Equinox Gold (TSX: EQX, NYSE: EQX) announced that construction of the Phase 1 mine at its Castle Mountain gold mine in California is complete.
According to the company, irrigation of the leach pad is underway and first gold pour is expected in Q4 2020.
Equinox started construction of the Phase 1 mine at Castle Mountain on October 30, 2019. The company commenced pre-production mining in early June and has stacked over 1.4 million tonnes of ore on the leach pad to date.
Commissioning of the plant is in the final stages and irrigation of the leach pad began on September 16. Loaded carbon from Castle Mountain will be processed in the carbon stripping and smelting plant at the company’s Mesquite Mine, 200 miles south in California.
“Castle Mountain will be Equinox Gold’s seventh producing gold mine in the Americas and our second operating mine in California. We expect Castle Mountain to be a long-life flagship asset,” said Equinox CEO Christian Milau in a media statement.
The 100%-owned Castle Mountain Phase 1 mine is a fully permitted, run-of-mine heap leach operation processing around 12,700 ore tonnes per day. Phase 1 is expected to produce on average 45,000 ounces of gold annually.
The company is completing a feasibility study for the potential Phase 2 expansion, which is expected to average 200,000 ounces of gold annually. The Phase 2 feasibility study is targeted for completion in Q4-2020.