VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - May 2, 2013) - FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP. (TSX:FR)(NYSE:AG)(FRANKFURT:FMV) (the "Company" or "First Majestic") is pleased to announce that the expansion that commenced at the La Guitarra Silver Mine in November 2012 is now complete. The processing plant's capacity increased by 40% to 500 tpd from 350 tpd and commercial production is expected to reach 500 tpd during the month of May.
The construction of the new circuit was completed on budget and has been operating since April 24, 2013, without disrupting operations in the old 350 tpd circuit. This new circuit, resulting from the installation of a new ball mill and new flotation cells, is anticipated to produce approximately 1.2 million ounces of silver equivalent annually, representing over one million ounces of pure silver plus a modest amount of gold.
The next planned plant improvements include an enclosed reactor for leaching of the silver-gold concentrates which are currently being produced on site, of which a portion are being transported to the La Parrilla Silver Mine for production into silver doré bars. This new leaching circuit will allow for the concentrates to be transformed into precipitates and then into silver doré bars on site at the La Guitarra Silver Mine, significantly reducing smelting/refining charges as well as reducing transportation costs. Planning is underway for this additional mill upgrade to 1,000 tpd and the permitting is expected to conclude in the coming months. The installation of this reactor is planned to be completed in early 2014 which will further improve the economics of the La Guitarra mine.
Keith Neumeyer, President and CEO of First Majestic, states: "Since the purchase of the La Guitarra mine in July 2012, we've been confident of the mine's upside and have known it would take time for it to reach its full potential. As I've said many times; great mines take time, expertise and money to reach their potential. We are adding these elements one step at a time, and will continue to do so, which will result in a continuation of growth at the La Guitarra mine for many years to come."
First Majestic is a producing silver company focused on silver production in México and is aggressively pursuing its business plan of becoming a senior silver producer through the development of its existing mineral property assets and the pursuit through acquisition of additional mineral assets which contribute to the Company achieving its aggressive corporate growth objectives.
FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP.
Keith Neumeyer, President & CEO
SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
This news release includes certain "Forward-Looking Statements" of "forward looking information" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws, respectively. When used in this news release, the words "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "target", "plan", "forecast", "may", "schedule" and similar words or expressions, identify forward-looking statements or information. These forward- looking statements or information relate to, among other things: the accuracy of mineral reserve and resource estimates; the estimated cost and timing of development of our development projects; the timing of completion of exploration programs and preparation of technical reports; the effects of laws, regulations and government policies on our operations, including, without limitation, the laws in Mexico which currently have significant restrictions related to mining; obtaining or maintaining necessary permits, licences and approvals from government authorities; and continued access to necessary infrastructure, including, without limitation, access to power, land, water and roads to carry on activities as planned.
These statements reflect the Company's current views with respect to future events and are necessarily based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by the Company, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors, both known and unknown, could cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements that are or may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information and the Company has made assumptions and estimates based on or related to many of these factors. Such factors include, without limitation: fluctuations in the spot and forward price of silver, gold, base metals or certain other commodities (such as natural gas, fuel oil and electricity); fluctuations in the currency markets (such as the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso versus the U.S. dollar); changes in national and local government, legislation, taxation, controls, regulations and political or economic developments in Canada or Mexico; the Company's cash flow and availability of alternate sources of capital; operating or technical difficulties in connection with mining or development activities; risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining (including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected formations, pressures, cave-ins and flooding); risks relating to the credit worthiness or financial condition of suppliers, refiners and other parties with whom the Company does business; inability to obtain adequate insurance to cover risks and hazards; and the presence of laws and regulations that may impose restrictions on mining or development, including those currently enacted in Mexico; employee relations; relationships with and claims by local communities and indigenous populations; availability and increasing costs associated with mining inputs and labour; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of obtaining necessary licenses, permits and approvals from government authorities; diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as properties are mined; the Company's title to properties; and the factors identified under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form, under the caption "Risks Relating to First Majestic's Business".
Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward -looking statements or information. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be other factors that cause results not to be anticipated, estimated or intended. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements or information to reflect changes in assumptions or changes in circumstances or any other events affecting such statements or information, other than as required by applicable law.