Status Fully permitted for construction
Location Ontario, Canada
Production ~240,000 oz/yr (EQX share)
Estimated AISC ~$618/oz (LOM average)
P&P Reserves1 5.5 Moz @ 1.27 g/t GOLD
M&I Resources1 2.6 Moz @ 2.32 g/t gold1
Inferred Resources1 3.4 Moz @ 3.23 g/t gold
Mining Style Open-pit with CIL plant
Upside Potential Underground and near-mine deposits
Equinox Gold acquired a 50% interest in the Greenstone Project through its acquisition of Premier Gold Mines, and acquired an additional 10% from Orion Mine Finance Group in April 2021. The project will be advanced in a 60/40 joint venture partnership by Equinox Gold and Orion through their ownership in the Greenstone Gold Mines Partnership, which manages the project.
Between 1930 and 1970, more than 4 million ounces of gold was mined from multiple underground mines in the region. In late 2016, a feasibility study was completed on the Greenstone open pit deposit which paved the way to complete benefits agreements with local Indigenous groups and to complete the permitting required to advance the project to development. The project has excellent infrastructure including immediate access to the Trans-Canada Highway (Canada’s national highway) and the Trans-Canada natural gas pipeline.
In December 2020, Premier Gold filed an updated feasibility study for the project, outlining the design of an open-pit mine producing more than 5 million ounces of gold over an initial 14-year mine life.
Highlights (100% basis, $1,400/oz base case gold price)
- $1.05 billion after-tax NPV5%
- 20.1% after-tax internal rate of return
- 3.2 year payback period
- $618/oz average AISC life of mine (“LOM”)
- 5.05 Moz gold produced LOM
- 358,000 oz LOM average annual gold production
- 414,000 oz first five years average annual production
- 5.54 Moz of Proven & Probable Reserves @ 1.27 g/t gold
- $952 million initial capital
- $323 million LOM sustaining capital
- 14-year initial mine life with upside potential from underground development and near-mine deposits
- Construction targeted for H2 2021
The 39,000-hectare Greenstone Project is located approximately 275 km northeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada and is host to a number of historic and recently discovered gold deposits near Geraldton. In December 2020, Premier Gold completed an updated feasibility study for the Greenstone Project (formerly called the Hardrock Project), outlining the design of an open-pit mine producing more than 5 million ounces of gold over an initial 14-year mine life. The update was based on a revised mineral reserve/resource estimate, a new life of mine plan, and advances in detailed engineering reflecting firm price bids for all major equipment including the processing plant, mobile fleet, power plant, and the water and sewage treatment plants.
The updated feasibility contemplates the construction of a 27,000 tonne per day processing facility and open-pit mining operation. Gold production during the first five years is expected to average 414,000 ounces per annum with an average head grade of 1.45 g/t gold. The project timeline accounts for a 20-month pre-production period and a 4-month plant commissioning period. The life of mine strip ratio averages 5.1 to 1.
Initial capital is estimated at $953 million, with life-of-mine sustaining capital estimated at $323 million, of which Equinox Gold would be responsible for funding 60% based on its 60/40 joint venture partner with Orion Mine Finance.
At the base case gold price of $1,400/oz, the project has an after-tax NPV5% of $1.05 billion and an internal rate of return of 20%. The project is most sensitive to changes in gold price, as shown in the table below, followed by exchange rates, initial capital costs and operating costs.
Project Sensitivity Analysis
|Gold Price ($/oz)||$1,300||$1,400||$1,500||$1,600||$1,700||$1,800|
|NPV5% (after tax) ($M)||$849||$1,050||$1,248||$1,446||$1,644||$1,841|
|IRR (after tax)||17.6%||20.1%||22.5%||24.7%||26.9%||28.9%|
The total after-tax cash flow over the project life is estimated to be $2,089 million with a pay back of 3.2 years from the commencement of commercial operations.
The feasibility study did not include upside potential from the Hardrock underground deposit or the nearby Brookbank, Kailey and Key Lake deposits.