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Minefinders increases Q3 precious metals production

Mexico-focused miner Minefinders (TSE:MLF)(AMEX:MFN) Wednesday posted an almost four-fold increase in third-quarter sales as it said gold and silver production at its Dolores mine also grew in the period.

For the three months that ended September 30, the company said precious metals sales were $53.8 million, up from $13.6 million a year earlier. 

The company increased silver production to 692,121 ounces from 184,887 in the third quarter a year ago, and produced 16,278 ounces of gold, up from 7,447 ounces in the year-prior period.

Minefinders also said it was on track to produce 65,000 to 70,000 ounces of gold, and 3.3 to 3.5 million ounces of silver for 2011.

Production during the third quarter was lower than planned, the company said, as it was affected by the main cyanide supplier issuing a force majeure in June, forcing the Vancouver-headquartered miner to conserve cyanide, used in the heap leach process to recover metals. A collapsed pipe at a leach pad also reduced output.

Minefinders said, however, that cyanide supplies have since been restored and the pipe will be repaired next month, expecting production to improve in the fourth quarter.

Shares in the company were down 2.63% at $14.81. For the year to date, Minefinders shares are up 35.6%.

The company will publish full third-quarter earnings November 7 after the market closes.