First Majestic Silver Corp. reported a 37% year-over-year increase in production to a record high of 22.2 million silver equivalent ounces in 2018, falling within the company's annual guidance.
Production for the year totaled 11.7 million ounces of silver, 111,084 ounces of gold, 16.1 million pounds of lead and 5.7 million pounds of zinc.
Fourth-quarter 2018 output jumped 60% on a yearly basis to 6.5 Moz of silver equivalent thanks to a 39% rise in silver output to 3.3 Moz, while gold output almost doubled to 34,487 ounces, the company said Jan. 14.
First Majestic added that silver production fell slightly below the annual guidance, primarily due to lower-than-expected silver production at the La Encantada mine in Mexico.
It expects anticipates 2019 production between 24.7 Moz and 27.5 Moz of silver equivalent and expects an average 18% increase in total production relative to 2018. All-in sustaining costs per ounce are expected between US$12.55 and US$14.23 for the full year.
Silver production for 2019 is expected between 14.2 Moz and 15.8 Moz.
President and CEO Keith Neumeyer said the company is planning to start up a roaster and install high-intensity grinding mills at the La Encantada operations in 2019, and this combination has the potential to re-establish silver production of 4 million to 5 million ounces per year once the mill upgrades are completed.