Equinox Gold Corp. [EQX-TSX, NYSE American] reported positive drill results from its 2021 exploration drilling in the 70-km-long greenstone belt in Bahia State, Brazil, that hosts the 100%-owned Fazenda and Santa Luz gold mines. Exploration identified multiple near-mine and regional discoveries that highlight growth potential in the Bahia belt.
“The 2021 exploration program in the Bahia belt has led to the discovery of significant gold mineralization at multiple targets within haulage distance to our existing mines,” said Scott Heffernan, executive vice-president of exploration. “Drilling at the Canto 2 target adjacent to our Fazenda mine was particularly important, intersecting very high grades and clearly highlighting the potential for both open pit and underground resource growth and mine life extension at Fazenda. Equinox Gold also secured exploration permits covering an additional 323 square km, bringing the total land package in the Bahia belt to nearly 1,300 km2 covering the majority of this highly prospective but underexplored greenstone belt.
“The 2022 exploration program is well under way and includes over 70,000 metres of drilling across targets ranging from early to advanced-stage exploration, a high-resolution airborne magnetic survey covering the entire Bahia belt, and geologic mapping and geochemical sampling to further refine targets in advance of drilling.”
During 2021 Equinox Gold tested 17 targets throughout the Bahia belt, drilling 56,918 metres in 479 diamond and RC drill holes. Of the 479 holes, 372 intersected anomalous to ore-grade gold mineralization and of these, 126 intersected significant gold mineralization and identified several gold mineralized systems close to Equinox Gold’s Fazenda and Santa Luz mines.
The Canto 2 deposit was previously operated as a shallow open-pit mine and is directly adjacent to Equinox Gold’s operating Fazenda open-pit and underground mine complex. Every drill hole intersected economic-grade gold mineralization and several intersected newly identified bonanza grades including 69.0 g/t gold over 3.5 metres and 7.53 g/t gold over 5.2 metres in hole FBD010, 67.2 g/t gold over 4 metres and 3.43 g/t gold over 17.4 metres in hole FBD011, 50.8 g/t gold over 2 metres in hole FBD013, and 3.31 g/t gold over 29.0 metres in hole FBD040. Equinox Gold plans more exploration at Canto 2 to further test expansion potential at depth and along strike.
Canto 2 drill highlights include 6.88 g/t gold over 3.6 metres from 128.0 metres (FBD007); 69.0 g/t gold over 3.5 metres from 131.0 metres and 7.53 g/t gold over 5.2 metres from 138.8 metres (FBD010). Refer to company website for complete assays.
The Rufino Target is a new discovery about 11 km from the Fazenda mine. One quarter of the mapped 4-km strike length was tested with 20 drill holes, 18 of which intersected gold mineralization. Grade thickness values generally increase to the southeast, culminating with the intercept of 2.35 g/t gold over 55.0 metres in hole FBP110. Farther to the southeast, 2.5 km of the mapped shear zone remains untested.
Rufino drill highlights include 8.96 g/t gold over 2 metres from 134.0 metres (FBD059); 0.78 g/t gold over 27.0 metres from 17.0 metres (FBP108); and 2.35 g/t gold over 55.0 metres from 35.0 metres (FBP110).
The Mansinha and Mansinha Sul targets lie on the same structural corridor as the Santa Luz mine, representing a potential gold mineralized zone more than 11 km in length. Approximately 5 km of the 11-km-long shear zone was tested with 148 drill holes of which 134 encountered gold mineralization. The target has been tested to depths greater than 100 metres in only a few locations, leaving significant exploration potential at depth.
Mansinha drill highlights include 2.28 g/t gold over 7 metres from 37.0 metres and 1.49 g/t gold over 14.0 metres from 51.0 metres and 1.38 g/t gold over 11.0 metres from 77.0 metrres (SLP036); 4.66 g/t gold over 12.0 metres from 20.0 metres and 3.90 g/t gold over 6 metres from 42.0 metres (SLP046); and 9.43 g/t gold over 3 metres from 16.0 metres (SLP123). Refer to website for complete assays.
Mansinha Sul drill highlights include 7.61 g/t gold over 15.0 metres from 53.0 metres (SLP153); 3.63 g/t gold over 9 metres from 55.0 metres (SLP175); and 1.25 g/t gold over 16.0 metres from 19.0 metres (SLP196). Refer to website for complete assays.
Equinox Gold obtained new exploration permits covering an additional 323 km2. These new permits filled gaps in the existing land package, expanded the company’s exploration territory around prospective targets and opened new targets. The total land package now covers some 1,292 km2. Equinox Gold plans to fly an aeromagnetic survey over the entire land package in Q2 2022, followed by geologic mapping and geochemical sampling in high-priority areas.