Canadian miner Equinox Gold has achieved commercial production at its Santa Luz mine, in Brazil.
“Santa Luz is our fourth operating mine in Brazil and represents 100 000 oz of average annual production with mine life extension potential from near-mine surface targets, an underground deposit, and additional opportunities in the 70-km-long mineralized greenstone belt that hosts our Santa Luz and Fazenda mines,” said president and CEO Greg Smith on Tuesday.
The Santa Luz mill is operating at about 90% of design capacity of 7 400 t/d, with recoveries consistently above 70% and ranging up to 85%.
About 23 000 oz of gold have been produced to September 30, and gold production is expected to continue to increase through the fourth quarter of 2022.
Equinox started building the Santa Luz mine in late 2020 and began mining in June last year. A longer-than-expected ramp-up has prolonged commercial production, which along with other disruptions at other operations, resulted in the company in April lowering its guidance for the year to between 550 000 oz and 615 000 oz.
“We thank the Santa Luz team for their dedication and hard work to achieve this commercial production milestone and celebrate their exemplary safety record, working more than 4.3-million hours since the start of construction with no lost-time injuries,” said Smith.