Equinox Gold Begins Mining at Santa Luz
Equinox Gold Santa LuzEquinox Gold

Equinox Gold Begins Mining at Santa Luz

Equinox Gold Corp announced that mining activities are underway at its new Santa Luz Gold Mine in Brazil. Construction remains on track to commence

Equinox Gold Corp announced that mining activities are underway at its new Santa Luz Gold Mine in Brazil. Construction remains on track to commence commissioning in Q4 2021 and pour gold in Q1 2022, with the expectation of producing 110,000 ounces of gold annually for the first five years of operations. Mining is underway to prepare for gold production in Q1 2022. The mining contractor, U&M Mineração e Construção S/A, mobilized 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 grams of gold per tonne, which will be used for commissioning activities in Q4 2021.

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. 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

  1. Overall project is 41% complete

  2. Engineering and procurement activities are 96% complete

  3. Plant construction and refurbishment is 46% complete

  4. Refurbishment of existing SAG mill is progressing well

  5. Primary grinding is 75% complete

  6. Secondary grinding is 52% complete; concrete foundations and pedestals for new ball mill are 100% complete, ball mill installation underway

  7. 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 ten fully erected and four more partially erected

  8. Earthworks for primary crushing area are underway

  9. Electrical and substation upgrades are 90% complete

  10. Electrowinning cells have been installed in the gold room

  11. Completion of refurbishment of existing plant areas is scheduled for Q3 2021

  12. Tailings and water storage facility expansions are underway with completion targeted for Q4 2021

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