The San Gonzalo Mine is located approximately 2 km from the original Avino mine and beneath the shallow workings of an old mine from the colonial period. It constitutes a strongly developed vein system over 25 m across, trending 300 to 325 degrees, dip 80 NE to 77 SW. The original underground workings extend over an area approximately 150 m along strike and 136 m in depth.
On October 1st 2012, Avino commenced mineral processing at levels intended by management at the San Gonzalo Mine. Operations are ongoing, comparative figures are presented below:
|Feed Grade Silver (g/t)||259||288||337||279||267||269|
|Feed Grade Gold (g/t)||1.04||1.34||1.88||1.48||1.25||1.32|
|Recovery Silver (%)||79||83||84||83||83||84|
|Recovery Gold (%)||70||73||78||75||74||78|
|Total Silver Produced (oz)||128,607||602,233||724,931||907,384||822,689||590,765|
|Total Gold Produced (oz)||455||2,473||3,740||4,326||3,427||2,675|
|Total Silver Equivalent¹ Produced (oz)||151,372||751,462||958,702||1,218,351||1,073,062||789,157|
|All in Sustaining Cash Cost² per oz Ag Eq.($CAD)||N/A||$14.15||$11.96||$12.15||$12.46||N/A|
|All in Sustaining Cash Cost² per oz Ag Eq.($CAD)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||$9.40||N/A|
1 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.
2 The Company reports non-IFRS measures which include cash cost per silver equivalent ounce, all-in sustaining cash cost per ounce, and cash flow per share. These measures are widely used in the mining industry as a benchmark for performance, but do not have a standardized meaning and the calculation methods may differ from methods used by other companies with similar reported measures.
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.
The San Gonzalo Mine is an underground operation that uses both shrinkage stoping and cut and fill mining methods to extract mineralized material. Once mineralized material has been broken from the stopes, it is transported to the surface and trucked 2 km to the mill where it waits to be processed.
A 250 tonne per day bulk flotation circuit at the processing plant is then used to produce a bulk concentrate that contains silver, gold, lead and zinc. The concentrate is then shipped to Manzanillo, Mexico on a monthly basis where it is sold to a trading company.
Avino is continuing to explore the San Gonzalo zone as well as other high-potential targets on the property to expand known resources and the mine’s output. 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 is seeking to define new high potential targets that were not visible or accessible in the past.
In 2017, Avino is continuing both surface and underground drill programs to further explore the San Gonzalo vein at depth as well as other high priority targets on the property.
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.