October 8, 2020 – Equinox Gold Corp. (TSX: EQX, NYSE American: EQX) (“Equinox Gold” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that exploration success during the first half of 2020 has significantly increased Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources at the Company’s Mesquite Gold Mine (“Mesquite”) in California, USA.
Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves increased 28% to 658,000 ounces (“oz”) of contained gold net of mining depletion to June 30, 2020
Measured and Indicated (“M&I”) Mineral Resources increased 94% to 837,000 oz of contained gold, exclusive of reserves
Inferred Mineral Resources increased 38% to 703,000 oz of contained gold
Ongoing exploration continues to demonstrate growth potential at the Brownie deposit; initial drilling highlights include: 35.1 metres (“m”) at 0.51 grams per tonne (“g/t”) gold; 33.5 m at 0.66 g/t gold; 52.6 m at 0.85 g/t gold; and 44.2 m at 0.58 g/t gold
Scott Heffernan, EVP Exploration of Equinox Gold, stated: “Exploration efforts at Mesquite in the first half of 2020 more than replaced mined reserves and significantly increased mineral resources, providing additional mine life at what has been our best-performing mine this year. Drilling in the Brownie deposit also yielded excellent results and points to potential for a multi-year mine life extension from in-situ mineralization and overlying mineralized dumps.”
Mesquite Mineral Reserve Update
Building on the significant improvements achieved in the recent December 31, 2019 Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource estimates, this mid-year 2020 update includes an additional 10,785 m (77 holes) of bedrock drilling, 36,785 m (661 holes) of drilling targeting historical dumps, and updated geologic and grade-shell domains.
Mesquite Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves at June 30, 2020 are estimated at 37.8 million tonnes (“Mt”) grading 0.54 g/t gold for 658,000 oz of contained gold (Table 1, with Imperial units provided in the Appendix to this news release). Net of mining depletion (68,267 oz of Proven and Probable Reserve) during the first half of 2020, the updated Mineral Reserve represents a 28% increase (142,267 oz). The updated Mineral Reserve estimate uses the same design and parameters as the December 31, 2019 estimate. A redesign will commence upon completion of exploration and geotechnical drill programs.
Mesquite Mineral Resource Update
Mesquite Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources at June 30, 2020, exclusive of Mineral Reserves, are estimated at 66.7 Mt grading 0.39 g/t gold for 837,000 oz of contained gold (Table 2, with Imperial units provided in the Appendix to this news release). This represents a 94% increase when compared to the previous Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource estimate of 432,000 oz of gold. Inferred Mineral Resources at June 30, 2020 are estimated at 69.2 Mt grading 0.32 g/t gold for 703,000 oz of contained gold (Table 2), representing a 38% increase compared to the previous estimate of 510,000 oz of gold.
At year-end 2019, the Company had identified approximately 40 million short tons of potentially mineralized material from previous operations that had not been drill tested and the Company initiated a 35,000 m exploration drill program. Drilling in the Big Chief, Midway and Brownie dumps yielded significant gains in Mineral Resources. Indicated Mineral Resources in the dumps have increased more than fourfold to 22.7 Mt grading 0.22 g/t gold for 160,000 oz of contained gold. Inferred Mineral Resources in the dumps have increased 31% to 36.6 Mt grading 0.22 g/t gold for 255,000 contained oz of gold. The increases as noted do not reflect depletion of resource material contained in the 2019 year-end Mineral Resource that has already been stacked on the leach pad.
Table 1: Mesquite Mineral Reserve Estimate at June 30, 2020
Ore Type Proven Reserves Probable Reserves Proven & Probable Reserves
(kt) Gold Grade (g/t) Contained Gold
(kt) Gold Grade (g/t) Contained Gold
(kt) Gold Grade (g/t) Contained Gold (koz)
Oxide - - - 18,559 0.40 239 18,559 0.40 239
Transition 10 0.98 - 2,968 0.62 59 2,978 0.62 59
Non-oxide 105 1.04 4 16,173 0.69 356 16,278 0.69 360
Total 115 1.05 4 37,700 0.54 654 37,815 0.54 658
Notes: This Mineral Reserve estimate has an effective date of June 30, 2020 and is based on the Mineral Resource estimate prepared by Ali Shakar (Lions Gate Geological Consulting Inc.) The Mineral Reserve calculation was completed under the supervision of Gordon Zurowski, P.Eng. (AGP Mining Consultants Inc.), who is a Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101. Mineral Reserves are stated within the final design pit based on a $1,350/oz gold price. The cut-off grade varied by material type from 0.14 g/t for oxide and oxide-transition and 0.31 g/t for non-oxide materials. The mining cost averaged $1.60/t mined, processing costs are $2.26/t ore and G&A was $0.77/t ore placed. The gold recoveries were 75% for oxide and 35% for non-oxide material. Oxide ore includes dump material identified as reserves.
