First Majestic Silver Corp. is a Canadian silver mining company that operates in Mexico. The Company has five producing mines under its control; La Encantada Silver Mine, La Parrilla Silver Mine, San Martin Silver Mine, 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:
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 of 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 Potosí'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.