Equinox Gold halts Los Filos operations

Los Filos gold mine in Guerrero state, 230 km south of Mexico City. Credit: Leagold Mining.

Equinox Gold (TSX: EQX, NYSE: EQX) has suspended mining activities at its Los Filos mine in the Guerrero Gold Belt, Mexico, as the result of a road blockade by members of the nearby Carrizalillo community.

According to the company, the individuals allege non-compliance with the community social collaboration agreement signed in 2019.

The mine remains staffed with a reduced workforce to maintain appropriate safety, security and environmental, Equinox said in a press release.

Midday Friday, Equinox’s stock was down 9.2% on the TSE

According to local news, members of the community said that the company failed to comply with almost 70 percent of the clauses of the document based on which the Canadian miner would exploit the Los Filos mine until 2025.

The protesters claim that Equinox has had a racist and discriminatory attitude against the residents and has also violated clauses of the contract related to the protection of health and the environment.

Members of the community said that 21 workers have been infected with covid-19 in the last months, some of whom have died.

Equinox said it is in active discussions with the Carrizalillo community leaders to resolve the issues.

According to company files, Los Filos has a 20-year mine life (2019-28), during which 3.2 million ounces of gold are expected to be recovered.

From 2021 onwards, the average annual output will be 350,000 ounces. That number will rise to 420,000 ounces going forward until 2024.

Midday Friday, Equinox’s stock was down 9.2% on the TSE. The company has a C$3.6 billion market capitalization.

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