Equinox reaches commercial production at Castle Mountain; shares down as gold hits four-month low

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Equinox Gold Corp. [EQX-TSXV; EQXGF-OTC] said Monday November 23 after the markets closed that that it has achieved commercial production at its 100%-owned Castle Mountain gold mine in California.

However, shares lost almost 5% of their value on Tuesday November 24 as the gold price traded close to a four-month low of US$1,803.07/oz.

“However, despite some recent volatility, the longer-term supportive/bull case for gold hasn’t gone away, especially with more (US) monetary and fiscal stimulus expected (U.S. dollar negative, and resulting in inflation expectations) over the long period over which it will take to roll out the vaccines,” Scotiabank wrote in a report to investors.

Meanwhile, Equinox shares fell 61 cents or 4.74% to $12.25 on volume of 721,110, and now trade in a 52-week range of $17.99 and $6.60.

On Tuesday, the company said it expects to produce between 5,000 and 10,000 ounces of gold at Castle Mountain in 2020, with average annual production of approximately 40,000 ounces of gold during Phase one of mine life.

Equinox Gold is reviewing the potential for a Phase two expansion that is expected to increase the average production rate to 200,000 ounces. The Phase two feasibility study is targeted for completion in Q1 2021.

“Achieving commercial production at Castle Mountain is an important step for what will ultimately be a long-life, 200,000 ounce-per-year gold mine, bringing significant benefits to local communities, the state of California and Equinox Gold’s shareholders,” said Christian Milau, CEO.

Equinox emerged as one of the world’s leading gold following its recent merger with Leagold Mining.

The merger with Leagold was expected to more than triple Equinox’s annualized gold production in 2020. The company has said it is fully funded to increase production over the next two years to more than one million ounces of gold annually.

Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic Equinox said it expected to produce 540,000 to 600,000 ounces of gold this year at an all-in-sustaining cost (AISC) of between US$1,000 and US$1,060/oz.

However, the company has been forced to revise its forecasts and now expects to produce between 470,000 and 530,000 ounces in 2020 at an AISC of between US$975 and US$1,025 an ounce.

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