Equinox Gold shuts down RDM mine in Brazil due to permit delay

Equinox has applied for permits to increase its TSF every year since 2018 after it modified its facility design and changed it from a centerline to a downstream design. He last received a permit in 2021, which allowed him to raise the facility to its current level, but the miner has yet to receive permission for TSF’s next increase.

The TSF RDM is lifted intermittently throughout the life of the mine to store additional tailings produced by ongoing operations, the Equinox said.

Located in the state of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil, the mine began production in early 2014 as an open pit operation. It has been estimated that it could produce 70,000-80,000 oz. gold in 2022, i.e. approximately 11% of the company’s consolidated production.

Following the suspension, the company withdrew its 2022 production forecast for the mine.

“Equinox Gold expects full operations to be able to restart within two months of receiving regulatory approval, which is expected in the second quarter of 2022,” it said.

During the first quarter of 2022, RDM produced 7,160 oz. gold, which was less than the 13,362 oz. gold produced in the previous quarter. Equinox said production was lower this quarter because the company suspended operations for just over two weeks to reduce water levels in the TSF to comply with regulatory requirements.

Equinox had also pumped water from the TSF into the open pit, to comply with requirements, which meant that the higher grade sources of ore at the bottom of the pit were not available for mining. mining.

“As a result, RDM was dependent on processing sub-grade stockpile materials for 80% of the ore processed during the quarter,” Equinox said in a May 3 security filing, in which the company first disclosed the possibility. to temporarily suspend the mine.

A day after the May 3 disclosure, Equinox Gold’s stock price fell from C$9.19 to C$7.87 on the TSX.

About William J. Harris

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