The latest resource estimate for the La Preciosa silver project, being acquired by Avino Silver and Gold Mines (TSX: ASM; NYSE: ASM) in Durango, Mexico, totals 137 million oz. of silver-equivalent in all categories.
In the measured and indicated resource, using a 120 g/t silver-equivalent cut-off, is 17.4 million tonnes with an average grade of 176 g/t silver and 0.34 g/t gold for 99 million oz. contained silver and 189,000 oz. contained gold.
At the same cut-off grade, there are 4.4 million inferred tonnes with an average grade of 151 g/t silver and 0.25 g/t gold for 21 million oz. contained silver and 35,000 oz. contained gold.
Avino is acquiring La Preciosa from Coeur Mining (NYSE: CDE) for a cash total of $20 million. La Preciosa is a development-stage project adjacent to Avino’s existing operations at the Avino silver mine.
Coeur will retain a 1.25% net smelter return royalty on the Gloria and Abundancia areas of the project and a 2% gross value royalty on all other areas. Coeur currently owns more than 10% of Avino and has the right to nominate a director to Avino’s board.
In July 2014, Coeur prepared a feasibility study for La Preciosa outlining a 10,000 t/d open pit operation that would produce 10.3 million oz. of silver and 12,000 oz. of gold over an 11-year life.
Avino mounted drilled over 12,000 metres at the Avino property during the first nine months of the year and has plans to complete 30,000 metes by the end of the current program. The company closed the mine for an extended period in 2020 due to Covid-19 concerns. While production was interrupted, the company inspected underground, milling, and surface equipment to ensure to ensure all are in working condition. Production resumed in August 2021.
The time was also used to plan and gain community approval to create a dry-stack tailings area, which is to be operational in the first quarter of 2022. Mill data collection and automation studies were initiated and make improvements to mill circuit 4 to improve gold and silver recovery. Two additional load-haul-dumpers were also purchased for the mine.
The Avino mine has measured and indicated resources of 28 million tonnes grading 58 g/t silver and 0.54 g/t gold (129 g/t silver-equivalent) and containing 52.1 million oz. of silver and 370,000 oz. of gold. The inferred resource is 10.9 million tonnes at 47 g/t silver and 0.44 g/t gold (104 g/t silver-equivalent) and containing 16.4 million oz. of silver and 156,000 oz. of gold.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)