Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd ("Avino" or "the Company") is pleased to announce that the start-up and commissioning of mill Circuit 3 has begun following the completion of construction of the milling, flotation and thickening components at its Avino property, located 80km northeast of Durango, Mexico.
The 1,000 tonne per day ball mill with its new clutch and electrical starter turned over on November 4, 2014 for its initial test. The charged ball mill start-up was extremely smooth with no significant problems; no vibrations could be felt on the entire grinding operating platform. Commissioning resumed on November 5, 2014 with the introduction of mill feed followed by starting and testing of the classification, flotation and thickening components. The testing revealed no significant issues as the tails and concentrate slurry progressed to their respective destinations.
"With our current expansion nearly complete we are very excited to add the Avino Mine to our production profile. The new circuit effectively triples our output capacity and we expect it to be online full time in early January 2015. We are also excited to announce that we reached another key operating milestone by surpassing one million ounces of silver equivalent1 production in October 2014, and that for fiscal 2014 we expect to reach 1.2 million silver equivalent1 ounces of production."
- David Wolfin, President, CEO & Director
1 For 2014, the Company applies a silver equivalent ounce ratio of 62.5:1 for silver to gold in respect of gold ounces produced and 6.25 lb copper to 1 oz silver in respect of payable copper pounds produced. Mill production figures have not been reconciled and are subject to adjustment with concentrate sales.
Photographs from management's recent trip to the mine can be viewed by clicking here.
On November 10, 2014, representatives from the supplier of the new pressure filter were on hand to assist with start-up and commissioning. Once operational, this automated self-contained unit will complete the configuration of Circuit 3. Currently, the representatives are still on site reviewing the installed piping and electrical wiring of the control system. Testing with thickened concentrate feed is expected to take place later this week.
During the testing and commissioning phase, feed to Circuit 3 will be from the historic above ground Avino Mine stockpiles which have feed grades ranging from 70 to 110g/t silver, 0.6 to 1.2g/t gold and approximately 0.1 to 0.15% copper. Concentrate produced during the testing phase is expected to be similar to the product from Circuit 2 produced between January and August of this year. Once the start-up phase is complete, Circuit 3 will transition to processing newly mined material from the Avino Mine.
Underground operations are also progressing with six active headings being developed. On level 11.5 and level 12, drifting to the east and west is underway. Additionally, active headings on the ramp to level 12.5 and towards the historical ventilation shaft used in previous mining activity are in progress.
Haulage of broken material from the underground mine is currently being processed using Circuit 2 with the excess material stockpiled outside the mine portal. The estimated stockpiled tonnage as at November 13, 2014 is approximately 19,000 dry metric tonnes.
With recent upgrades to the existing power line by the Mexican electricity commission ("CFE"), Avino has now has sufficient power to run all three circuits as well as to supply power for both underground operations. In addition to the CFE upgrade, Avino is still planning to complete the proposed new power line from Guadalupe de Victoria to the mine site which is scheduled for 2015. The onsite diesel generators will be kept for emergency power to prevent potential impacts on production in the event of a grid power outage.
Founded in 1968, Avino's mission is to create shareholder value through profitable organic growth at the historic Avino property near Durango, Mexico, and the strategic acquisition of mineral exploration and mining properties. We are committed to managing all business activities in an environmentally responsible and cost-effective manner, while contributing to the well-being of the communities in which we operate.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
David Wolfin, President & CEO
Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd.