AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE: AU) has terminated the earn-in joint venture at Equinox Gold’s (TSXV: EQX; US-OTC: EQXGF) Aurizona gold mine project in northeastern Brazil. Equinox now has a 100% interest in the project.
AngloGold spent US$9 million on exploration activities at Aurizona since August 2016 — data which Equinox will now own. AngloGold also established relationships with local landholders, which Equinox will seek to maintain for when it restarts regional exploration efforts.
The restoration of the dormant Aurizona mine is 60% complete, Equinox told investors in its second-quarter filings released August 3.
The past-producing open pit mine — which was put on care and maintenance in 2015 due to falling gold prices — will be the company’s first operating mine. It is expected to produce approximately 136,000 oz. gold per year at all-in sustaining costs of US$754 per oz. for 6.5 years.
The carbon-in-pulp circuit and detox tanks have been refurbished and the newly built semi-autogenous grinding and ball mills and components have arrived on site and are currently being installed. Ore stockpiling has begun in preparation for mill commissioning in the third quarter.
The company is working on a resource update that will incorporate near-mine mineralization found in exploration over the past year. It continues to explore the surrounding area for further mineralization. Measured and indicated resources stand at 20 million tonnes grading 1.57 grams gold per tonne.
Shares of Equinox Gold are currently valued at $1.13 apiece with a 52-week range of 89¢ to $1.37. The company has a $483 million market capitalization.