Mesquite commenced operations in March, 1986 and is the largest gold mine in California. Since Equinox acquired the mine in October, 2018, Mesquite has produced more than 450,000 ounces of gold.
Equinox shares advanced on the news, rising 1.53% or $0.08 to $5.31 on volume of 214,960. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $11.46 and $4.89.
Equinox Gold is a Canadian mining company with eight operating gold mines, a multi-million-ounce gold reserve base and a clear path to achieve one million ounces of annual gold production from a pipeline of development and expansion projects.
Equinox operates entirely in the Americas, with two properties in the United States, one in Mexico and five in Brazil.
Mesquite is an open-pit heap leach mine with a long history of successful operations. Production this year is forecast at 120,000 to 130,000 ounces at an all-in-sustaining cost of US$1,450 to US$1,500 per ounce.
According to a April, 2020, technical report, most of the mineral reserves planned for future mining at Mesquite will be subject to a 0.5% to 2% production royalty due to Franco Nevada Mining Corp. [FNV-TSX, NYSE]. and a 2% production royalty due to Glamis Associates, depending on the claim group. The average royalty per year is 2.6% to the combination of Franco-Nevada and Glamis Assoc.
Estimated reserves now stand at 471,000 ounces, grading 0.48 g/t gold. On top of that is a measured and indicated resource of 1.9 million ounces, grading 0.42 g/t gold.
Equinox has previously stated that it planned to produce 625,000 to 710,000 ounces of gold this year. However, that forecast will be updated whenever operations at its RDM mine in Brazil resume. Operations were suspended in May, 2022, due to a delay in permits for a scheduled tailings storage facility raise at RDM. The mine was previously expected to produce up to 80,000 ounces of gold this year, or 11% of the company’s consolidated production. Operations at RDM were expected to resume this month.
Meanwhile, Equinox said recently it would turn its attention to its Greenstone development project in Ontario after pouring the first gold from the resin and evolution circuit at its new Santa Luz Mine in Brazil.
The company said Santa Luz construction has been completed on time and on budget, with no lost-time injuries. Commissioning commenced in February, 2022, and the mine is expected to ramp up to commercial production over the next months.
When operating at capacity, Santa Luz is expected to produce approximately 100,000 ounces of gold annually. During 2022, with a partial year of production, the mine is expected to produce 70,000 to 90,000 ounces of gold.