Equinox Gold has secured approval from its board of directors to commence the full-scale construction at the Aurizona gold mine in Brazil.
In an effort to pour gold later this year, the company has already started early works at Aurizona since the third quarter of last year at a cost of $25m.
So far, activities at the project included detailed engineering work, enhancing the existing tailings facility, refurbishment of existing plant infrastructure, and undertaking civil earthworks.
The total budget approved for the full-scale construction stands at $146m.
Equinox Gold CEO Christian Milau said: “With expansion permits, full construction funding and the new Equinox Gold board of directors in place, we have received approval for full-scale construction at the Aurizona Gold Mine in Brazil.
“This will be a milestone year for Equinox Gold as we advance Aurizona and transition the company from a developer to a meaningful producer, with more than 135,000oz of annual gold production expected from Aurizona.”
The company intends to raise the existing tailings facility to support expanded throughput to 8,000tpd.
Equinox Gold COO David Laing said: “The Aurizona project has been significantly advanced and derisked over the past few months with early works construction and critical path activities.
“The tailings dam raise is nearly complete, the mills are ordered and significant civil earthworks have been completed in preparation for installation of the mills and other new plant infrastructure.”
In addition, the process plant is being refurbished to be able to treat ore through a combination of conventional gravity concentration and cyanide leach/carbon in pulp (CIP) processes.