A month after declaring construction of the Phase 1 operation at its Castle Mountain gold mine was complete, Equinox Gold has poured first gold from the heap leach asset in California, USA.
“Pouring first gold at Castle Mountain, our newest producing mine in the Americas and our second operating mine in California (on top of Mesquite), launches what will be a long-life flagship asset for the company,” Christian Milau, CEO of Equinox Gold, said.
“I’d like to thank our employees, consultants, San Bernardino County and the State of California for their support and efforts as we brought the Castle Mountain Mine to production on time, on budget and with no lost-time injuries, all while managing through the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Equinox commenced construction of the Phase 1 mine on October 30, 2019.
It commenced pre-production mining in early June and, as of September 17, had stacked more than 1.4 Mt of ore on the leach pad.
The heap leach operation is expected to process around 12,700 t/d of ore, with Phase 1 expected to produce, on average, 45,000 oz/y of gold. The company is completing a feasibility study for the potential Phase 2 expansion, which is expected to average 200,000 oz/y of gold. This feasibility study is targeted for completion by the end of the year.