03:55:14 EDT Thu 25 Apr 2024
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Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd
Symbol ASM
Shares Issued 130,001,329
Close 2024-03-20 C$ 0.79
Market Cap C$ 102,701,050
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Avino Silver earns $542,000 (U.S.) in 2023

2024-03-20 18:31 ET - News Release

Mr. Nathan Harte reports


Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. has released its consolidated financial results for the company's fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2023. (Dollar amounts are in U.S. dollars except as otherwise indicated.)

Fourth quarter 2023 financial highlights:

  • Revenues of $12.5-million;
  • Mine operating income of $2.6-million, $3.6-million net of non-cash costs of sales;
  • Net income of $600,000;
  • Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $1.1-million;
  • Adjusted earnings of $2.0-million;
  • Cash costs per silver equivalent ounce payable sold of $15.04;
  • All-in sustaining cash costs per equivalent payable ounce sold of $21.67.

Full-year 2023 financial highlights:

  • Revenues of $43.9-million;
  • Mine operating income of $7.8-million, $11.1-million net of non-cash costs of sales;
  • Net income of $500,000;
  • EBITDA of $2.5-million;
  • Adjusted earnings of $4.6-million;
  • Cash costs per silver equivalent payable ounce sold of $15.61;
  • All-in sustaining cash costs per silver equivalent payable ounce sold of $21.87;
  • Cash of $2.7-million at Dec. 31, 2023;
  • Working capital of $9.7-million at Dec. 31, 2023.

The earnings should be read in conjunction with the company's financial statements and management's discussion and analysis (MD&A) for the corresponding period, which can be viewed on the company's website, on SEDAR+ or on EDGAR.

"The fourth quarter showed steady improvement with positive net income and reduced operating costs," said Nathan Harte, chief financial officer. "With lower per-ounce costs and improved margins, we are well positioned for 2024. With costs stabilizing in Mexico, our team has worked diligently to preserve our cost structure. Working capital has improved throughout the year, up to close to $10-million at the end of the year, and we remain confident in our plans to move forward with La Preciosa without significant capital spending."

"Cash management remains top of mind and Avino, like other Mexican miners in 2023, experienced inflationary pressures, coupled with a stronger Mexican peso. This environment proved challenging," said David Wolfin, president and chief executive officer. "However, through strong cost control measures across the company, we have been able to moderately lower costs over the last quarter. We continue to focus on our growth goals and have recently made significant progress with our plans for La Preciosa, our development stage mineral property, which hosts a large undeveloped primary silver resource in Mexico, which is located adjacent to Avino's existing operations in Durango, Mexico. The addition of La Preciosa's mineral resource inventory significantly increased Avino's consolidated NI 43-101 mineral resources, which is currently 371 million silver equivalent ounces."

Fourth quarter and FY 2023 highlights

La Preciosa

On Feb. 28, 2024, the company provided an update on recently completed and continuing work in connection with La Preciosa. Capital costs for 2024 are expected to be between $3.0-million (U.S.) and $4.0-million (U.S.) and will include surface works and equipment procurement intended for the first phase of mine development for the Gloria and Abundancia veins. Avino already has the mining equipment necessary to commence operations at La Preciosa. The application for the environmental permit has been submitted by the company to the relevant authorities. A further permit will be submitted shortly after receipt of the environmental permit, which is required to commence the construction of the portal, haulage ramp, and the mining of the Gloria and Abundancia veins. Avino anticipates receiving these permits some time in 2024. Avino is fully committed to moving this project forward as it factors prominently in the company's five-year growth strategy. Recent photos from the La Preciosa property can be viewed on the company's website.

Consistent production results at Avino

Silver equivalent production was steady, although 27 per cent lower compared with Q4 2022 and 9 per cent lower compared with full year 2022. Overall production was impacted by mining in lower-grade areas. Although grades were lower in 2023, the company did see positive increases as it moved into other blocks of the mine in the fourth quarter. Two thousand twenty-three planned production levels for 2024, both the Avino mine and stockpiles from La Preciosa will be 700,000 to 750,000 tonnes for mill processing. Targeted full-year production is between 2.5 million and 2.8 million silver equivalent ounces.

