09:10:45 EDT Fri 29 Sep 2023
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or Name

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Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd
Symbol ASM
Shares Issued 118,349,090
Close 2023-01-23 C$ 1.09
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Avino expects 2023 production of 2.8M to 3.2M AgEq oz

2023-01-24 12:03 ET - News Release

Mr. David Wolfin reports


Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. has released its outlook for 2023 and a recap of the major milestones achieved in 2022.

Two thousand twenty-three outlook


For 2023, approximately 700,000 to 750,000 tonnes are planned for mill processing and will be sourced from both the Avino mine and stockpiles from La Preciosa. Based on current metal prices, the company expects to produce between 2.8 million and 3.2 million silver equivalent ounces. In addition, the company aims to exceed the budgeted plans for 2023 through the integration of La Preciosa into the mill feed mix.

Capital budget

At current metal prices, capital expenditures will be paid for by operating cash flows generated from mining operations during Q4 2022 and throughout 2023.

Growth capital

The company's budgeted growth capital for 2023 includes expenditures at all three of its assets in Durango, all of which feature prominently in the company's five-year growth plan.

At La Preciosa, growth capital includes equipment acquisitions and procurement intended for the first phase of mine development in conjunction with the company's internal mine plan for the Gloria and Abundancia veins.

At the oxide tailings project (OTP), the company has performed the recommended metallurgical test work and is awaiting finalization of the results. With conclusive results, the existing preliminary economic assessment (PEA) will be used as the framework for a prefeasibility study (PFS). The previous PEA was released in 2017. The company will provide further updates on the commencement of the PFS on the OTP during the first half of 2023.

Exploration and evaluation

The company's budgeted exploration and evaluation expenditures for 2023 are focused on further drilling below level 17 at the ET area of the Avino mine, where the company successfully extended mineralization over 300 metres below the lowest level of production mining operations. A further 8,000 metres of drilling have been budgeted at this time. Exploration may not be limited to this area and, during the year, the company's priority targets may change if geological interpretations on other areas present enhanced opportunity.

Sustaining capital and mine development

At Avino, budgeted sustaining capital and mine development expenditures include rehabilitation and overhauls of the company's existing mining fleet, upgrades to the crushing circuits at the mill and continuing mine maintenance to ensure underground safety, as well as planning for mining at deeper levels below the current bottom of the mine.

"Two thousand twenty-two was a pivotal year for the growth of Avino," said David Wolfin, president and chief executive officer. "We were thrilled to close the acquisition of La Preciosa in March, which factors prominently into our growth plan to become an intermediate producer. In addition, the team delivered two record-breaking quarters of production, outperforming market expectations and positioning us well for continued growth in 2023. The exploration program for 2022 was highlighted by encouraging results on two fronts, the oxide tailings project and the extension of the Avino vein over 300 metres below the current lowest level of mining operations. For the oxide tailings project, 127 holes were drilled to take metallurgical test work samples and to update and expand the resource. Once the metallurgical test work program is complete, we will advance the oxide tailings project to the prefeasibility study level. At ET, drilling from below level 17 was highly promising and confirmed that mineralization continues at depth, with higher grades. An updated site-wide mineral resource update is pending and will be finalized in the next few weeks, where we expect very positive results. The dry-stack tailings facility, a major capital project with a focus on environmental best practice for Avino, was completed, commissioned and is now operational. Finally, we are are looking forward to the year and to continued success on our path to transformation growth. We continue to believe that both silver and copper will be in high demand as the global trend for renewables and a green energy economy is on the fast-track to achieve net zero."

Two thousand twenty-two milestones achieved

The company's internal estimate for production was between 2.2 million and 2.4 million AgEq (silver equivalent) and capital expenditures for 2022 were expected to total between $7-million (U.S.) and $9-million (U.S.), excluding the acquisition of La Preciosa. In addition, it included a drill program targeting areas and veins on the property, including the recommended drilling on the oxide tailings project, the construction of the dry-stack tailings facility and metallurgical projects to help improve recovery rates.

A summary of the achieved objectives and milestones for 2022

  • Acquisition of La Preciosa -- strategic growth: During Q1 2022, Avino announced that it had successfully closed the acquisition of La Preciosa, which advances the company's growth strategy as it aims to become Mexico's next intermediate silver producer with mineral resource estimates totalling over 290 million silver equivalent ounces.
  • Two thousand twenty-two production -- beating internal production estimates: The company's internal estimate for production for 2022 was between 2.2 million and 2.4 million AgEq. Actual production for 2022 was 2,655,502 AgEq, outperforming the upper range of the internal estimate by over 250,000 AgEq.
  • Dry-stack tailings -- complete: The installation and commissioning of the dry-stack tailings project has been completed, with the facility now fully operational. The company chose this method for its environmental, safety and economic advantages.
  • Increased Avino mine underground operations: The ramp up of underground mining operations continued throughout 2022, as evidenced by 58 per cent of the annual silver equivalent production coming in H2 2022. In 2022, 541,823 tonnes were processed from the Avino mine, an increase of 228 per cent over 2021.
  • Exploration drilling: The company focused on two areas in 2022 and included budgeting a total of 15,000 metres for phase 2 drilling below the current lowest level of production mining (level 17) at the ET area of the Avino mine. In 2022, the company completed over 15,500 metres of drilling, delivering on the promise to reinvest into exploration at Avino.
  • Oxide tailings project -- at the oxide tailings project, a further 17 holes were drilled, bringing the total number of holes drilled to 127. In 2022, the company performed all the remaining recommended drilling from the 2017 preliminary economic assessment. Further, the company completed its comprehensive metallurgical test work and is awaiting the results. The company expects to provide further updates on the commencement of the PFS on the OTP during the first half of 2023.
  • Work force training: Avino continues to be dedicated to building and maintaining a local work force. Training programs that started in 2021 remain continuing, with the company providing inclusive opportunities; several females are being trained in surface and underground production jobs.
  • Digital transformation: During the year, the company continued to digitally transform certain areas at the mine to enhance efficiencies including mill automation and underground vehicle tracking.
  • Avino receives ESR award: Avino received for the first time, the ESR "Empresa Socialmente Responsible ESR 2022" award granted by the Mexican Center for Philanthropy (El Centro Mexicano para la Filantropia or Cemefi, and the Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility (Alizanza por la Responsabilidad Social Empresarial (AliaRSE)). The ESR award is obtained through a diagnostic process based on indicators reviewed and endorsed annually by a committee of experts in the various CSR areas, supported with documentary evidence, an assessment differentiated by company size and by maturity levels, and an external verification process. Avino continues to view its social responsibility with importance; it cares for our communities.

Qualified person

Peter Latta, PEng, MBA, Avino's VP (vice-president) of technical who is a qualified person within the context of National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical data in this news release.

Additional information

Avino will release 2022 year-end financial results in mid-March, 2023; it will hold a conference call to discuss the results.

About Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd.

Avino is a silver producer from its wholly owned Avino mine near Durango, Mexico. The company's silver, gold and copper production remains unhedged. The company's mission and strategy is to create shareholder value through its focus on profitable organic growth at the historic Avino property and the strategic acquisition of the La Preciosa property. Avino currently controls mineral resources, as per NI 43-101, that total 290 million silver equivalent ounces, within the company's district-scale land package. The company is committed to managing all business activities in a safe, environmentally responsible and cost-effective manner, while contributing to the well-being of the communities in which the company operates.

We seek Safe Harbor.

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