Precious Metals

TSX:ASM

Avino Silver & Gold Mines released its Q1 2018 results, showing a slight decrease in silver output from Q1 2017, but a 9-percent increase in silver equivalent production year-on-year.

Avino Silver & Gold Mines’ (TSX:ASM,NYSEAMERICAN:ASM) silver production was down 3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, but revenues were on par with Q1 2017 thanks to a 9-percent increase in silver equivalent production, the company announced on Tuesday (May 15).

While silver output dipped from 320,082 ounces this time last year to 309,927 in Q1 2018, silver equivalent production increased from 604,643 ounces in Q1 2017 to 656,699 ounces.

“We continued to deliver steady financial and operating results for the first quarter of 2018, and while our silver and copper production was slightly lower, gold production and silver equivalent production increased by 12 percent and 9 percent respectively,” said David Wolfin, president and CEO.

The company noted that the increase in silver equivalent production at the Avino mine stemmed from a higher gold feed grade — it was up 16 percent over the same period in 2017 — and a 23-percent increase in gold production for the quarter.

Avino’s other prevalent mine, San Gonzalo, also experienced increases in Q1 2018. Silver equivalent production during the first quarter of 2018 was up 7 percent year-on-year, totaling 176,384 ounces compared to 165,480 ounces in Q1 2017. The climb was due to a 15-percent increase in the silver grade together with 96-percent plant availability for the quarter, as no major shutdowns were experienced.

Also in Q1, the company generated revenues of US$8.2 million from the sale of bulk concentrates. It reported mine operating income of US$1.9 million, and its average realized selling prices for silver and gold were US$16.73 and US$1,330 per ounce, respectively.

Looking forward, Wolfin commented that the company will increase silver production, stating, “we are very close to the completion of Mill Circuit 4, which is a significant investment in Avino’s growth, and we look forward to the increase in our production profile.”

During a conference call he added, “the start-up and commissioning of grinding ball mill for Mill Circuit 4 commenced during the quarter with flotation feed from the new ball mill reporting to Mill Circuit 3’s flotation cells. This is being done in an effort to speed up and de-risk the commissioning of Mill Circuit 4.”

Mill Circuit 4 has the capability to boost silver output as it will be used to process mill feed from the Avino mine, increasing the throughput capacity of the company’s processing plant by about 70 percent. For the first six to eight months, Avino will run historic stockpile material through the new mill circuit.

As of 10:00 a.m. EST on Thursday (May 17), Avino’s share price was trading at US$1.79.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Nicole Rashotte, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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