Equinox Gold said it has stopped operations at its RDM mine in Brazil amid a delay in permits for the mine’s scheduled tailings storage facility raise.
Discussions with regulatory officials are ongoing and its contractor for the work is ready to mobilize and begin working. Full operations, it added, could restart as early as two months after the approval is received; it is targeting the second quarter.
The company noted that its TSF has been designed and is operated to industry best practices and is regularly inspected and audited independently and by government authorities.
“A design alteration was filed with SUPRAM (State Environmental Agency – Minas Gerais) in 2017 to change from a centreline to a downstream design, which is considered the safest construction method, and since 2018 each raise has been completed using a downstream design,” it added, noting that the permits to raise the TSF using a downstream design were granted in 2019 and 2020.
“In 2020, the company requested a raise method formalization as an addendum to the license to operate, confirming the change to a downstream design, and in early 2021 SUPRAM granted the permit to raise the TSF to its current level. In 2021, the company applied for a permit for the next TSF raise, which has not been granted to date.”
As a result of the stoppage, Equinox has withdrawn its 2022 production guidance for RDM, which had been 70,000 to 80,000 ounces. Once operations have returned, it will update its goals.
Source: Equinox Gold