The Aurizona gold project that Canadian junior Equinox Gold is building in Brazil has moved past the halfway mark, with the overall project now 55% complete and the engineering, procurement and construction management activities about 70% complete.
In a project update on Thursday, Vancouver-based Equinox said that construction was tracking on schedule for the first gold pour to occur before the end of this year.
Equinox, which is spending $146-million on the new mine in Maranhão, expects to produce an average of 136 000 oz/y of gold from Aurizona.
The company reported that the concrete foundations and pedestals for the semiautogenous and ball mills were complete and ready for mill installation, which would start at the end of the month. Concrete work was under way in the surge bin area, 90% complete in the leaching and thickening areas and 50% complete in the crusher area.
Equinox stated that structural steel erection in the grinding area had started and added that the thickener tank was 90% complete. Refurbishment of the existing carbon-in-pulp circuit and detox tanks was also complete and refurbishment of other equipment, such as pumps, agitators, screens and motors, was 90% complete.
All major contracts have been awarded, including the mining fuel supply contract and the construction contract for electrical and instrumentation installation.
“Overall procurement of equipment and materials is 70% complete, all major purchase orders have been awarded and the majority of equipment will have been delivered to site by the end of August. More than 80% of the anticipated 1 230 t of structural steel is on site,” the company reported.
Besides the Aurizona project, Equinox has a prefeasibility study under way at the Castle Mountain project in California, with the objective of restarting production.