All dollar figures are in US dollars, unless otherwise indicated.
This is a "designated news release" for the purposes of the Company's prospectus supplement dated November 21, 2022, to its short form base shelf prospectus dated November 21, 2022.
VANCOUVER, BC, Jan. 11, 2023 /CNW/ - Equinox Gold Corp. (TSX: EQX) (NYSE American: EQX) ("Equinox Gold" or the "Company") is pleased to report that the Company recorded its strongest production quarter for the year with 150,439 ounces of gold produced in Q4 2022, for full-year 2022 production of 532,319 ounces of gold. The Company ended the year with approximately $200 million in cash.
The 2022 production and cash balance figures are preliminary and subject to change when the Company releases its Q4 2022 and annual 2022 financial and operating results in late February.
Greg Smith, President & CEO of Equinox Gold commented: "Q4 was our strongest production quarter in what was overall a challenging year for the Company from an operational perspective, with both inflationary cost pressures and underperformance at some of our mines. However, 2022 was also a year of substantial progress. The Greenstone team continued to advance construction of the mine on budget and on track to pour gold in the first half of 2024. We achieved commercial production at our new Santa Luz Mine in Brazil, commenced permitting for the Castle Mountain Phase 2 expansion, advanced the feasibility study and permitting for development of the Aurizona underground deposit, and demonstrated the potential for a significant expansion at Los Filos.
"We ended the year well funded and with strong liquidity, with approximately $200 million in cash, an additional $127 million available to draw on our revolving credit facility plus another $100 million with the accordion feature, and equity investments with a current market value of $275 million."
Produced 532,319 ounces of gold, sold 532,127 ounces of gold
Cash costs and all-in-sustaining costs will be provided with the Company's annual 2022 financial and operating results in late February
Advanced Greenstone to 65% complete overall at year-end 2022, while remaining on budget and on track to achieve first gold pour in H1 2024
Completed construction and achieved commercial production at Santa Luz
Commenced permitting for the Castle Mountain Phase 2 expansion, which would extend the mine life to 21 years and increase production to on average more than 200,000 ounces per year
Increased Los Filos Mineral Reserves by 44% and completed a positive feasibility study for construction of a carbon-in-leach plant to process higher-grade ore concurrent with existing heap leach processing, which would extend the mine life and increase production to on average 280,000 ounces per year, with peak production of 360,000 ounces per year
Received permits for three portal locations for an exploration ramp in anticipation of underground development at Aurizona, continued to drill the underground resource, advanced the expansion feasibility study
Strengthened balance sheet:
Expanded the credit facility to $700 million with an additional $100 million accordion feature, and extended the maturity date to July 2026 with the option for a one-year extension
Sold a portion of the Company's shares in Solaris Resources (TSX: SLS) for gross proceeds of C$70 million and received C$50 million from the sale of Solaris shares on the exercise of warrants the Company granted in 2021
Closed the sale of the Mercedes Mine for $75 million cash, a $25 million note receivable, a 2% net smelter return and 24.73 million shares of Bear Creek Mining Corporation (TSXV: BCM)
Ensured financial resiliency by filing a $500 million base shelf prospectus and implementing a $100 million at-the-market equity offering program
Launched Sandbox Royalties Corp., a new diversified metal royalties company in which Equinox Gold holds a 34% interest
Cash balance (unrestricted) at December 31, 2022 of approximately $200 million (unaudited), with an additional $127 million available to draw under the revolving credit facility plus the $100 million accordion feature, and an equity investment portfolio with a market value of approximately $275 million at January 6, 2023
ESG (Environment, Social and Governance)
Achieved a Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate per million hours worked of 2.17, 36% better than the 2022 target and 29% better than 2021 performance
Achieved a Significant Environmental Incident Frequency Rate per million hours worked of 0.63, 61% better than the 2022 target and 7% better than 2021 performance
Entered into wind and solar power contracts for select Brazil operations, which will result in reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and approximately $70 million in savings over the 10-year contracts
Expanded ESG reporting disclosure to include Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) metrics
2022 Production Summary
Production increased during Q4 2022 to 150,439 ounces of gold, the strongest production quarter for the year. However, full-year production of 532,319 ounces of gold was below the lower end of production guidance as the result of operational challenges earlier in the year at Los Filos and Aurizona that continued to affect production in the fourth quarter, as forecast in the Company's third quarter results release. Production was further affected by lower-than-expected recoveries at Santa Luz, including during the fourth quarter. While operations largely improved during Q4 2022, including at Los Filos and Aurizona, the Company continues to work on improving recoveries at Santa Luz and managing costs across the operations, and plans to provide 2023 production and cost guidance in late February.
2022 Actuals (oz of gold) 2022 Guidance (oz of gold)1
Mesquite 123,965 120,000 - 130,000
Castle Mountain 23,227 25,000 - 35,000
Los Filos 133,723 155,000 - 170,000
Mercedes 2 13,631 -
Aurizona. 102,368 120,000 - 130,000
Fazenda 65,641 60,000 - 65,000
Santa Luz 37,625 45,000 - 55,000
RDM 32,139 25,000 - 30,000
Total 3 532,319 550,000 - 615,000
1. Guidance was updated on August 3, 2022 to reflect the disruption to mining and operations at RDM, a longer-than-expected ramp-up at Santa Luz that prolonged pre-commercial production and inflation on a consolidated basis. 2. Production attributable to Equinox Gold prior to the sale of the Mercedes Mine to Bear Creek Mining Corporation on April 20, 2022. Mercedes production was not included in fiscal 2022 guidance. 3. Totals may not sum due to rounding.
About Equinox Gold
Equinox Gold is a growth-focused Canadian mining company with seven operating gold mines, construction underway at a new project, 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. 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