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Equinox begins staged restart at Los Filos

Los Filos mine. Image from Equinox.

Equinox Gold (TSX, NYSE: EQX) announced on Wednesday that the blockade by members of the Carrizalillo community at the company’s Los Filos mine in Mexico has been removed and access to the mine has been restored.

According to the company, representatives from Los Filos continue to meet regularly with community leaders to reach consensus on the remaining issues related to benefits provided under the Carrizalillo social collaboration agreement.

“Los Filos has begun a staged restart and is working toward achieving full operations in January,” Equinox said in a media release.

The company recently withdrew 2020 production and cost guidance for the mine

The Canadian miner had suspended activities at the operation in September, in the Guerrero Gold Belt, after locals blocked access to it. They alleged the company had not met the community social collaboration agreement signed in 2019.

According to La Jornada, members of the Carrizalillo community said Equinox had failed to comply with about 70% of the clauses set up in the document, allowing the Vancouver-based company to exploit Los Filos until 2025.

Equinox had also suspended operations at Los Filos for most of the June quarter due to government-mandated covid-19 restrictions.

The company recently withdrew 2020 production and cost guidance for the mine, which had been expected to produce 90,000-110,000 ounces of the company’s 470,000-530,000 ounces of gold this year.

Los Filos was one of the four mines Equinox gained through its merger with Leagold Mining earlier this year.

The Los Filos complex began commercial production in 2008. The operation consists of two large open pits (Los Filos and Bermejal) and one underground mine.