Canada-based Avino Silver & Gold Mines has started construction of the new tailings storage facility (TSF) at its Avino property in Durango, Mexico.
Avino has already received all necessary permits and completed an independent engineering study to begin construction on the facility.
The TSF, which is being built by Mexican contractor Desarrollos ROD on land owned by Avino, will cover 21ha and have the capacity to store 7.5 million tonnes of wet tailings.
The project will be carried out in four stages and the initial two stages involving a $2.2m investment are expected to take about six months for completion.
The third and fourth stages will cost $624,000 and are expected to be built at any time in the future, with capacity to provide enough storage for an additional eight years of operations.
Avino said that the new facility is required to allow the existing TSF to be decommissioned, following which the company will be able to start evaluating the upper sulphide bench, as well as the lower oxide bench.
Upon completion of the TSF, Avino plans to decommission the existing one and later on begin installation of wells, which will be used to pump out the left-over water in the dam.
Due to this, the sonic drilling programme planned for the upper benches will be sped up, providing samples for the metallurgical programme.
Located in the Durango region of North Central Mexico, the Avino mine covers 1,104ha and is easily accessible by road.
Avino's existing operation comprises the Avino and San Gonzalo mines, which feed a conventional flotation mill that has three separate circuits and a capacity of 1,500t per day.