Producing gold in California

Equinox Gold acquired the Mesquite Gold Mine on October 30, 2018. Mesquite is an open-pit heap leach mine with a long history of successful operations.



Production 130,000-140,000 oz in 2021 

Estimated Costs $1,375-$1,425/oz AISC in 2021

Reserves471 koz @ 0.48 g/t gold

M&I Resources1,924 koz @ 0.42 g/t gold 1

Mining styleopen-pit heap leach


  1. M&I Resources are inclusive of reserves
  2. See Operations / Reserves & Resources and Cautionary Notes


Equinox Gold completed its acquisition of the Mesquite Gold Mine on October 30, 2018, bringing immediate production and cash flow to the Company and transforming Equinox Gold from a developer to a producer. Mesquite is an open-pit, run-of-mine (“ROM”) heap leach gold mine located in Imperial County, California with a long history of successful operations. The mine has produced more than four million ounces of gold since it commenced operations in 1985 with average annual gold production of approximately 130,000 ounces over the last 10 years.

Mine Type Open-pit heap leach
Operating Since 1985
Current P&P Reserve 471 Koz @ 0.48 g/t Au
Current M&I Resource * 1,384 Koz @ 0.41 g/t Au
Remaining Mine Life ~2-3 years + residual leaching
Annual Production  130-140,000 oz gold in 2020
Mining Rate ~54,500 tpd ore to leach pad
Leaching Cycle 90 days
Strip Ratio 2.6:1 
Recoveries 75% oxide / 35% non-oxide ores
AISC  $975-$1,025/oz in 2020

* Resources are inclusive of Reserves.


Mining is performed using owner-operated conventional truck and shovel open-pit mining methods and ROM ore is hauled directly to the leach pad for processing.

For 2021, Equinox Gold expects Mesquite to produce between 130,000-140,000 oz of gold at AISC of $1,375-$1,425 per ounce of gold sold. Production has increased gradually during each quarter and AISC have also improved as a result of optimization activities and an updated mine plan based on new drilling and engineering data. The Company has been stacking a higher percentage of oxidized material, sourced partly from mineralized low-grade historical dumps and leach pads on the property, increased solution flow to the leach pads, extended the leach cycle and implemented opportunities to improve recoveries. The Company has also identified a number of optimization and exploration opportunities that could extend the mine life, as outlined in the May 12, 2020 press release


Our People

At Western Mesquite Mines (Mesquite), the health and safety of our employees is of paramount importance. Our safety management systems are the reason for an enviable long-term safety performance record. Continual attention and diligence in observation, inspection and auditing systems helps to ensure compliance and improvement. Our Health and Wellness programs continue to grow in participation, far surpassing regulatory requirements and industry standards.

Our Community

Mesquite is a long-standing member of the local community, and we strive to maintain our strong reputation while forging new relationships with key decision makers. We have ongoing outreach efforts with the community, and provide informational programs for community organizations, service clubs and schools. We make regular community presentations to maintain a two-way dialogue with our local stakeholders. We remain in regular contact with federal and state regulators, regional mining and mineral enthusiasts, and community-based organizations.

Our Environment

Mesquite is committed to conducting mining activities in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. We strive to protect the environment by implementing programs that minimize and mitigate our impact to the environment.

Mesquite persistently monitors energy consumption and implements best management practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, attain energy efficiency and minimize our environmental footprint. To maintain air quality in the arid Imperial Valley, we routinely monitor dust and apply dust-suppression technologies, where appropriate, to ensure we remain within our regulatory limits.

Mesquite recycles waste whenever possible including scrap metal, batteries, paper, cardboard, fluorescent lights and used oil; all wastes are treated according to laws and regulations.

Mesquite is a member of the International Cyanide Code and through the extensive certification process, demonstrates its commitment to manage cyanide in a responsible manner.

At Mesquite, we are progressive when it comes to reclamation activities on disturbed land. