Operations are now ready to ramp up at Equinox Gold’s new Santa Luz mine in Brazil, where crews marked the first gold pour from the resin and elution circuit.
CEO Christian Milau said construction is now complete at the operation in the Bahia state, having been wrapped up on time and budget and without any LTIs. Commissioning began last month and the ramp-up process will continue over the coming months to a target rate of 100,000 ounces per year.
For the remainder of this year, the Canadian miner is expecting production between 70,000 and 90,000 oz.
Moving forward, Milau said the mine has expansion potential, from underground development opportunities and several exploration targets within the greenstone belt that extends between Santa Luz and Fazenda mine. It will also now turn its focus to construction at its Greenstone project in Ontario, Canada, where it is eyeing first gold in the first half of 2024.
Santa Luz is Equinox’s second project in Brazil and its third since the founding of the company.
In related news, Equinox confirmed the resumption of plant operations at its RDM mine in Brazil on 14 March following a temporary suspension on 26 February to reduce water levels in the site’s tailings storage facility. The move was made to be in compliance with a Brazilian legislative change declared in February.