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* Q1 sales $52.3 mln vs $26.4 mln
* Shares up 5 pct (Adds details)
April 6 (Reuters) - Canadian precious metals explorer Minefinders Corp's first-quarter sales nearly doubled, helped by higher silver production, sending its shares up as much as 5 percent to a four-year high.
For the January-March quarter, the company reported total gold and silver revenue of $52.3 million, compared with $26.4 million last year.
During the quarter, the company sold 883,760 ounces of silver, a more than three-fold jump from last year.
However, gold sales fell 14 percent to 16,991 ounces largely due to lower production.
The company has forecast 2011 annual production of 65,000-70,000 ounces of gold and 3.3-3.5 million ounces of silver.
Shares of the Vancouver-based company were trading up 4 percent at C$14 on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Earlier they touched a high of C$14.10. (Reporting by Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)