Status In production
Location Guerrero State, Mexico
Production 90,000-110,000 oz in 2020
Reserves 4.4 Moz @ 1.31 g/t gold
M&I Resources 9.8 Moz @ 0.93 g/t gold 1
Inferred Resources 2.6 Moz @ 0.83 g/t gold
Mining Style open pit & underground
The Los Filos mine complex began commercial production in 2008 and was acquired by Leagold in 2017. Equinox Gold assumed ownership following its merger with Leagold in March 2020. The operation consists of two open pit mines – Los Filos and Bermejal – and an underground mine at Los Filos. Los Filos is located 180 km south of Mexico City in the municipality of Eduardo Neri, Guerrero State, Mexico. The property is accessible by paved road and an on-site airstrip and includes 39 concessions covering 148,908 hectares.
Mining activities at Los Filos have been suspended since September 3, 2020 as the result of a blockade by members of a nearby community. The mine remains staffed with a reduced workforce to maintain necessary safety, security and environmental systems. Los Filos is in regular communication with the community and seeks to work with the community to find a long-term solution to the benefit of all stakeholders.
For 2020, Equinox Gold’s guidance for Los Filos is gold production of 90,000-110,000 oz at AISC of $850-$950 per ounce of gold sold. Guidance does not reflect the effect of potential future temporary mine suspensions, regulations and restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the potential impact of the Los Filos blockade; the Company may revise guidance to reflect changes to expected results.
Gold from the Los Filos deposits is recovered from crushed and run-of-mine ore via a conventional, low-cost heap leach and ADR (adsorption-desorption-recovery) process. Infrastructure on site includes primary and secondary crushing plants with 18,000 tpd capacity, an overland conveyor system, an agglomerator, two heap leach pads (one for ROM and one for crushed ore, with associated conveyors and stackers), two pregnant solution collection ponds (one for each heap), one recirculation pond and two contingency water ponds, and an ADR plant and gold refinery.
An independent feasibility study completed for Leagold in March 2019 outlined the potential to increase gold production at Los Filos to more than 400,000 oz/year. Expansion opportunities include development of the Bermejal underground mine, an enlarged Los Filos open pit mine, the re-phasing of the Bermejal open pit into two distinct sections (Bermejal and Guadalupe) and the construction of a 4,000 t/d carbon-in-leach (CIL) plant. Equinox Gold is reviewing and updating the expansion projects, including the potential to build a larger CIL plant.
Geology and Mineralization
Los Filos is located near the center of the Morelos-Guerrero Sedimentary Basin, a thick sequence of Mesozoic platform carbonate rocks. Mineralization is typical of intrusion-related gold-silver skarn deposits and is associated with two early Tertiary granodiorite stocks that were emplaced in carbonate rocks. Mineralization being mined at the Los Filos open pit is associated with a shallowly east-dipping sill and with the upper portion of the east stock. The Los Filos underground is divided into the Los Filos Norte and Sur sectors along the north and south side of the circular west stock. Mineralization in the Bermejal area consists of mineralization along the contact of the Bermejal stock with the carbonate rocks of the Morelos Formation. The Bermejal open pit mineralization is typically at the top or on the flanks of the upper portion of the intrusive. Mineralization extends below the Bermejal open pit and down the steeply dipping to vertical flanks of the intrusive. At the northern end of the intrusive the mineralization is referred to as the Bermejal underground deposit.
Location of the Los Filos Mining Areas and Mineral Deposits