* Silver equivalent production up 3 percent
* La Parrilla expansion goes into commercial production
* Shares down 1.21 percent at C$15.48
April 16 (Reuters) - First Majestic Silver Corp reported higher first-quarter production numbers on Monday and said the expansion of its La Parrilla mine and mill in Mexico had achieved commercial production.
Total silver equivalent output rose 3 percent to 2 million ounces in the first quarter of 2012, compared with 1.8 million ounces in the year-earlier period. Gold production rose 74 percent to 611 ounces.
First Majestic expects to produce 8.9 to 9.4 million ounces of equivalent silver in 2012, up from with 7.6 million ounces in 2011.
The Vancouver-based miner, which is expanding capacity at its La Parrilla operations to 2,000 tonnes a day from 850 tonnes a day, said the cyanidation circuit at the project was complete.
The installation of new tailings filters will be completed in the second quarter. The mill is currently running at 1,850 tonnes a day, the Mexico-focused company said.
Construction at its Del Toro project, also in Mexico, is underway and First Majestic expects to start production in the fourth quarter.
The company’s shares were down 1.21 percent at C$15.48 at midday on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.