After the plant resumed full operations in the middle of February, the steps taken to increase production while holding operational expenses down has been a complete success. From the outset, the new crushing operation has been loading the recovery pad at close to our target volume of 500 tons of ore per day. The months of March and April exceeded every month in 2014 except one and we have every reason to expect that production will continue to increase.
We have taken steps to continue the production of the mine for a significantly longer time by purchasing adjacent land for use in accessing new reserves. Our agreement with the landowner allows us to conduct geological drilling operations to ascertain the probable level of ore reserves in the property before we have to commit to making purchase payments. For the Company it is a wonderful opportunity to increase our reserves, but without additional expense until after we have investigated to ensure that the purchase is justified. We anticipate that the geological survey will commence this summer and we may be accessing the reserves toward the end of this year.
Production has followed the increase in crushing and loading referenced above. For the four months ending April 30, 2015 compared to the same time last year, our production of gold was up 357%. Continuing this type of output will require constant attention to the operations, but we are confident that we can accomplish the task. The increased production will be reflected in our profit picture for the year. In addition, we sent samples of our ore from various locations on the concession to an independent laboratory for analysis as to the best type of recovery methods to be used, as well as to establish goals for recovery percentages. Armed with the results of the lab analysis we invited a metallurgist to examine and assess the operation to give us direction in further refining the operations. These steps have resulted in some very sizable savings in use of chemicals and procedures that will be reflected in our bottom line as well.
The next big expenditure of time and money will be to expand our NI 43-101 to get reliable numbers of our ore reserves that can be accepted in the financial community when making evaluations. To this end we will be implementing a large scale drilling operation to validate our unofficial estimates of upwards of 500,000 to 1,000,000 ounces of gold. Such a validation of the ore body and the recovery process needed are required to fully realize the potential of the Clavo Rico asset, and should give us additional value that will be essential as we move closer to settling on the best possible exit opportunity for our shareholders.
We can report that we are continuing with our due diligence investigations concerning our proposed merger with a publicly-trading gold mining company and will keep you informed as the merger moves towards completion.