April 10 (Reuters) - Precious metals producer North American Palladium Ltd reported higher first-quarter production at its flagship Lac des Iles mine in Ontario.
The Canadian company said preliminary first-quarter production came in at 41,760 ounces of payable palladium at the the mine located north of Thunder Bay, Ontario, compared with last year’s output of 30,661 ounces.
Payable palladium is the quantity of metal within the concentrate, which is sold by the company.
The cash cost for producing an ounce of payable palladium was about $380, down from $519, a year ago.
The company -- which primarily mines and explores for palladium but also for gold -- stuck to its 2012 outlook of producing 150,000 to 160,000 ounces of palladium.
North American Palladium has been operating its Lac des Iles mine since 1993 and also runs the Vezza gold mine in the Abitibi region of Quebec, which is targeted to start commercial production in the second quarter of 2012.
In January, the company said it would stop production at its Sleeping Giant gold mine in Quebec.
North American Palladium shares closed at C$2.40 on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.