forms tend to sell at a substantial premium to COMEX spot prices and help to supply the enormous demand for physical silver in the current environment.
First Majestic is a producing silver company focused in México 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
This press release includes certain “Forward-Looking Statements” within the meaning of section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein, including without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization and reserves, exploration results and future plans and objectives of First Majestic Silver Corp. are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.