Equinox Gold’s Greenstone Project: On Schedule, On Budget

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Overig advies 28/07/2022 06:11
July 27, 2022 - 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, producing more than 400,000 ounces of gold annually for the first five years and more than five million ounces of gold over its initial 14-year mine life. Construction progress at Greenstone is documented in a photo gallery on Equinox Gold’s website at www.equinoxgold.com and select photos are included in this news release.

Recent Highlights (at July 22, 2022 unless otherwise noted)

On schedule – The Greenstone Project is 35% complete and on schedule to pour gold in the first half of 2024.
On budget – The Greenstone Project remains on budget. At June 30, 2022, 56% of total capital costs had been contracted and Greenstone had spent $315 million (26%) of its $1.23 billion construction budget (100% basis).
Positive results from Independent Quantitative Risk Assessment – An independent quantitative risk assessment confirmed the validity of the schedule and construction budget based on detailed engineering and construction progress and concluded the Greenstone Project remains on schedule and on budget.
Earthworks 48% complete – Overall earthworks are well advanced and slightly ahead of schedule. Plant site earthworks are 76% complete, tailings facility earthworks are 29% complete and the Highway 11 realignment earthworks are 39% complete.
Structural concrete 37% complete and structural steel 21% complete – Structural concrete and structural steel are ahead of schedule and on track to have the majority of buildings essentially complete and ready to enclose by year end so work can continue indoors during the winter months.
Pre-production mining commencing Q4 2022 – Four CAT 793 (250 tonne) haul trucks have been delivered and are being assembled and the first Komatsu PC-5500 excavator will be assembled during Q3 2022.

Christian Milau, CEO of Equinox Gold, stated: “The Greenstone team has done great work staying on schedule and on budget, despite the challenges of starting construction during COVID and dealing with inflationary and supply chain issues. The independent quantitative risk assessment of our schedule and construction budget has provided additional comfort that we’re on track to deliver the project as planned in the first half of 2024.

“Excellent earthworks progress during the winter months means we can focus on concrete foundations and steel structures during the summer and fall and enclose the majority of buildings before year end, which will allow us to maintain productivity during the winter months. We look forward to hosting an investor and analyst tour in September to showcase construction progress.”

Results of Independent Quantitative Risk Assessment

Valency Inc., a global provider of construction project assurance solutions and quantitative risk assessments, recently completed a thorough quantitative risk assessment (“QRA”) of the Greenstone Project schedule, material quantities and cost forecast. Prior to the QRA, the Greenstone Project team completed a full review of the Greenstone Project schedule and cost, including equipment and material delivery dates and construction timelines, key assumptions used in the cost estimate including market trends, and material quantity estimates based on final engineering, which was essentially complete at the end of June. The QRA concluded that the schedule and budget as reported in Equinox Gold’s October 27, 2021 news release remain valid and achievable, and the project remains on track to pour gold in the first half of 2024.

Greenstone Project Progress

Greenstone Project construction progress is summarized below, and a number of construction photos are included toward the end of this news release.
Area Progress to Date (at July 22, 2022 unless otherwise noted)

More than 1 million work hours complete (at July 15, 2022) with no lost-time injuries
Total Recordable Injury Frequency rate of 1.46 per 200,000 hours worked
Site mitigation protocols for COVID-19 remain robust and effective


Project remains on budget, as confirmed by recent independent QRA. At June 30, 2022:
26% of total cost had been spent
56% of total cost had been contracted
28% of total cost had been awarded on a fixed cost basis
Inflationary pressures to date have been mitigated through offsetting savings opportunities and the budgeted contingency

Earthworks, Concrete and Steel

Earthworks are 48% complete (including plant site, tailings storage facility, Goldfield Creek diversion, Highway 11 realignment, water management infrastructure)
Structural concrete is 37% complete
Structural steel is 21% complete

Total Overall Progress

Overall project is 35% complete and on schedule to pour gold in the first half of 2024
Detailed engineering is essentially complete
Procurement is 37% complete
Construction is 28% complete

