Avino Mine

The Avino Vein was mined during 27 years of open pit and underground production prior to 2001. It is 1.6 km long and 60 m wide on the surface and is situated right next to the processing plant. The deepest level mined prior to 2001 was level 11.5 (330 m below the surface). The mine was closed in November 2001 due to low metal prices (Silver US$4.37/oz, Gold US$283/oz, Copper US$0.65/lb) and the closure of a key smelter. From 1997 - 2001, the mine and mill, averaged 1,000 tpd and achieved up to 1,300 tpd. During the final 3 full years of operation, production averaged 1.7 million ounces of silver equivalent annually. For more on the history of the Avino Mine click here.

The Avino Vein was mined during 27 years of open pit and underground production prior to 2001. It is 1.6 km long and 60 m wide on the surface and is situated right next to the processing plant. The deepest level mined prior to 2001 was level 11.5 (330 m below the surface). The mine was closed in November 2001 due to low metal prices (Silver US$4.37/oz, Gold US$283/oz, Copper US$0.65/lb) and the closure of a key smelter. From 1997 - 2001, the mine and mill, averaged 1,000 tpd and achieved up to 1,300 tpd. During the final 3 full years of operation, production averaged 1.7 million ounces of silver equivalent annually. For more on the history of the Avino Mine click here.

Operations

Following several years of redevelopment, the Company completed its Avino Mine and mill expansion in Q4 2014. Full scale underground operations commenced at the Elena Tolosa area of the mine on January 1, 2015, and commercial production was declared effective April 1, 2016 following a 19-month advancement and test period. Mineralized material from Elena Tolosa is processed into a copper –silver-gold concentrate using one of four bulk floatation circuits (Mill Circuit 3) at Avino’s on site processing plant at the rate of 1,000 tonnes per day (TPD).

In 2018, Avino completed an expansion to its processing plant with the addition of a fourth bulk floatation circuit (Mill Circuit 4) rated at 1,000 TPD; increasing the combined throughput capacity of the plant to 2,500 TPD.  To feed the new circuit, in early 2018 the Company began development work at the San Luis area of Avino Mine which was last mined prior to closure in the 1990’s.

San Luis is accessed through a separate portal located approximately 2 km from the main entrance of the Avino Mine (Elena Tolosa area). Work in 2018 focused on the restoration of the main haulage ramp as well as development and drifting in levels that were only partially developed in the 1990’s. By the second half of 2018, sufficient mineralized material from San Luis had been mined to feed one of the processing plant’s 250 TPD circuits (Mill Circuit 2). Development work continues to increase the rate of mined tonnage to a level sufficient to feed the new 1,000 TPD Mill Circuit 4. In the interim, Mill Circuit 4 is being used to process Avino Historic Above Ground (AHAG) stockpiles which remain from historic operations.

Operations are ongoing. Comparative production figures from the Avino are presented below (figures do not include production from the AHAG stockpiles):

 

2018

2017

2016

Total Mill Feed (dry tonnes)

426,794

460,890

450,281

Feed Grade Silver (g/t)

53

64

67

Feed Grade Gold (g/t)

0.49

0.52

0.42

Feed Grade Copper (%)

0.55

0.48

0.50

Recovery Silver (%)

84%

85%

87%

Recovery Gold (%)

69%

69%

64%

Recovery Copper (%)

87%

89%

90%

Total Silver Produced (Kg)

19,109

24,990

24,552

Total Gold Produced (g)

143,843

163,582

114,812

Total Copper Produced (Lbs)

4,546,952

4,373,166

4,206,585

Total Silver Equivalent Produced (oz)*

1,847,303

1,911,428

1,606,272

*Metal Production is expressed in terms of silver equivalent ounces, (oz Ag Eq.), the formula for which depends on the gold and silver metal prices used in each year and hence are only indicative. In 2018, AgEq was calculated using metals prices of $15.71 oz Ag, $1,270 oz Au and $2.96 lb Cu. In 2017, AgEq was calculated using metals prices of $17.05 oz Ag, $1,258 oz Au and $2.80 lb Cu. In 2016, AgEq was calculated using metals prices of $17.10 oz Ag, $1,248 oz Au and $2.21 lb Cu.

Resource Estimates

In February 2018, Avino announced the results of an updated resource estimate for the Avino property. The updated estimate encompasses the Property’s San Gonzalo Mine, the Avino Mine vein systems, and the Property’s Oxide Tailings. The mineral resources estimate has been included in an updated technical report prepared by Aranz Geo Ltd. under National Instrument 43-101 (“NI-43-101”), which was filed on SEDAR under the Company’s profile on April 6, 2018. For More information see Avino’s press release dated February 21, 2018.

Exploration

Avino will continue to explore around the Avino Mine as well as other high-potential targets on the property to expand known resources. Historic near-to-surface mining on the property has left many clues as to where mineralization hot spots are located. Using modern technology to integrate, manage and interpret more than 80 km of Induced Polarization (IP) Geophysics, 1,500 soil samples, satellite imagery, data from ongoing drilling and historic data, the company will seek to define new high potential targets that were not visible or accessible in the past.

Avino owns both a surface and underground drill and conducts the drilling internally. The surface LY-44 drill was recently fully rehabilitated with replacement components to make it more powerful; it now has a capacity of 800 metres using an NQ drill hole diameter.

In 2018, Avino released results from a drill program targeting the Chirumbo, Guadelupe and San Juventino areas which showed grade continuity and further extension of the main Avino vein to the northeast, and also demonstrated additional mineralization between the current areas at Elena Tolosa and the San Gonzalo mine (for detailed results, please see Avino’s press releases dated February 6, 2018 and July 11 2018).

In addition, 11 holes were drilled from the Avino Open Pit Mine Area from surface into the footwall and hanging wall to the main Avino vein, showing a range of gold, silver and copper grades at different widths (for detailed results please see Avino’s press release dated December 4, 2018)

Qualified Person(s)

Avino’s Mexican projects are under the supervision of  Peter Latta, P.Eng, MBA, Senior Technical Advisor, Avino and Jasman Yee P.Eng, Avino Director, both of whom are qualified persons within the context of National Instrument 43-101 and have reviewed and approved the technical data herein.

Under National Instrument 43-101, the Company is required to disclose that it has not based its production decisions on NI 43-101-compliant reserve estimates, preliminary economic assessments, or feasibility studies, and historically projects without such reports have increased uncertainty and risk of economic viability. The Company’s decision to place a mine into operation at levels intended by management, expand a mine, make other production-related decisions, or otherwise carry out mining and processing operations is largely based on internal non-public Company data, and on reports based on exploration and mining work by the Company and by geologists and engineers engaged by the Company. The results of this work are evident in the Company’s discovery of the San Gonzalo resource, and in the Company’s record of mineral production and financial returns since operations at levels intended by management commenced at the San Gonzalo Mine in 2012. This approach is being applied for the advancement of the Avino Mine project, for which similar risks and uncertainties have been identified.

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