News

First Majestic Updates 2018 Mineral Reserve and Resource Estimates


March 29, 2019

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 29, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP. (the "Company" or “First Majestic”) is pleased to announce its 2018 Mineral Reserve and Resource estimates for its existing mineral property assets in Mexico with an effective date of December 31, 2018. The Company completed a total of 211,695 metres of diamond drilling at its operating mines in 2018, representing a 35% increase in metres drilled compared to the prior year.

2018 HIGHLIGHTS (compared to the prior estimate of December 31, 2017)

  • Proven and Probable Reserves increased 46% to 170.9 million silver equivalent ounces
    • Added San Dimas Reserves consisting of 100.4 million silver equivalent ounces; or up 32% compared to post acquisition estimates due to higher conversion of Resources to Reserves resulting from successful infill drilling in the Jessica, Roberta and Regina mining areas 
    • San Martin Reserves declined 71% to 6.1 million silver equivalent ounces resulting from an increase in cut-off grades due to lower metal price assumptions and an increase in operating costs, as well as re-assessing the dilution and mining recovery factors to reflect current mining conditions
    • La Parrilla Reserves declined 75% to 3.6 million silver equivalent ounces resulting from mine depletion and an increase in cut-off grades due to lower metal price assumptions and an increase in operating costs
    • Excluded La Guitarra Reserves after placing the operation in care and maintenance
  • Measured and Indicated Resources increased 82% to 259.8 million silver equivalent ounces
    • Added San Dimas M&I Resources of 130.2 million silver equivalent ounces; up 8% compared to previous estimates
    • Upgraded 8.8 million silver equivalent ounces at the Ermitaño Silver/Gold Project from Inferred to Indicated Resources
  • Inferred Resources increased 3% to 212.7 million silver equivalent ounces
    • Added San Dimas Inferred Resources of 112.6 million silver equivalent ounces
    • Increased Ermitaño’s Inferred Resource by 20% to 49.0 million silver equivalent ounces
    • Reclassified 92.9 million silver equivalent ounces at La Joya to historical estimates 

The following table shows the total tonnage mined from each of the Company’s producing properties during 2018, including total ounces of silver and silver equivalent ounces produced from each property and the tonnage mined from delineated Reserves and Resources at each property. A portion of the production from each mine came from material other than Reserves or Resources, as set out below under the heading “Material Mined from Areas Not in Reserves or Resources”.

2018 PRODUCTION TABLE

 UnitsSAN DIMASSANTA ELENALA ENCANTADASAN MARTINLA PARRILLADEL TOROLA GUITARRATOTAL
Ore ProcessedTonnes435,289899,370916,894284,656491,637267,17080,4353,375,452
          
Material Mined from ReservesTonnes434,838876,070205,931235,154472,546235,38743,9632,503,890
          
Material Mined from Areas Not In Reserves or ResourcesTonnes45123,300710,96349,50219,09131,78336,472871,561
          
Silver ProducedOunces3,621,8682,223,2461,603,7401,746,1391,340,385785,154358,91911,679,452
          
Silver-Equivalent Produced from Other Metals (1)Ounces4,429,7373,791,4417,155423,199982,671647,158282,26010,563,619
          
Silver-Equivalent ProducedOunces8,051,6056,014,6871,610,8952,169,3382,323,0561,432,312641,17922,243,071


(1) Silver-equivalent ounces are estimated considering: metal price assumptions, metallurgical recovery for the corresponding mineral type/mineral process and the metal payable of the corresponding contract of each mine. Details as to the method of calculation can be found in the applicable tables in each mine section of the 2018 Annual Information Form.
(2) Totals may not add up due to rounding.

Metal price assumptions used to estimate the 2018 Reserves were reduced to reflect a conservative view and relatively inline with the three-year rolling price averages. Price assumptions for Mineral Reserves estimation decreased to $17.00/oz for silver (-$1.00/oz), $1,250/oz for gold (-$50/oz), $1.10/lb for lead (-$0.10/lb) and $1.20/lb for zinc (-$0.20/lb) when compared to the previous estimates.

RESERVES AND RESOURCES UPDATE

As of December 31, 2018, Proven and Probable Reserves totaled 170.9 million silver equivalent ounces, representing a 46% increase in metal content compared to the prior estimate of December 31, 2017. This increase reflects the incorporation of the high grade reserves of the San Dimas mine after its acquisition on May 10, 2018 and the results of the infill exploration and development programs, offset by the effect of mining depletion, the reduction of reserves primarily at San Martin and La Parrilla, the elimination of reserves from La Guitarra which was put in care and maintenance in August 2018, as well as the impact of lower metal price assumptions.

The Company’s consolidated Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources have increased 17% in terms of tonnage and 82% in terms of silver equivalent metal content as the result of incorporating the high grade resources of San Dimas as well as conversion of Inferred Resources at Ermitaño following its successful 2018 exploration program. These increases were partially offset by production depletion and reductions in metal price used for Mineral Resources estimation.

Consolidated Inferred Mineral Resources increased by 3% in terms of silver equivalent metal content after the incorporation of resources from San Dimas which was offset by the subtraction of resources from La Joya which is now considered a historical estimate.

The complete 2018 Mineral Reserve and Resource estimates for all metals, tonnage and grades are shown below in the following tables:

Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves with an effective date of December 31, 2018
            
MineCategoryMineral TypeTonnageGradesMetal Content
   ktAg (g/t) Au (g/t)  Pb (%)  Zn (%)  Ag-Eq (g/t) Ag (k Oz) Au (k Oz)  Ag-Eq (k Oz) 
            
SAN DIMASProven (UG)Sulphides1,6293234.09--63016,940214.432,980
 Probable (UG)Sulphides3,7943033.34--55336,980407.167,450
 Total Proven and Probable (UG)Sulphides5,4233093.56--57653,920621.5100,430
            
SANTA ELENAProven (UG)Sulphides2,0281131.58--2387,340103.215,520
 Probable (UG)Sulphides5761021.28--2021,88023.63,740
 Probable (Pad)Oxides1,349360.94--1111,57040.74,800
 Total Proven and Probable (UG+Pad)Oxides + Sulphides3,953851.32--18910,790167.524,060
            
LA ENCANTADAProbable (UG)Oxides1,311189---1897,950-7,950
 Probable (UG)Oxides - Flotation809147-2.35-1963,820-5,090
 Probable (Tailings)Oxides4,138110---11014,630-14,630
 Total Probable (UG)Oxides + Tailings6,257131-0.30-13826,400-27,670
            
LA PARRILLAProbable (UG)Oxides702330.17--2475200.4560
 Probable (UG)Sulphides3081660.052.002.103081,6500.53,050
 Total Probable (UG)Oxides3781790.081.631.712972,1700.93,610
            
SAN MARTÍNProven (UG)Oxides791750.27--1954450.7495
 Probable (UG)Oxides6152450.50--2824,8409.95,580
 Total Proven and Probable (UG)Oxides6942370.47--2725,28510.66,075
            
DEL TOROProven (UG)Transition + Sulphides422050.292.440.653252800.4450
 Probable (UG)Transition + Sulphides6392000.284.414.084194,1105.78,620
 Total Proven and Probable (UG)Transition + Sulphides6812000.284.293.874134,3906.19,070
            
 Total Proven and ProbableAll mineral types17,3871841.440.310.19306102,955806.6170,915


(1) Mineral Reserves have been classified in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (“CIM”) Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, whose definitions are incorporated by reference into National Instrument 43-101 (NI43-101).
(2) The Mineral Reserves statement provided in the table above is based on internal estimates prepared as of December 31, 2018. The information provided was reviewed and prepared under the supervision of Ramon Mendoza Reyes, PEng, and a Qualified Person ("QP") for the purposes of NI43-101.
(3) Silver-equivalent grade is estimated considering metal price assumptions, metallurgical recovery for the corresponding mineral type/mineral process and the metal payable of the corresponding contract of each mine. Estimation details are listed in each mine section of the 2018 Annual Information Form (“AIF”).
(4) Metal prices considered for Mineral Reserves estimates were $17.00/oz Ag and $1,250/oz Au, $1.00/lb Pb, and $1.20/lb Zn.
(5) A two-step constraining approach has been implemented to estimate reserves for each mining method in use: A General Cut-Off Grade (GC) was used to delimit new mining areas that will require development of access and infrastructure and all sustaining costs. A second Incremental Cut-Off Grade (IC) was considered to include adjacent mineralized material which recoverable value pays for all associated costs, including but not limited to the variable cost of mining and processing, indirect costs, treatment, administration costs and plant sustaining costs.
The cut-off grades, metallurgical recoveries, payable terms and modifying factors used to convert Mineral Reserves from Mineral Resources are different for all mines. These cut-off grades and economic parameters are listed in the applicable section describing each mine below in the AIF.
(6) Dilution for underground mining includes consideration for planned dilution due to geometric aspects of the designed stopes and economic zones, and additional dilution consideration due to material handling and other operating aspects. Dilution and mining recovery factors are listed in the applicable section describing each mine below in the AIF.
(7) Tonnage is expressed in thousands of tonnes, metal content is expressed in thousands of ounces.
(8) Totals may not add up due to rounding.



Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources with an effective date of December 31, 2018
            
Mine / ProjectCategoryMineral TypeTonnageGradesMetal Content
   ktAg (g/t) Au (g/t)  Pb (%)  Zn (%)  Ag-Eq (g/t) Ag (k Oz) Au (k Oz) Ag-Eq (k Oz)
            
SAN DIMASMeasured (UG)Sulphides1,4125057.33--1,05922,930332.748,080
 Indicated (UG)Sulphides3,1934274.93--80043,840505.782,080
 Total Measured and Indicated (UG)Sulphides4,6044515.66--87966,770838.4130,160
            
SANTA ELENAMeasured Santa Elena (UG)Sulphides2,5081321.84--28010,640148.722,550
 Indicated Santa Elena (UG)Sulphides9151241.60--2533,65047.17,430
 Indicated Ermitaño (UG)Sulphides704654.05--3891,46091.78,810
 Indicated (Pad)Oxides1,179391.04--1221,48039.34,630
 Total Measured and Indicated (UG+Pad)Oxides + Sulphides5,3061011.92--25517,230326.843,420
            
LA ENCANTADAIndicated Veins Systems (UG)Oxides1,339255---25510,960-10,960
 Indicated Breccias (UG)Oxides - Flotation830238-3.36-3376,35061.58,990
 Indicated (Tailings)Oxides4,200110---11014,850-14,850
 Total Indicated (UG)Oxides + Tailings6,370157-0.44-17032,1606234,800
            
LA PARRILLAIndicated (UG)Sulphides9991840.062.011.783185,91044.310,230
 Indicated (UG)Oxides 1422540.15--2651,160-1,210
 Total Measured and Indicated (UG)Oxides + Sulphides1,1421930.071.761.553127,07044.311,440
            
SAN MARTÍNMeasured (UG)Oxides 1122680.46--3029601.71,090
 Indicated (UG)Oxides 1,4852910.57--33413,88027.115,940
 Total Measured and Indicated (UG)Oxides 1,5972890.56--33214,84028.817,030
            
DEL TOROMeasured (UG)Transition + Sulphides602250.352.600.663624300.7700
 Indicated (UG)Transition + Sulphides8962180.304.473.984776,2908.713,760
 Total Measured and Indicated (UG)Transition + Sulphides9562190.314.353.774706,7209.414,460
            
LA GUITARRAMeasured (UG)Sulphides3842921.84--4313,61022.75,330
 Indicated (UG)Sulphides2432501.98--3991,95015.53,120
 Total Measured and Indicated (UG)Sulphides6272761.89--4195,56038.28,450
            
 Total Measured and IndicatedAll mineral types20,6012271.880.430.26392150,3501,347.4259,760


(1) Mineral Resources have been classified in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (“CIM”) Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, whose definitions are incorporated by reference into NI 43-101.
(2) The Mineral Resources information provided above is based on internal estimates prepared as of December 31, 2018. The information provided was reviewed and compiled by Ramon Mendoza Reyes, PEng, QP for First Majestic, and is based on internal work prepared under the supervision of First Majestic internal QPs, who have the appropriate relevant qualifications, and experience in geology and resource estimation.
(3) Metal prices considered for Mineral Resources estimates were $17.50/oz Ag, $1,300/oz Au, $1.00/lb Pb, and $1.20/lb Zn.
(4) Silver-equivalent grade is estimated considering: metal price assumptions, metallurgical recovery for the corresponding mineral type/mineral process and the metal payable of the corresponding contract of each mine. Estimation details are listed in each mine section of the AIF.
(5) The cut-off grades used to estimate Mineral Resources are different for all mines. The cut-off grades and factors are listed in the applicable section describing each mine section of the AIF.
(6) Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources are reported inclusive of Mineral Reserves.
(7) The La Guitarra mine was placed on care and maintenance on August 3, 2018 and is no longer a material property.



Inferred Mineral Resources with an effective date of December 31, 2018
            
Mine / ProjectCategoryMineral TypeTonnageGradesMetal Content
   ktAg (g/t) Au (g/t)  Pb (%)  Zn (%)  Ag-Eq (g/t) Ag (k Oz) Au (k Oz) Ag-Eq (k Oz)
            
SAN DIMAS Inferred Total (UG)  Sulphides 5,7083413.60--61462,640661.3112,640
            
  Inferred Santa Elena Mine (UG)  Sulphides 931901.09--1772,70032.75,310
SANTA ELENA Inferred Ermitaño (UG)  Sulphides 4,637593.36--3298,820501.548,980
  Inferred Total (UG)  Sulphides 5,568642.98--30311,520534.254,290
            
LA ENCANTADA Inferred Veins Systems (UG)  Oxides 608234---2344,580-4,580
  Inferred Breccias (UG)  Oxides 902201---2015,830-5,830
  Inferred Ojuelas (UG)  Oxides - Flotation 88183-3.41-2835206.7810
  Inferred Total (UG)  Oxides 1,598213-0.19-21810,9306.711,220
            
LA PARRILLA Inferred (UG)  Oxides 8701890.071.831.953215,29035.18,970
  Inferred (UG)  Sulphides 4712260.06--2313,430-3,490
  Inferred Total (UG)  Oxides + Sulphides 1,3412020.061.191.272898,72035.112,460
            
SAN MARTÍN Inferred Total (UG)  Oxides 1,6342320.30--25412,18015.713,360
            
DEL TORO Inferred Total (UG)  Transition + Sulphides 5602190.183.331.233773,9603.36,790
            
LA GUITARRA Inferred Total (UG)  Sulphides 1642681.39--3731,4207.31,970
            
  Total Inferred  All mineral types 16,5732092.300.230.14399111,3701,263.6212,730


(1) Mineral Resources have been classified in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (“CIM”) Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, whose definitions are incorporated by reference into NI 43-101.
(2) The Mineral Resources information provided above is based on internal estimates prepared as of December 31, 2018. The information provided was reviewed and compiled by Ramon Mendoza Reyes, PEng, QP for First Majestic, and is based on internal work prepared under the supervision of First Majestic internal QPs, who have the appropriate relevant qualifications, and experience in geology and resource estimation.
(3) Metal prices considered for Mineral Resources estimates were $17.50/oz Ag, $1,300/oz Au, $1.00/lb Pb, and $1.20/lb Zn.
(4) Silver-equivalent grade is estimated considering: metal price assumptions, metallurgical recovery for the corresponding mineral type/mineral process and the metal payable of the corresponding contract of each mine. Estimation details are listed in each mine section of the Annual Information Form (AIF).
(5) The cut-off grades used to estimate Mineral Resources are different for all mines. The cut-off grades and factors are listed in the applicable section describing each mine section of the AIF.
(6) The La Guitarra mine was placed on care and maintenance on August 3, 2018 and is no longer a material property.

