First Majestic Silver
|Traded as||TSX: FR NYSE: AG|
|Robert A. McCallum chair
Keith Neumeyer pres,ceo,dir
Raymond L. Polman cfo
|Products||Silver Zinc Lead|
Number of employees
|3,563 December 2012|
First Majestic Silver Corp. is a Canadian silver mining company that operates in Mexico. The Company has five producing mines under its control; the La Encantada Silver Mine, the La Parrilla Silver Mine, the San Martin Silver Mine, the La Guitarra Silver Mine (acquired in July 2012) and the recently inaugurated Del Toro Silver Mine. First Majestic also produces and sells its own bullion rounds and bars (others like Pan American Silver Corp. produce and market bullion through private mints).
According to the Company, production from its five mines is anticipated to be between 12.3 to 13.0 million ounces of silver equivalents or 11.1 to 11.7 million ounces of pure silver in 2013.
First Majestic was founded in 2002 by president and CEO Keith Neumeyer. In June 2006 First Majestic acquired First Silver Reserve Inc (initially just a controlling stake and within three months it purchased all remaining interest), owner of the San Martin silver property in central Mexico. Then in September 2006 it took control of Desmin, the owner/operator of La Encantada (Coahuila, Mexico) in a US$4.75 million deal (ownership of the mine was purchased through Desmin from Industrias Penoles for US$3.25 million). At the time La Encantada produced 800,000 ounces per year operating at 40% of capacity; the mine was First Majestic's third.
According to the stock chart on its website and the company's profile on the TSX Venture Exchange website, it is listed since 2002 (but the oldest part of the company goes back as far as 1984 (Brandy Resources Inc).
On March 5, 2009 it graduated to the Toronto Stock Exchange with an initial offering of Cdn$25 million. About a year and a half later it joined the New York Stock Exchange (Dec.23, 2010).
In 2009 First Majestic added a fourth silver project when it acquired Normabec Mining Resources Ltd (completed in September). Initially the deal was thought to have included both Mexico's Real de Catorce mine and Quebec's Pitt Gold Property however non Mexican assets (including Pitt Gold) were spun off into a new company called Bionor Resources Inc.
There are five in total:
- La Encantada has been in the Company's portfolio of assets since 2006 and includes a 4,000 tpd cyanidation mill. It is located in northern Mexico within a couple hundred km of the Mexico-Texas border. The site employs 782 full-time workers (most from the immediate area which is an isolated region). The mill there opened in the summer of 2008 and reached commercial production in April 2010.
- La Parrilla consists of mining rights covering 69,460 hectares of land, making it First Majestic's largest land package. The property recently underwent an expansion project that saw the mill capacity increase to 2,000 tpd. Since 1983 the mine (operating continuously) has produced over 25 million ounces of silver (as of 2010).
- Del Toro, Chalchihuites, Zacatecas - Del Toro consists of two mine sites; San Juan and Perseverancia. The first phase of the project was inaugurated in January 2013, and the mill began processing at a rate of 1,000 tpd. Further expansions are planned for this project, and it will ultimately reach 4,000 tpd.
- San Martin, Jalisco State, Mexico - San Martin produces approximately 1 million ounces of silver annually. It is primarily a silver doré producer.
- La Guitarra, Mexico State, Mexico - La Guitarra became First Majestic's fourth producing mine when it was acquired from Vancouver based Silvermex Resources in July 2012.
Environmental Impacts on Wirikuta
Wirikuta one of the sacred mountains of the Huichol people, important in their ceremonial migration, Peyote hunt, and deer dance is being purchased for silver mining by First Majestic Silver Corp. On October 27, 2000 United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) claimed this site as a protected area for its importance as a cultural route and endemic flora and fauna species. Before a gathering go 60,000 people at Wirikuta Fest on May 26, 2012, First Majestic silver announced it had returned some of their mining concessions to the national mining reserve to protect Wirikuta, but the Wixarika Regional Council expose this as a farce. Later on June 9, 2001 it was declared as a National Sacred Site under the State of San Luis Potosi's Natural Protection act. Canada's First Majestic Silver Corp still decided to purchase mineral rights on November 13, 2009 with 80% of their interest within the protected land.
The company's current methods includes open pit mining and lixiviation through cyanide, using two kilograms of NaCN per tonne of ore. While open pit mining itself removes entire habitats and landscapes, the addition of sodium cyanide, NaCN, is a lethal method requiring only 0.2 grams to kill a person. In April, 2010 the company also opened a new cyanidation plant in Coahuila, Mexico where it has started producing 3500 tons of cyanide a day to help them expand their mining efforts. Currently the Huicholes are trying to find outside groups to help them in the conservation of their land and culture by protecting this mountain, as well as appealing to the President to honor his agreement to protect their holy sites.
- "First Majestic to run La Encantada silver mine". 2006-09-01.
- "First Majestic Silver Corp SEC Notification". 2009-02-18.
- "First Majestic Silver Corp. Completes Acquisition of Normabec Mining Resources". 2009-12-13.
- Salvemos Wirikuta-Tamatzimahuaha: Frente en Defensa de la Zona Wirikuta. http://salvemoswirikuta.blogspot.com/2010/08/huichol-route-through-sacred-sites-to.html
- Press Release by the Wixarika Regional Council http://frenteendefensadewirikuta.org/wirikuta-en-bk?p=1212
- Liezel Hill 8th April 2010, TORONTO. First Majestic reports commercial production at new cyanidation plant. Mining Weekly. http://www.miningweekly.com/article/first-majestic-reports-commercial-production-at-new-cyanidation-plant-2010-04-08.