Process Plant

Process plant is 14% complete with major equipment delivery tracking on schedule
Concrete placement is 33% complete, structural steel erection commenced in late June and is 8% complete
Near-term focus is on steel erection and completion of the majority of building enclosures prior to winter
Work on underground services will commence in Q3 2022

Tailings Facility and Water Management

Tailings facility is on schedule at 29% complete
Earthworks and fish habitat for new Goldfield Creek pathway is complete
Permanent water effluent treatment plant is on track for commissioning in Q3 2022

Power Plant and Electrical

Power plant is 18% complete, with concrete foundations scheduled for completion in August for first genset delivery
A lump sum contract for mechanical, piping, electrical and instrumentation has been awarded on budget
Connection to the Enbridge natural gas pipeline is on schedule

Site Infrastructure

Construction office, administration office, plant site fuel station and reagent cold storage buildings are complete and operational
Sewage treatment plant is on track for commissioning in Q3 2022
Truck shop and warehouse are 24% complete and on track for availability in Q4 2022

Mobile Equipment and Mining

Four CAT 793 250-tonne haul trucks have been delivered and are being assembled
First Komatsu PC-5500 excavator will be assembled in Q3 2022
On schedule to commence pre-production mining in Q4 2022
Commitment agreed on mobile equipment lease financing for $78 million, deferring approximately $53 million of initial capital spend

Infrastructure Repositioning

Relocation of Highway 11 is ahead of schedule and 39% complete
Relocation of Ministry of Transportation Patrol Yard is 55% complete
Hydro One infrastructure relocation is on schedule, major equipment has been ordered

Important Milestones

Construction activities during the summer and fall will be focused on earthworks, concrete foundations and steel structures with the intention of having the majority of buildings essentially complete by year end. Process and power plant equipment will be delivered and installed through the remainder of the year and into H1 2023.

Important construction milestones include:

Independent QRA review of schedule and budget: June 2022
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: Q4 2022
Truck shop, warehouse, process plant (HPRG, crushing and main buildings) ready to enclose: Q4 2022
Leach tanks installed: Q4 2022
Ball mills received: Q1 2023
Crushers installed: Q3 2023
TSF complete: Q4 2023
Highway 11 realignment complete: Q4 2023
Commissioning: Q1-Q2 2024
Gold pour: Q2 2024

Additional information about the Greenstone Project, including a breakdown of the construction budget and expenditures, technical specifications for the equipment and construction progress, will be available and updated regularly on Equinox Gold’s website at www.equinoxgold.com

Equinox Gold Strengthens Balance Sheet with Updated Credit Facility

July 28, 2022 - Equinox Gold Corp. (TSX: EQX, NYSE American: EQX) (“Equinox Gold” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce it has strengthened its balance sheet and increased its liquidity by amending its existing credit facility.

Equinox Gold and its lenders have revised the credit facility to:

Increase the maximum amount available under the revolving facility from $400 million to $700 million
$300 million drawn at end of Q2 2022, $100 million drawn in July 2022
$73 million of carrying value remaining on the amortizing term loan has been rolled into the revolving facility, eliminating the need for principal payments through mid-2026
Add a $100 million uncommitted accordion feature
Reduce pricing for advances by 0.25% - 0.50% depending on leverage ratios
Extend the maturity date to July 28, 2026, with the ability to request an additional one-year extension

Peter Hardie, Chief Financial Officer of Equinox Gold, commented: “The revised credit facility increases Equinox Gold’s liquidity, reduces our cost of capital and extends the maturity date of our debt while we focus on building Greenstone. The increase in readily accessible, lower cost capital reflects the Company’s growth and maturity and provides increased financial flexibility as we focus on delivering value to our shareholders in any economic environment. We appreciate the continuing strong support from our lending syndicate and their confidence in our long-term strategy.”

Amounts drawn are subject to variable interest rates based on the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (Term SOFR) plus an applicable margin of 2.25% to 3.50%, based on the Company’s total net leverage ratio.

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