Equinox Gold is aiming for its first gold pour at its Greenstone open-pit mine project sometime during the first half of 2024.
The Vancouver-headquartered gold miner said its $1.23-billion mine construction project is at the 85 per cent mark.
The mine project is a 60/40 partnership between Equinox Gold and Orion Mine Finance Group, respectfully.
The mine site is located three kilometres south of the town of Geraldton on Highway 11.
Once in production, Greenstone will be one of the largest gold mines in Canada with annual gold production of more than 400,000 ounces over the first five years and more than five million ounces of gold over its initial 14-year mine life.
At the end of June, Equinox said $937 million has been spent — about 76 per cent of the project budget — with $170 million remaining.
All major equipment is now on site. About 75 per cent of the mechanical installations are done. Electrical and piping installations are both at 67 per cent.
Power plant construction is complete with pre-commissioning starting soon.
To carve out the pit, the company and its contractors had to re-route Highway 11 and the intersection to the road leading to the community of Geraldton. Equinox reports the relocation is essentially done with the handover to the Ministry of Transportation tabbed for the late summer or early fall.
Digging out the pit means pre-production mining has been underway and operating 24/7 since the fourth quarter of 2022. More than 10.6 million tonnes of material have been moved and stockpiled to date.
The company said its priority is supplying waste rock to construct its tailings dump and for other construction activities on site. Actual mining of mineralized ore to build a stockpile starts in the last three months of this year.
“The Greenstone Project continues to advance on budget and on schedule,” said Equinox president-CEO Greg Smith. “With most ancillary facilities complete and transferred to the operations team and construction activities 83 per cent complete, our focus is shifting toward commissioning and operational readiness as we advance to construction completion and first gold pour in the first half of 2024, and then achieving commercial production.”
Throughout construction, Equinox has been regularly sharing its site progress through a photo gallery on its website.
Greenstone Project construction progress is documented weekly in a photo gallery on Equinox Gold’s website at www.equinoxgold.com and select photos are included in this news release.
Equinox Gold operates seven mines, four in Brazil, two in California and one in Mexico.