First Majestic Silver Corp.: Third Quarter Financial Results
November 14, 2008FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP. (FR-T) (the “Company”) is pleased to announce the unaudited financial results for the Company’s third quarter ending September 30, 2008. The full version of the financial statements can be viewed on the Company’s web site at www.firstmajestic.com or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
|3rd Quarter Highlights|
|Gross Revenue||$13.9 million|
|Net Revenue||$10.8 million|
|Mine Operating Earnings||$1.7 million|
|Net Loss after taxes||$0.4 million|
|Cash Cost per ounce||US$7.65|
|Silver Equivalent Production||840,918 oz. Ag eq.|
|Silver Equivalent Oz. Sold||850,461 oz. Ag eq.|
- Sales revenues for the quarter (after smelting charge deductions) were $10.8 million; an increase of 5% compared to $10.3 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2007. Gross revenues for the quarter, prior to smelting charges were $13.9 million.
- Mine operating earnings for the quarter amounted to $1.7 million, compared to $1.5 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2007. Mine operating earnings for the nine months ended September 30, 2008, amounted to $8.6 million, compared to $3.8 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2007.
- The Company generated an operating loss of $0.8 million for the quarter, compared to an operating loss of $1 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2007. Mine operating earnings for the nine months ended September 30, 2008, amounted to a gain of $59,861, compared to a loss of $4.0 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2007.
- The Company generated a net loss after taxes of $0.4 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2008, compared to a net loss after taxes of $2.1 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2007.
- The Company generated a net income after taxes of $0.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2008, compared to a net loss after taxes of $5.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2007.
- The net loss after taxes of $0.4 million for this quarter ended September 30, 2008, was after deducting non-cash stock based compensation expense of $1 million (2007 - $0.7 million). The net income after taxes of $0.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2008, was after deducting non-cash stock based compensation expense of $2.8 million (2007 - $2.4 million).
- Direct cash costs per ounce of silver were negatively impacted in the current quarter by an extremely wet and stormy rainy season in Mexico, with a cost per ounce of US$7.65 overall compared to US$4.84 in Q2 of 2008, and US$6.73 for the quarter ended September 30, 2007.
- Total quarterly production consisted of 840,918 ounces of silver equivalents, including 719,399 ounces of silver, 536 ounces of gold, and 1,518,271 pounds of lead. The Company sold 850,461 ounces of silver equivalent in the quarter, and 2,574,637 ounces of silver equivalent for the nine months ended September 30, 2008, resulting in a decrease of 7% and an increase of 6% respectively over the 911,916 ounces of silver equivalent sold in the quarter ended September 30, 2007, and 2,427,935 ounces of silver equivalent sold for the nine months ended September 30, 2007.
- In the quarter, the Company invested $10.2 million in capital expenditures on its mineral properties, and a further $7.5 million on additions to plant and equipment. For the nine months ended September 30, 2008, the Company invested $25.4 million in capital expenditures on its mineral properties, and $16 million on additions to plant and equipment.
The Company continues to focus its efforts on production growth, Reserve and Resource growth and reducing costs in order to improve profitability. Mill expansions at the La Parrilla Silver Mine and San Martin Silver Mine which commenced earlier in the year are close to completion. The Company’s largest expansion program which is taking place at the La Encantada Silver Mine is continuing and is expected to be completed by April 2009. Over the past three years, management remained focused on continuing to increase NI 43-101 compliant silver Resources. As at the latest NI 43-101 Reports, the Company has defined a global Resource of 241 million ounces of Silver equivalents. Twenty two drill rigs were active on the Company’s four core projects during the third quarter. Due to market conditions, this program has now been reduced to four drill rigs. The Company anticipates that newly updated Resource estimates, with a cut off date of September 30th, will be published prior to year end on each of the Company’s three operating silver mines.
La Parrilla Silver Mine
As part of the ongoing improvements at the La Parrilla during the quarter the two new leaching tanks and one additional thickener tank continued to be constructed. Recoveries and capacity are expected to improve once these new tanks come online in the fourth quarter of 2008. At the mine, preparation of the lower levels of the Rosarios area and the addition of a long hole drilling machine is now enabling an increase in production and improved grades from the sulphides areas.
San Martin Silver Mine
At San Martin, the primary focus during the quarter was to continue the expansion of the mill by adding additional leaching tanks and thickeners as well as reinforcing older tanks and completing a new overflow spill containment system. A rock slide that occurred during the quarter resulting from extremely heavy rains that blocked three of the four entrances to the mine was cleared successfully and the operation is now back to full production. The new portable screen which was installed in the second quarter is operating full time to take advantage of some of the oxide ore backfill and dumps left behind from previous years of operation. This is allowing the Company to produce primarily Doré bars rather than concentrates which are presently more economic in the present environment of low lead and zinc prices.
La Encantada Silver Mine
Construction of the new 3500 tpd cyanidation mill is the primary focus at the La Encantada and is proceeding well. In addition, management decided to construct a temporary cyanidation circuit at the main flotation mill in order to treat the lead concentrates which have historically been produced at this operation. The completion of this circuit will allow the Company to treat the concentrates and avoid the addition costs associated with shipping concentrates to Penoles. Once this new circuit is completed, the silver precipitates produced from the concentrates will be shipped to the La Parrilla mill for the production of Doré bars. Tests have proven that the lead concentrates treated with cyanide have a 95% recovery of contained silver and will substantially reduce the smelting costs associated with selling concentrates.
Equally important to increasing silver production is further reducing costs and expenses where possible. The 2008 operating year thus far represents a year of high costs as a result of the Company’s pursuit of aggressive growth based on the expansion of its operations and Resources. In addition, the Company has been negatively impacted this year by higher Peñoles smelter charges, especially on its lead and zinc concentrates. Management is pleased by the many cost cutting measures underway, and it is believed that further improvements in profitability can be achieved and additional improvements are expected going forward as the Company takes additional measures to reduce costs.
Finally, in this turbulent financial and commodity environment, First Majestic has been reacting by cutting costs where ever possible. Due to the mill improvements ongoing this year, mill throughput at each operation has now reached full capacity which is resulting in a more efficient use of equipment and machinery. The Company is continuing to analyze various options to reduce its operating costs and to squeeze out the most optimum margins possible. One example which is proving to add substantial value is management decided to mint 99.9% pure silver into coins, ingots and bars which are actively marketed on the Company’s web site. Interest levels for these products are extremely high and are beginning to represent substantial revenues for the Company. These products tend to sell at substantial premiums to COMEX spot prices. It is anticipated that these sales of refined silver products will represent approximately 10% of the Company’s silver production by February 2009. The Company is also exploring other ways of selling its silver outside of the normal avenues of commercial sales.
Management is confident that these steps that have been taken and others under examination will ultimately generating more income and greater value for shareholders.
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.