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First Majestic books record Q3 silver equivalent output, plans cost cuts

First Majestic Silver Corp. produced a record 6.7 million silver equivalent ounces in the third quarter, rising 31% year over year. However, amid continuing weakness in silver prices, the company announced a 20% cost reduction program across all operations, expected to be fully realized by the first quarter of 2019. The company did not provide any details on the cost-cutting plans.

The quarter's output comprised 3.5 million ounces of silver, 35,260 ounces of gold, 4.4 million pounds of lead and 1.2 million pounds of zinc, the Mexico-focused producer said Oct. 15.

The Toronto-listed company attributed the yearly rise in production to a full quarter of output from its San Dimas gold-silver mine in Mexico and double-digit percentage increases in consolidated gold and silver grades.

First Majestic delayed installing high-intensity grinding mills at Santa Elena and San Dimas until the second and third quarters of 2019, respectively, to carry out more detailed engineering and process planning. The mills will improve recoveries and lower operating costs at the mines after completing ramp-up to commercial production in the second half of 2019.

Silver equivalent production in the first nine months of 2018 totaled 15.8 Moz, in line with full-year guidance of 20.5 Moz to 22.6 Moz.

The company will release third-quarter financials Nov. 6.