Canadian miner Equinox Gold has broken ground at its $1.23bn Greenstone gold mine project in Ontario, Canada. The project is slated to become one of the country’s largest gold mines, expected to produce more than 400,000 ounces of gold a year for the first five years of its initial 14-year life, with a life of mine average production level of 360,000oz/y.
The project is a joint venture between Equinox Gold and Orion Mine Finance, at a 60/40 split. It will be financed with an initial capital of $1.23bn, including $125m for the mining fleet, of which approximately $100m could be leased to reduce the upfront cash spend.
Early works have been underway since March 2021. The project timeline contemplates approximately two years of construction and six months of commissioning, with mining expected to commence in Q4 2022 and the first gold pour targeted for H1 2024.
Christian Milau, CEO of Equinox Gold, stated: “Greenstone Mine is located in one of the world’s best mining jurisdictions and will be a top-tier mine, producing more than 400,000 ounces of gold per year at all-in-sustaining costs in the lowest quartile of the industry. Greenstone Mine will be a cornerstone asset for Equinox Gold and a transformative project for Northern Ontario.”
The mine will provide 800 local and 1,300 regional jobs during construction, as well as 500 jobs during operations, plus numerous opportunities for indirect and support businesses in the region.
Equinox said the asset also offers expansion potential from underground and near-mine deposits.
“Equinox Gold continues to focus on its strategy of sector-leading growth, launching Greenstone Mine development as construction at our Santa Luz mine in Brazil is nearing completion,” CEO Christian Milau said in the statement.