Canada-listed miner Equinox Gold has exceeded its revised guidance for 2020, producing 477 200 oz of gold in a year marked by “tremendous growth” despite the global health pandemic.
The gold miner, which in 2020 completed the Leagold merger, beat its guidance of 425 000 oz to 465 000 oz and expects its all-in sustaining costs to be in its target range of $975/oz to $1 025/oz.
“We started the year with two producing gold mines and ended the year with seven producing mines, construction under way at an eighth site and the announcement of our acquisition of Premier Gold Mines,” CEO Christian Milau said on Monday.
The Premier Gold transaction brings additional diversification and scale with a construction-ready project in Canada and a producing mine in Mexico.
Milau pointed out that Equinox had also managed to achieve growth through exploration, extending the mine life at Mesquite, in the US, and Aurizona, in Brazil, while demonstrating the potential to develop an underground mine at Aurizona.
A positive preliminary economic assessment for the underground development shows 740 500 oz of gold production over a ten-year mine life with an aftertax $288-million net present value (NPV) and a 38% internal rate of return (IRR) at $1 620/oz of gold.
A feasibility study at Santa Luz, also in Brazil, indicated that it could produce 903 000 oz of gold over 9.5 years with an NPV of $362-million and an IRR of 67%, at $1 600/oz.
Equinox did not provide a guidance for 2021 yet and said it would do so when the proposed Premier acquisition closed in March.
The miner aims to build up to one-million ounces a year of gold and said that it was fully funded to execute its growth plans to achieve that goal.