Vancouver-based junior miner Avino Silver & Gold Mines (TSX: ASM; NYSE-AM: ASM) had a mixed second quarter of production at its Avino property in Mexico’s Durango state, with copper production up sharply but gold and silver production declining.
During the second quarter, Avino produced 1,734 oz. gold (versus 1,954 oz. gold in the year-ago quarter), 323,014 oz. silver (386,002 oz. silver) and 1,480,830 lb. copper (1,233,161 lb. copper), or total silver equivalent of 738,853 oz. (698,172 oz.).
That translates to drops of 11% and 16% in gold and silver production, but gains of 31% and 6% in copper and silver-equivalent production.
Avino attributes the higher copper output to extra production from the commissioning of Mill Circuit 4, and the lower precious metals output to lower gold and silver grades in feed from the Avino and San Gonzalo mines, which is related to the deposit’s grade variability in various mining areas.
Mill Circuit 4 has a 1,000 tonne per day capacity and started-up in February, with commissioning to last through the end of 2018.
The company says it will continue to process historic stockpile material through Mill Circuit 4 until the end of the year, and then transition to processing newly mined mill fee from the mine’s San Luis area.
Avino is continuing to look at the viability of processing the historic tailings at San Gonzalo to recover precious metals and zinc.
In B.C., Avino is planning for future production at the former Bralorne gold mine, located in the mountains only 248 km north of Vancouver.