Avino Silver and Gold Mines Ltd. (“Avino” or “The Company”) is pleased to provide the following update of activities in the 1st quarter 2012 at its Avino’s mine operation located near Durango, Mexico.
SAN GONZALO DEVELOPMENT
The decline from level 3 to level 4 has advanced 238 metres to date, a total of 155 metres remain until the level 4 elevation of 2172 metres is reached. Drifting on the San Gonzalo vein on the 3rd level is almost complete with the length of mineralized zone approaching 80 metres. The installation of the extraction drift to mine this zone with the accompanying draw points and raises have been planned for this month. The new scoops are now operational and mine productivity has improved. The power line servicing the mine is now in place and awaiting the power company to energize it. The new air compressor complete with the air receiver tank is also now running with minimum downtime; there are plans to replace the jack legs with a new jumbo in order to increase the advance rate of the ramp.
Total stockpile tonnage from San Gonzalo to date is 15,000 tonnes and consists of development and mineralized material from level 2 as well as mineralized development material from level 3 taken while drifting on the vein.
ET (AVINO) DEVELOPMENT
As indicated in our news release of March 5th 2012, we have started to add key staff for the reopening of the Avino mine that was shutdown in 2001 due to low metal prices and the closure of the smelter. We expect to continue adding staff as we ramp up the different activities that are slated in the coming year.
Permits have been solicited for the treatment of the mine water to enable dewatering to commence. A pilot water treatment plant is being constructed as per the permit conditions. Also permitting of the new tailings storage facility is underway and there are plans to modify the design that was accepted in the mid-nineties to meet the current regulations. A request for quotation for the design and construction of the facility are being solicited.
With the increase in power demand expected with the mine reopening and the operation of the 1000tpd mill circuit, ongoing discussions with the power company are underway to discuss any issues that may surface with regards to additional power usage.
Milling operations have continued with the processing of the old Avino ET stockpiles at the rate of approximately 180tpd. With more than expected mill feed available from old stockpile tonnage, the mill has been operating 7 days per week, 24 hours per day since the beginning of March. The company will continue with this mill work schedule unless there is an issue with the quantity of mill feed. For the 1st quarter, the mill processed an estimated 14,600 tonnes of feed material producing 176 tonnes of concentrate grading approximately 3169 g/t silver and 39 g/t gold with minor amounts of copper. Proposals are being solicited for the sale of this concentrate.
All remaining concentrate inventory produced in 2011 has been sold with the last shipment trucked to Manzanillo in February. The provisional invoice for this shipment is being prepared for payment; the final invoice is not expected for another 2 months until the final weights, assays and metal prices are established.
The updated technical report (PEA) in the tailings has been finalized by Tetra Tech (Wardrop) and filed on SEDAR as well as the Avino website. The recommendations outlined by Wardrop on grid drilling to firm up the resource estimate and metallurgical test work are proceeding as planned.
As at the end of March, the Company had a direct workforce of 155. This total includes all the contract workers from DMG, Phase Drilling and the ore haulage contractor. In addition to the direct jobs, there are numerous indirect jobs created with Avino’s growing operation. Nearby towns including the major centre of Durango are benefitting from the supply of goods and services that an operating mine requires. Avino’s relationship with the citizens of the nearby towns of Avino de San Jose and Panuco de Coronado are good since they are benefitting from free medical services from the Company employed medical doctor.
Technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Jasman Yee, P. Eng, the Company’s Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101.
Founded in 1968, Avino’s mission is to create shareholder value through profitable growth at the historic Avino property near Durango, Mexico. 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
President & CEO
This news release includes certain forward-looking statements or information. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this release, including, without limitation, statements relating to the potential mineralization and geological merits of the Avino mine property and other future plans, objectives or expectations of Avino Silver and Gold Mines Ltd. (the “Company”) are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s plans or expectations include risks relating to the actual results of current exploration activities, fluctuating gold prices, possibility of equipment breakdowns and delays, exploration cost overruns, availability of capital and financing, general economic, market or business conditions, regulatory changes, timeliness of government or regulatory approvals and other risks detailed herein and from time to time in the filings made by the Company with securities regulators. The Company expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise except as otherwise required by applicable securities legislation. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This release contains statements that are forward-looking statements and are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific factors disclosed under the heading “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in the Company’s periodic filings with Canadian securities regulators. Such information contained herein represents management’s best judgment as of the date hereof based on information currently available. The Company does not assume the obligation to update any forward-looking statement.