2019 EXPLORATION PROGRAM

For 2019, First Majestic is planning to invest a total of $26.2 million towards exploration to drill approximately 188,000 metres across its core Mexican assets. The 2019 drilling program will consist of approximately 11,600 metres of sustaining diamond drilling to support mining activities at the six operating mines; approximately 152,000 metres of expansionary diamond drilling intended to improve confidence and increase Mineral Resources with a focus on the Santa Elena Main Vein and the Central Block at San Dimas; and drill approximately 8,400 metres intended to test greenfield targets at Santa Elena and Del Toro. Furthermore, due to the exploration success in 2018 at Ermitaño, the Company is planning to complete a 16,000 metre drill program in 2019 to investigate the continuity of mineralization at shallow depths that may be amenable to open pit extraction.

The Company also announces that its 2018 Annual Information Form has been filed on SEDAR. In addition, a Form 40-F report has been filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and is available on EDGAR. Both documents are also available on the Company’s website at www.firstmajestic.com.

Shareholders may also receive a copy of First Majestic’s Annual Report which includes the audited financial statements, without charge, upon request to First Majestic, Suite 1800 - 925 West Georgia Street Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V6C 3L2 or to info@firstmajestic.com.

Mr. Ramon Mendoza Reyes, Vice President Technical Services for First Majestic, is a "Qualified Person" as such term is defined under National Instrument 43-101, and has reviewed and approved the technical information disclosed in this news release.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

First Majestic is a mining company focused on silver production in Mexico and is aggressively pursuing the development of its existing mineral property assets. The Company presently owns and operates the San Dimas Silver/Gold Mine, the Santa Elena Silver/Gold Mine, the La Encantada Silver Mine, the San Martin Silver Mine, the La Parrilla Silver Mine and the Del Toro Silver Mine. Production from these mines are projected to be between 14.2 to 15.8 million silver ounces or 24.7 to 27.5 million silver equivalent ounces in 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION contact info@firstmajestic.com, visit our website at www.firstmajestic.com or call our toll free number 1.866.529.2807.

FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP.
“signed”
Keith Neumeyer, President & CEO

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

This press release contains “forward‐looking information” and "forward-looking statements” under applicable Canadian and U.S. securities laws (collectively, “forward‐looking statements”). These statements relate to future events or the Company's future performance, business prospects or opportunities that are based on forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable and assumptions of management made in light of management's experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to: the Company’s business strategy; future planning processes; commercial mining operations; cash flow; budgets; the timing and amount of estimated future production; recovery rates; mine plans and mine life; the future price of silver and other metals; costs of production; costs and timing of the development of new deposits; capital projects and exploration activities and the possible results thereof. Assumptions may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Consequently, guidance cannot be guaranteed. As such, investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon guidance and forward-looking statements as there can be no assurance that the plans, assumptions or expectations upon which they are placed will occur. All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward‐looking statements. Statements concerning proven and probable mineral reserves and mineral resource estimates may also be deemed to constitute forward‐looking statements to the extent that they involve estimates of the mineralization that will be encountered as and if the property is developed, and in the case of measured and indicated mineral resources or proven and probable mineral reserves, such statements reflect the conclusion based on certain assumptions that the mineral deposit can be economically exploited. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives or future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as “seek”, “anticipate”, “plan”, “continue”, “estimate”, “expect”, “may”, “will”, “project”, “predict”, “forecast”, “potential”, “target”, “intend”, “could”, “might”, “should”, “believe” and similar expressions) are not statements of historical fact and may be “forward‐looking statements”.

Actual results may vary from forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to materially differ from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: risks related to the integration of acquisitions; actual results of exploration activities; conclusions of economic evaluations; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; commodity prices; variations in ore reserves, grade or recovery rates; actual performance of plant, equipment or processes relative to specifications and expectations; accidents; labour relations; relations with local communities; changes in national or local governments; changes in applicable legislation or application thereof; delays in obtaining approvals or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities; exchange rate fluctuations; requirements for additional capital; government regulation; environmental risks; reclamation expenses; outcomes of pending litigation; limitations on insurance coverage as well as those factors discussed in the section entitled "Description of the Business - Risk Factors" in the Company's most recent Annual Information Form, available on www.sedar.com, and Form 40-F on file with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. Although First Majestic has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended.

The Company believes that the expectations reflected in these forward‐looking statements are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward‐looking statements included herein should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date hereof. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable laws.