Vancouver, British Columbia – Business – Equinox Gold Corp. (TSX: EQX) (NYSE American: EQX) is pleased to provide an update on construction progress at its Greenstone Project in Ontario, Canada. The Greenstone Project is being developed as a 60/40 partnership, respectively, by Equinox Gold and Orion Mine Finance Group and will be one of the largest gold mines in Canada, with average annual gold production of more than 400,000 ounces over the first five years and more than five million ounces of gold over its initial 14-year mine life.
Greenstone Project construction progress is documented weekly in a photo gallery on Equinox Gold’s website at www.equinoxgold.comand select photos are included in this news release.
Recent Highlights (at July 21, 2023 unless otherwise noted)
- Schedule – The Greenstone Project is 85% complete. A third independent quantitative risk assessment completed in Q2 2023 concluded that the Greenstone Project remains on schedule to pour gold in the first half of 2024.
- Budget – The Greenstone Project remains on track for a total spend of $1.23 billion. At June 30, 2023, $937 million (76%) of the budget had been spent (100% basis) with approximately $170 million remaining for Equinox Gold’s share to fund through to project completion.
- Facilities completed – With construction of the following facilities completed, the operations team has assumed responsibility for the permanent effluent water treatment plant, truck shop, warehouse, sewage treatment plant, potable water treatment plant, pit and plant site fuel stations, reagent storage, and site mixed emulsion (explosives) plant. The new Ministry of Transportation patrol yard was turned over to the Ministry and dismantling of the old patrol yard is complete. The natural gas pipeline to site has been commissioned and is operational.
- Construction progress – All major equipment is now on site. Mechanical installations are 75% complete and electrical and piping installations are both 67% complete. Power plant construction is complete and pre-commissioning commenced in Q2 2023. The Highway 11 relocation is substantially complete and ahead of schedule, with handover planned for Q3 2023. With all auxiliary facilities now handed over to operations, the remaining construction effort is focused on completion of the process plant and tailings storage facility.
- Pre-production mining – The first two Epiroc Pit Viper 235 drill rigs and the eighth CAT 793F haul truck were commissioned during the quarter. Mine pre-production activities have been operating 24/7 since Q4 2022, with more than 10.6 million tonnes of material moved to date. The current priority for mined material continues to be supplying waste rock for the tailings storage facility and other construction activities. Mining of ore for the commissioning stockpile is expected to commence in Q4 2023.
- Commissioning and operational readiness – The commissioning team and commissioning plans are in place and operational readiness activities are underway.
Greg Smith, President & CEO of Equinox Gold, commented: “The Greenstone Project continues to advance on budget and on schedule. With most ancillary facilities complete and transferred to the operations team and construction activities 83% complete, our focus is shifting toward commissioning and operational readiness as we advance to construction completion and first gold pour in the first half of 2024, and then achieving commercial production.”
Results of Independent Quantitative Risk Assessment
Valency Inc., a global provider of construction project assurance solutions and quantitative risk assessments, completed the Greenstone Project’s second quantitative risk assessment (“QRA”) during Q2 2023. The QRA concluded that the schedule and budget remain achievable, and the Greenstone Project remains on track to pour gold in the first half of 2024.
An update on Greenstone 2024 operating costs and production estimates will be reported in connection with the Company’s annual production and cost guidance in Q1 2024.
Greenstone Project Progress
|Area||Progress to Date (at July 21, 2023 unless otherwise noted)|
|Total Overall Progress||
|Tailings Facility and Water Management||
|Power Plant and Electrical||
|Mobile Equipment and Mining||
|Commissioning and Operational Readiness||
1 Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate is the total number of injuries excluding those requiring simple first aid treatment.
Remaining Project Milestones
Important construction milestones include:
- Process plant steel erection underway: June 2022
- Administration building complete: July 2022
- Delivery and assembly of pre-production fleet of four trucks and excavators: Q2-Q3 2022
- Permanent water effluent treatment plant ready for use: Q3 2022
- Commence installation of gensets in power plant, power building enclosed: Q3 2022
- Start of pre-production mining: Q3 2022
- All main buildings enclosed: Q1 2023
- Leach tanks installed: Q4 2022
- Ball mills received and installed: Q1-Q3 2023
- Highway 11 realignment complete: August 2023
- Crushers installed: Q3 2023
- Commence pre-commissioning of crushing circuit: Q4 2023
- Power plant operational: Q4 2023
- Tailing storage facility complete and ready for use: Q4 2023
- Commissioning: Q1-Q2 2024
- Gold pour: H1 2024