IAE is assessing the viability of a power purchase agreement with Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. of Vancouver BC involving solar power for its mining operation located in the Durango province of northern Mexico.
Avino Silver & Gold Mines is an experienced Vancouver-based resource company focused on silver/gold exploration and production its Avino property near Durango, Mexico.
After closing in 2001 due to low silver prices, Avino is once again producing on their property. The company completed a 10,000 tonne bulk samplein 2011 on a new zone known as San Gonzalo. They are now in the process of completing the necessary underground development work to begin full commercial production at 250 tons of material per day.
In the interim period, Avino is processing stock piled material from their previous operation, but not running at full capacity. Avino's goal is to increase resources as well as mine output and become a multi-million ounce producer in the next few years.
IAE began collecting data from Avino's operation starting in September 2011 to begin it's assessment of Avino's current power usage. IAE was cautioned that several initiatives being currently undertaken are likely to significantly affect monthly energy usage as well as the demand factor that is determined by the maximum draw on the CFE energy network.
Avino is currently using a diesel generator to power it's underground operation at San Gonzalo. Currently, a power line is under construction to link the underground workings with the substation that distributes power to the rest of the property. Once completed, the San Gonzalo underground will be included in monthly energy purchases from the CFE.
Once Avino achieves full commercial production and the new power line is complete, IAE will be able to establish a bench mark for energy consumption from which it will be able to commence a feasibility study to determine the viability of a solar power plant at the Avino mine site.