Tag Archives: Equinox Gold

Equinox Gold and U&M start mining at Santa Luz in Brazil

Equinox Gold Corp says mining activities are underway at its new Santa Luz gold mine in Brazil, with commissioning on track for the December quarter ahead of first gold pour in the March quarter of 2022.

The company expects to produce 110,000 oz/y of gold for the first five years of operations.

The mining contractor, U&M Mineração e Construção S/A, mobilised to site in May and mining commenced in mid-June. Mining activities are currently focused on removing waste from two locations and developing access roads, ramps, dumps and ore storage areas in preparation for a pre-stripping campaign prior to mining ore in late 2021. To make room for mine expansion, U&M is also relocating an existing ore stockpile with an average grade of 0.9 g/t Au, which will be used for commissioning activities in the December quarter.

Construction is on schedule and on budget, with approximately $31 million of the $103 million construction budget spent and $70 million committed at the end of June 2021.

As a brownfield past-producing mine, the majority of site services and infrastructure is already in place at Santa Luz, Equinox said. Restart activities are focused on refurbishing existing infrastructure, retrofitting the plant to incorporate resin-in-leach processing, installation of additional grinding infrastructure and increasing the storage capacities of the existing tailings and water storage facilities. A significant construction milestone was achieved on June 25 with installation of the first segment of the ball mill.

Construction highlights include:

  • Overall project is 41% complete;
  • Engineering and procurement activities are 96% complete;
  • Plant construction and refurbishment is 46% complete;
  • Refurbishment of existing SAG mill is progressing well;
  • Primary grinding is 75% complete;
  • Secondary grinding is 52% complete: concrete foundations and pedestals for the new ball mill are 100% complete, ball mill installation is underway;
  • Pre-conditioning, leach and detoxification circuit is 46% complete: concrete bases are complete, steel structures are being pre-assembled and tank installation is underway, with four tanks out of 10 fully erected and four more partially erected;
  • Earthworks for primary crushing area are underway;
  • Electrical and substation upgrades are 90% complete;
  • Electrowinning cells have been installed in the gold room;
  • Completion of refurbishment of existing plant areas is scheduled for the September quarter; and
  • Tailings and water storage facility expansions are underway with completion targeted for the December quarter.

Equinox pours first gold at Castle Mountain mine

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.

Equinox Aurizona gold mine ramp up continues

Equinox Gold says it has achieved commercial production at the Aurizona gold mine, in Brazil.

The milestone, which occurred on July 1, follows the processing plant, in the month of June, operating at an average throughput of around 90% of nameplate capacity (8,200 t/d), exceeded 90% average recovery and producing more than 7,000 oz of gold. It also follows the first gold pour in May.

Gold production is expected to continue to increase through the September and December quarters of 2019, with average life-of-mine production estimated at 136,000 oz/y.

Christian Milau, Equinox Gold’s CEO, said: “Achieving commercial production at Aurizona is a significant milestone, making Equinox Gold a multi-mine producer and bringing us one step closer to our near-term target of having three mines in production in 2020.”

With commercial production at Aurizona achieved, the final condition pursuant to the previously announced corporate revolving credit facility has been completed and the remaining $30 million of the total $130 million has been made available to the company.

The mining contractor at the Aurizona operation is U&M Mineração e Construção S/A (U&M) and the EPCM contractor is Ausenco Engineering Canada.

Equinox Gold hits first pour milestone at Aurizona

Equinox Gold says it has poured first gold at its Aurizona gold mine, in Brazil.

Christian Milau, CEO of Equinox Gold, said: “Pouring first gold at Aurizona is a significant milestone for the company and the result of the hard work and dedication of the Equinox Gold team and our contractors.

“That we accomplished this milestone with no lost-time injuries is another important achievement for the Aurizona team.”

The company has also received its License to Operate, the final operating permit for Aurizona, from the Maranhão State Environmental Agency (SEMA).

Aurizona is expected to become a low-cost open-pit gold mine, with average annual production estimated at 136,000 oz/y, according to Equinox Gold.

Equinox, late last year, reported that the new primary jaw crusher at Aurizona had been energised and dry tested with the expectation of putting first ore through the system in early-January.

The mining contractor at the operation is U&M Mineração e Construção S/A (U&M) and the EPCM contractor is Ausenco Engineering Canada.