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Geraldton is back on the map as a gold mining town

First gold pour in more than 50 years brings legacy mine site back to life
The first gold brick from the Greenstone Gold Mine, near Geraldton

Equinox Gold has poured its first gold brick at its fledgling Greenstone Mine, south of Geraldton. It's one of Canada’s largest open-pit gold operations. 

The Vancouver mid-tier miner announced May 23 of the inaugural pour in producing 1,800 ounces of gold. All equipment is working well. the company said.

Located 275 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, the mine took a billion dollars to build. Highway 11 was re-routed around the pit during construction.

It’s the first gold production in the area in more than 50 years.

The mine is situated on the site of the historic Hardrock, MacLeod-Cockshutt and Mosher underground mines. From the late 1930s up to 1970, combined gold production was more than 2 million ounces.

Equinox recently bought out its development partner, Orion Mine Finance Management, to dissolve the 60-40 joint venture first struck in 2021. That buy-out was completed this month.

“This first gold pour represents another key step toward achieving commercial production at the Greenstone Mine,” said Greg Smith, Equinox president-CEO in a statement.

“This is a proud moment for all involved, and I extend my congratulations to the entire Greenstone team. We look forward to ramping up to commercial production in the third quarter of this year and delivering sustained value from the Greenstone Mine for all our stakeholders.”

The Greenstone open-pit mine is the company’s flagship operation.

When mining at full capacity, Greenstone will produce 400,000 ounces of gold annually for the first five years and after that average 360,000 ounces per year over a 14-year mine life. The company maintains there are exploration opportunities close by to extend mining operations for years to come.