Avino Silver and Gold Mines Ltd. says its historic Bralorne underground gold mine is scheduled to re-open later this year,
Last year, the company submitted permit applications to resume mining and processing at the Bralorne site after increasing the capacity of its tailings storage facility in 2015 and adding buttresses in 2016 for additional stability.
In February 2015, the mine was shut down by the provincial Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Ministry of Environment because of concerns over an additional buildup of water in the mine’s tailings pond.
The Bralorne mine was acquired by Avino in late 2014 and had been operating on a trial production status since 2010.
Since acquiring the mine, Avino has also invested heavily in water treatment with the deployment of a new state-of-the-art microfiltration system; constructed a new first aid facility and women’s dry facility; and purchased a new portable crushing plant to free up space inside the mill building. The company says it has also “prioritized community engagement.”
Currently the mine and mill are both being upgraded to support a 300 ton per day operation and a new mining fleet is being assembled to support a transition from the traditional labour-intensive shrinkage stope mining to the more efficient and modern narrow vein, long hole mining method.
The company says it has adopted a “three-phased and disciplined approach” to the Bralorne project development with a long-term goal of reaching a production level of 500 TPD (tons per day).
The Bralorne gold mine was the richest gold mine in British Columbia and one of Canada’s most prolific mining operations. From 1928 to 1971, the Bralorne and nearby Pioneer and King mines produced 4.15 million ounces of gold from 7.9 million tons of ore.