TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Junior miner Avino Silver & Gold Mines has declared commercial production, effective from April 1, at the Avino 'ET' mine, located on the Avino property in Durango, Mexico.
Following a 19-month advancement and test period, the TSX-V-listed company had brought online its second and largest mine on the Avino property.
Avino advised on Monday that underground mining had started on the upper level 11.5 using the long-hole retreat sub-level caving method. The advancement and test period had established that mineral recoveries were at, or above, levels necessary for positive cash flows and profitability which, among other critical factors, were significant in concluding that a production decision could be made.
During the test period, the mill had consistently processed ore at levels above design capacity and budgeted production levels of 1 250 t/d, with consistent recoveries and grades.
The company had previously secured a long-term sales agreement with Samsung Construction & Trading UK. Samsung had provided Avino with a term facility that had provided capital to facilitate further expansion and development of the Avino mine, the company stated.
Since full-scale processing began in January 2015, the Avino mine had produced 944 165 oz of silver, 3 444 oz of gold and 6.09-million pounds of copper, or 2.28-million pounds of copper-equivalent. During this period, proceeds from the sale of Avino concentrates totalled C$26.7-million, but were classified as a recovery of exploration and evaluation expenses, rather than revenue.
Starting in the second quarter of 2016, Avino would report the proceeds as revenue and would also report on production costs.