THUNDER BAY – MINING – Equinox Gold Corp. (TSX: EQX, NYSE American: EQX) (“Equinox Gold” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce record production in Q4 2021 of 210,400 ounces (“oz”) of gold. Equinox Gold achieved fiscal 2021 guidance with 602,100 oz of gold produced, a 26% increase over 2020 production. Full financial and operating results will be reported in late February.
Christian Milau, CEO of Equinox Gold commented: “Equinox Gold had a strong fourth quarter. Outstanding performance at Mesquite and Aurizona was supported by a full quarter of operations at Los Filos and consistent performance at our other mines. During the quarter we commenced construction at our Greenstone project in Ontario, Canada and made significant construction progress at Santa Luz in Brazil. These new mines will produce more than 400,000 ounces (of which 60% is attributable to Equinox Gold) and 100,000 ounces of gold annually, respectively. We drew no additional debt during 2021 and also announced the sale of our Mercedes Mine, an agreement that will further strengthen both our balance sheet and investment portfolio.
“During 2021, Equinox Gold produced its millionth ounce of gold as a company and realized over $1 billion in revenue. In addition to strong cash flow from our operating mines, Equinox Gold has more than $300 million in cash, $200 million available to draw on our revolving credit facility, expected proceeds from the Mercedes sale and an investment portfolio worth approximately $450 million at current market prices. Equinox Gold is in a strong position to deliver on our ambitious growth strategy in 2022, including commencing production at our new Santa Luz mine, advancing construction at Greenstone and conducting exploration programs across our operations.”
The Company’s Los Filos mine outperformed expectations and exceeded the top end of guidance following five months of consistent operations in H2 2021 and the commencement of mining the new Guadalupe and Bermejal deposits. The Mesquite and Aurizona mines had strong fourth quarters, with 66,900 and 41,300 ounces of production, respectively, underpinning total Q4 2021 production of 210,400 oz of gold.
|2021 Production (oz of gold)|
|Mesquite||137,500||130,000 – 140,000|
|Aurizona||135,000||130,000 – 140,000|
|Fazenda||60,400||60,000 – 65,000|
|RDM||58,800||60,000 – 65,000|
|Los Filos||144,100||120,000 – 140,000|
|Mercedes2||31,800||30,000 – 35,000|
|Castle Mountain||25,300||20,000 – 30,000|
|Total – Mines4||602,100||560,000 – 625,000|
1. Guidance updated on May 5th to reflect the acquisition of Premier Gold and sale of Pilar and again on August 4th to reflect solid performance at the Brazil sites and the disruption to mining and development activities at Los Filos as the result of blockades, which were removed at the end of July. 2. Production attributable to Equinox Gold post completion of the Premier Gold acquisition on April 7, 2021. Full-year production was more than 42,000 oz of gold. 3.Actuals attributable to Equinox Gold prior to completion of the Pilar Mine sale on April 19, 2021. 4. Totals may not sum due to rounding.
The 2021 production, cash balance and cost figures are preliminary and subject to change when the Company releases its Q4 2021 and audited full-year 2021 financial and operating results in late February. Equinox Gold expects to provide 2022 production and cost guidance around the end of January.
- Achieved guidance (560,000 to 625,000 oz) with total production of 602,100 oz of gold
- Cash costs and all-in-sustaining costs1 are expected to be within guidance of $1,025 to $1,075 per oz and $1,300 to $1,375 per oz sold, respectively
- Achieved 17% and 60% better safety and environmental performance compared to 2020, respectively, released an inaugural ESG report, continued quarterly online reporting of safety and environmental data
- Continued proactive COVID-19 health and safety protocols with no production days lost due to COVID-19
- Completed acquisition of Premier Gold, increasing diversification and scale with the multi-million-ounce, low-cost, long-life Greenstone project in Canada
- Increased Greenstone ownership interest to 60% of what will become a cornerstone asset for the Company
- Commenced Greenstone construction with first gold pour targeted for H1 2024
- Advanced Santa Luz construction with first gold pour targeted for late Q1 2022
- Increased Aurizona Mineral Reserves by 73% and completed a positive pre-feasibility study for the addition of an underground mine to the existing open-pit operation, extending the Aurizona mine life to 11 years and increasing annual production
- Increased Castle Mountain Mineral Reserves by 17% and completed a positive feasibility study for the Phase 2 expansion, extending the Castle Mountain mine life to 21 years with production increasing to more than 200,000 oz annually during Phase 2
- Advanced Los Filos expansion projects: commenced mining the new Guadalupe open-pit and Bermejal underground deposits
- Strengthened balance sheet by selling a portion of the Company’s shares in Solaris Resources (TSX: SLS) for gross proceeds of C$82.5 million with potential for an additional C$50 million in Q1 2022
- Strengthened balance sheet and investment portfolio by selling the Pilar Mine for $38 million, a 1% net smelter return royalty and 11.6 million shares of Pilar Gold Inc.
- Invested C$51 million in i-80 Gold (TSX: IAU) to maintain an approximate 25% interest on a fully diluted basis
- Announced agreement to sell the Mercedes Mine for $100 million, a 2% net smelter return and 24.73 million common shares of Bear Creek Mining Corporation (TSX-V: BCM)2
- Current market value of Equinox Gold’s investment portfolio, not including shares in Bear Creek Mining that will be issued upon completion of the Mercedes sale, is approximately $450 million
- Cash balance (unrestricted) at December 31, 2021 of approximately $310 million (unaudited) with an additional $200 million available to draw under the revolving credit facility
1. AISC per oz sold is a non-IFRS measure. See Non-IFRS Measures and AISC per Ounce Sold in Cautionary Notes. 2. Subject to completion of definitive documentation, customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
About Equinox Gold
Equinox Gold is a growth-focused Canadian mining company operating entirely in the Americas, with seven operating gold mines (including Mercedes) and a clear path to achieve more than one million ounces of annual gold production from a pipeline of development and expansion projects. Equinox Gold’s common shares are listed on the TSX and the NYSE American under the trading symbol EQX.