All dollar amounts are expressed in US$
January 8, 2019 – Vancouver, BC – Equinox Gold Corp. (TSX-V: EQX, OTC: EQXFF) (“Equinox Gold” or the “Company”) today announced its 2018 highlights and 2019 guidance. Equinox Gold produced approximately 26,000 ounces (“oz”) of gold in 2018 from its recently acquired Mesquite Mine in California, and expects to produce 230,000 to 265,000 oz of gold in 2019 from Mesquite and its Aurizona Mine in Brazil at all-in-sustaining costs1 (“AISC”) of $900/oz to $950/oz.
“Equinox Gold has achieved tremendous growth over the last year and will soon become a multi-mine gold producer,” said Christian Milau, CEO of Equinox Gold. “This momentum will continue in 2019 as we plan for construction at our Castle Mountain Mine, capitalize on growth opportunities at our existing assets and continue to assess accretive acquisition opportunities.”
Acquired Mesquite Gold Mine and produced approximately 26,000 oz of gold from October 30 to December 31, 2018 (full-year 2018 production of approximately 140,000 oz)
Advanced Aurizona construction for commercial production around the end of Q1-2019
Completed Castle Mountain prefeasibility study outlining a long-life, low-cost gold mine producing 200,000 oz/year
480% increase in proven and probable reserves to 5.7 million oz of gold
350% increase in measured and indicated resources to 8.3 million oz of gold (inclusive of reserves)
New gold discoveries at Aurizona and Castle Mountain
Completed spin-out of Solaris Copper to Equinox Gold shareholders and sale of the Koricancha Mill
Cash balance (unrestricted) at December 31, 2018 of approximately $60 million (unaudited) with an additional $10 million available to draw under the Aurizona construction facility
The 2018 production and cash figures are preliminary and are subject to change when the Company releases its Q4 and annual audited 2018 financial results in March.
Equinox Gold’s 2019 production and cost guidance provided below is based on information available at January 8, 2019. The Company may revise guidance during the year to reflect actual and anticipated results. Key assumptions used to forecast 2019 total AISC include a gold price of $1,250/oz and an exchange rate of BRL3.6 to USD1.
Production (oz) AISC1 ($/oz) Sustaining Capital Non-Sustaining Capital
Mesquite 145,000 - 160,000 $950 - $1,000 $11 M $4 M
Aurizona 85,000 - 105,000 $800 - $875 $16 M $31 M
Total 230,000 - 265,000 $900 - $950 $27 M $35 M
1 AISC is a non-GAAP measure. See All-in Sustaining Costs in Cautionary Notes.
The 2019 production guidance includes gold ounces produced at the Aurizona Mine prior to the commencement of commercial production, which is expected around the end of Q1-2019. Combined gold production is expected to increase substantially in Q2-2019 with Aurizona in commercial production.
Equinox Gold has budgeted a total capital spend of $62 million at the Mesquite and Aurizona mines during 2019. At Aurizona, the Company expects to spend $31 million to complete construction and commissioning during Q1-2019 and an additional $16 million of sustaining capex over the year that includes completion of the second tailings storage facility lift. At Mesquite, the Company expects to spend $11 million in sustaining capital primarily related to capitalized waste stripping within the open pit as well as $4 million in non-sustaining costs primarily related to drilling mineralized waste dumps and leach pads that are expected to be classified as ore.
Mesquite Gold Mine
Mesquite is an operating open-pit heap leach gold mine in southern California that Equinox Gold acquired during Q4-2018. Activities at Mesquite during 2019 will focus on:
Executing on opportunities to increase production and reduce costs
Completing a $4 million drill program focused on mine life extension, including targets in and peripheral to the existing open pit as well as mineralized waste dumps and leach pads on site
Applying for permits to explore and drill new concessions
Aurizona Gold Mine
Aurizona is an open-pit gold mine in northeastern Brazil where the Company commenced full-scale construction in January 2018. Activities at Aurizona during 2019 will focus on:
Completing construction and commissioning the plant during Q1-2019 to achieve commercial production around the end of Q1-2019
Completing construction of the next tailings storage facility lift
Completing preliminary assessment of the potential for an underground mine at Aurizona
Updating the resource based on near-mine drilling completed during 2017 and 2018
Exploration at Tatajuba and other targets in the second half of 2019 to extend the open-pit mine life
Castle Mountain Mine
Castle Mountain is a past-producing open-pit heap leach gold mine located approximately 200 miles north of Mesquite in California. Based on the July 2018 prefeasibility study, Castle Mountain is expected to produce 45,000 oz of gold per year during Phase 1 (years 1-3) and more than 200,000 oz of gold per year during Phase 2 (years 4-16). Activities at Castle Mountain during 2019 will focus on:
Completing engineering and final permitting for Phase 1 and arranging financing in order to commence Phase 1 construction around mid-year at a capital cost of approximately $50 million, with the objective to achieve first gold production in the first half of 2020
Advancing permitting and development of water wells for the Phase 2 expansion, and completing the Phase 2 feasibility study by year-end 2019
Executing on infrastructure, equipment and administrative synergies between Mesquite and Castle Mountain
James (Jim) Currie, P.Eng., Equinox Gold’s Chief Operating Officer, and Scott Heffernan, MSc, P.Geo., Equinox Gold’s EVP Exploration, are the Qualified Persons under National Instrument 43-101 for Equinox Gold and have reviewed, approved and verified the technical content of this news release.
About Equinox Gold
Equinox Gold is a Canadian mining company with a multi-million-ounce gold reserve base, gold production from its Mesquite Gold Mine in California, and near-term production growth from two past-producing mines in Brazil and California. Construction is well advanced at the Company’s Aurizona Gold Mine in Brazil and on schedule to achieve commercial production around the end of Q1-2019, and the Company is advancing its Castle Mountain Gold Mine in California with the objective of achieving Phase 1 production in the first half of 2020. Further information about Equinox Gold’s portfolio of assets and long-term growth strategy is available at www.equinoxgold.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Equinox Gold Contacts
Christian Milau, CEO
Rhylin Bailie, Vice President Investor Relations
Cautionary Notes and Forward-Looking Statements
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as such term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This news release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities legislation and may include future-oriented financial information. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements or information in this news release relate to, among other things: future financial or operational performance, including estimated production of gold and estimated mine site AISC in 2019; the ability of the etc. etc..
Equinox today 09.01.2019 Vol. 23.200
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