Silver Standard Resources Inc. has announced its first-quarter 2014 operational results for the Pirquitas mine in Jujuy, Argentina. The results were in line with the year-ago quarter but lower than the sequentially preceding quarter.
The mine produced 1.9 million ounces silver in the quarter, down about 15.9% from the fourth quarter of 2013. Silver Standard produced 8.8 million pounds of zinc, lower than 10.3 million pounds produced in the fourth quarter.
The sequential decline was due to the early rainy season, which abstained the company from accessing the ore locations. Silver Standard had to resort to lower grade material from stockpiles for the ore supply, which affected the head grade. The oxidized nature of the material also lowered the recovery rate.
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During the quarter, the company sold 1.5 million ounces of silver and 10.2 million pounds of zinc, down 41.3% and 28% sequentially, respectively. Silver concentrate sales were below the production for the quarter.
The company milled 406,000 tons of ore compared with 420,000 tons in the fourth quarter of 2013. Ore milled during the first quarter contained an average silver grade of 204 g/t compared with 228 g/t in the fourth quarter of 2013. The company milled 4,514 tons per day on average during the first quarter, up 13% from nominal design.
Silver Standard reiterated its production guidance of 1.9 million ounces of silver and 8.8 million pounds of zinc for 2014.
Silver Standard, which is among the leading players in the silver mining industry along with Pan American Silver Corp. (PAAS - Free Report) and Hecla Mining (HL - Free Report) , currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The company is slated to release its first-quarter 2014 results on May 8.
Alexco Resource Corp. (AXU - Free Report) , with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), is a good investment option in the silver mining industry.