Table 2: Mesquite Mineral Resource Estimate (Exclusive of Reserves) at June 30, 2020
Ore Type Measured Indicated Measured & Indicated Inferred
Oxide 5 0.65 0 10,434 0.40 133 10,439 0.40 133 11,138 0.41 145
Non-oxide 40 0.40 1 33,572 0.50 543 33,612 0.50 544 21,395 0.44 303
Dumps - - - 22,695 0.22 160 22,695 0.22 160 36,654 0.22 255
Total 45 0.42 1 66,701 0.39 836 66,746 0.39 837 69,187 0.32 703
Notes: Mineral Resources have an effective date of June 30, 2020 and are reported exclusive of Mineral Reserves. Mineral Resources were restricted between the December 31, 2019 Reserve pit designs and the ultimate resource limiting pit shell based on a gold price of $1,500/oz, a mining cost of $1.60/t mined, a processing cost of $2.26/t ore and G&A of $0.77/t ore. Oxide and oxide transition have an assumed recovery of 75% and cut-off grade of 0.09 g/t. Non-oxide and non-oxide transition have an assumed recovery of 35% and cut-off grade of 0.18 g/t. Waste dump material has an assumed recovery of 75% and cut-off grade of 0.14 g/t. Ali Shahkar P.Eng. of Lions Gate Geological Consulting Inc. is the Qualified Person under NI 43-101 responsible for the in-situ mineral resource estimation. Robert Sim, P.Geo. of SIM Geological Inc. is the Qualified Person under NI 43-101 responsible for the waste dump mineral resource estimation. Numbers may appear not to sum properly due to rounding. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. See Cautionary Notes and Technical Disclosure Statement at the end of this news release.
Brownie Expansion Drilling Program
Drilling in 2019 provided confirmation that the dump material overlying the Brownie deposit area contains significant gold resources and that in-situ mineralization was present adjacent to and extending from the resource pit. A follow-up 13,897 m drill program was carried out to test the potential to extend mineralization along strike and down dip (Figure 1). Drilling results include highlights of 35.1 m at 0.51 g/t gold, 33.5 m at 0.66 g/t gold, 52.6 m at 0.85 g/t gold, and 44.2 m at 0.58 g/t gold. The results increase confidence in the geological model and highlight the potential for further expansion potential to the north, northwest and southeast of the existing resources (Figure 2).
Figure 1: Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Map of the Mesquite Mine with 2020 Drilling
Ali Shahkar, P.Eng. of Lions Gate Geological Consulting Inc., is the Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”) responsible for the in-situ Mineral Resource estimation. Robert Sim, P.Geo. of SIM Geological Inc., is the Qualified Person under NI 43-101 responsible for the waste dump Mineral Resource estimation. The Mineral Reserve calculation was completed under the supervision of Gordon Zurowski, P.Eng. of AGP Mining Consultants, who is a Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101. These Qualified Persons are independent of the Company and have reviewed and approved of the contents of this news release. The Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource estimates were prepared in accordance with standards as defined by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (“CIM”) in “CIM Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves” adopted by CIM Council on May 10, 2014.
The June 30, 2020 Mesquite Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources update was based on technical information regarding the Mesquite property originally reported in the “Technical Report on the Mesquite Gold Mine, California, U.S.A.” (the “Mesquite Technical Report”) dated March 18, 2020 with an effective date of December 31, 2019, prepared by AGP Mining Consultants Inc. and also incorporates newly acquired data. The Qualified Persons as defined by National Instrument 43-101 who prepared or supervised the preparation of the information contained in the report are Bruce Davis, FAusIMM (BD Resource Consulting, Inc.), Nathan Robison, PE (Robison Engineering Company Inc.), Ali Shahkar P.Eng. (Lions Gate Geological Consulting Inc.), Robert Sim, P.Geo. (SIM Geological Inc.), Jefferey Woods, SME MMAS (Woods Process Services, LLC) and Gordon Zurowski, P.Eng (AGP).
Scott Heffernan, MSc, P.Geo., Equinox Gold’s EVP Exploration, is responsible for the drilling programs at Mesquite, is a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101 for Equinox Gold and has reviewed, approved and verified the technical content of this news release. Doug Reddy, MSc., P.Geo., Equinox Gold’s Chief Operating Officer, is a Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101 for Equinox Gold and has also reviewed and verified the technical content of this news release.
About Equinox Gold
Equinox Gold is a Canadian mining company with seven operating gold mines and a clear path to achieve one million ounces of annual gold production from a pipeline of development and expansion projects. Equinox Gold operates entirely in the Americas, with two properties in the United States, one in Mexico and four in Brazil. Equinox Gold’s common shares are listed on the TSX and the NYSE American under the trading symbol EQX. Further information about Equinox Gold’s portfolio of assets and long-term growth strategy is available at www.equinoxgold.com or by email at email@example.com
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