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First Majestic 1Q output ahead of suspended guidance

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(Kitco News) -  First Majestic Silver Corp.’s (TSX: FR | NYSE: AG) silver-equivalent output during the first quarter came in 9% above the company’s guidance that was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said Tuesday.

The company listed output of 6.2 million silver-equivalent ounces, comparable to the fourth quarter. The January-March output consisted of 3.2 million ounces of silver and 32,202 ounces of gold.

On April 6, First Majestic withdrew its 2020 production and costs guidance after the Mexican Ministry of Health issued a decree temporarily suspending all mining operations until April 30 as part of the global effort to combat COVID-19.

“Our San Dimas, Santa Elena and La Encantada mines were all operating above guidance prior to Mexico’s federal decree to suspend all mining activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Keith Neumeyer, president and chief executive officer. “While we support the actions being taken, we continue to engage in discussions with federal and state authorities to raise awareness on the importance of silver mining as an essential business.”

The company reported silver and gold recoveries at Santa Elena of 94% and 96%, respectively, following two consecutive quarters of sustained high recoveries following the installation of the 3,000-metric-ton-per-day high-intensity grinding mill. First Majestic also said the company achieved consolidated average silver recoveries of 89%, the highest in its 17-year history.

The company said it implemented several preventative measures as a result of COVID-19, including social distancing, cancellation of any non-essential visits to the mines, comprehensive sanitation measures for the workplace and company transportation and pre-screening for virus symptoms. So far, First Majestic said, there have been no incidents related to COVID-19 at its sites or corporate offices.

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