Prefeasibility study -- oxide tailings project

On Feb. 5, 2024, the company announced the completion of the prefeasibility study (PFS) for its oxide tailings project (OTP) at the Avino mine operations. The completion of the PFS is a key milestone in the company's growth trajectory.

The study highlighted proven and probable mineral reserves, a first in Avino's long history, of 6.70 million tonnes at a silver and gold grade of 55 grams per tonne (g/t) and 0.47 g/t, respectively.

The OTP is considered one of the company's three catalysts for growth as a future gold and silver production asset.

2023 drill programs -- announced exceptional drill results

Avino completed its planned and budgeted drilling program for 2023 by drilling 7,545 metres in 13 drill holes. This included the best intercept in Avino's 55-year history and was announced on July 5, 2023. Avino's team of geologists is implementing recommendations made by the company's consulting structural geologists to further study the potential of the entire mineralization. Drilling news releases for the year were issued on Jan. 5, 2023, May 23, 2023, July 5, 2023, and Sept. 14, 2023.

Avino exploration and evaluation for 2024

The company's budgeted exploration and evaluation expenditures for 2024 will be focused on regional exploration and further understanding of the structural geology below the current Avino mine production area, with no drilling planned. The company's priority is to move La Preciosa forward to development and production.

Dry-stack tailings facility

The facility has been fully operational for a year. The conveyor system is installed and is currently transporting the pressed dry residues to the disused Avino open-pit area. A tab is now available on the company's website that provides further information on the company's tailings management system along with videos (in English and Spanish) that can be viewed. In addition, a selection of short videos of the facility in operation can be viewed on the company's website, under videos and media.

Capital expenditures

Fourth quarter capital expenditures company wide were $1.1-million, bringing the year-to-date total to $8.5-million, compared with just under $9.0-million for the full year 2022 and within the range as previously disclosed in the Avino 2023 outlook news release, which can be found here on the company's website. This figure also includes exploration expenditures on the Avino property.

ESG (environmental, social and governance) initiatives

Avino continues to strengthen and cultivate relationships with its local communities and stakeholders as it is the company's goal to contribute in positive and meaningful ways. Avino views the communities near the core of its operations as being indelibly at the centre of successful mining projects. With recent additions to its community relations team in Durango, the company's energy has been directed toward supporting education in the local schools. Avino's ambition is to educate a younger population in their backyard, to encourage them to see the benefits of mining and to allow them to dream of a future where they can have a real career close to home.

Mexican nationals account for 100 per cent of Avino's mine work force. Currently, the company has 448 direct jobs, including the workers at the mine site and in its Durango offices. This translates to approximately three times the number of indirect jobs for services, consultants and suppliers in the surrounding communities and the Durango area. After working diligently toward obtaining an ESR designation in 2022, the team in Durango has received this designation for the second time in August, 2023, and is currently working on repeating this distinction.

Qualified person

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

Non-IFRS (international financial reporting standards) measures

The financial results in this news release include references to cash cost per silver equivalent payable ounce, all-in sustaining cash cost per silver equivalent payable ounce, EBITDA and adjusted earnings, all of which are non-IFRS measures. These measures are used by the company to manage and evaluate the operating performance of the company's mining operations and are widely reported in the silver and gold mining industry as benchmarks for performance but do not have standardized meanings prescribed by IFRS. For a reconciliation of non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) and GAAP measures, please refer to the non-IFRS measures section of the company's management's discussion and analysis (MD&A), dated March 20, 2024, for the year ended Dec. 31, 2023, which is incorporated by reference within this news release and is available on SEDAR+.

Conference call and webcast

In addition, the company will be holding a conference call and webcast on Thursday, March 21, 2024, at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT). Shareholders, analysts, investors and media are invited to join the webcast and conference call by logging in on-line or by dialling one of the following numbers five to 10 minutes prior to the start time.

Toll-free Canada and the United States:  1-800-319-4610

Outside of Canada and the U.S.:  1-604-638-5340

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 intends to maintain long-term sustainable and profitable mining operations to reward shareholders and the community alike through its growth at the historic Avino property and the strategic acquisition of the adjacent La Preciosa, which was finalized in Q1 2022. Avino currently controls mineral resources, as per National Instrument 43-101, with a total mineral content of 371 million silver equivalent ounces, within its 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 it operates.

We seek Safe Harbor.

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