First Majestic announces Q3 total production of 6.7M silver equivalent ounces
First Majestic announced total production in Q3 reached a new company record of 6.7M silver equivalent ounces. Total production consisted of 3.5M ounces of silver, 35,260 ounces of gold, 4.4M pounds of lead and 1.2M pounds of zinc. Silver production for the first three quarters of 2018 totaled 8.4M ounces, or 15.8M silver equivalent ounces, remaining in-line with the 2018 production guidance. 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. Quarterly consolidated silver and gold recoveries averaged 83% and 95%, representing a 5% and 1% increase, respectively, 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 Q1 2019 followed by Del Toro in Q2 of 2019. In addition, installation of the High Intensity Grinding mills at Santa Elena and San Dimas have been postponed until Q2 and Q3 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.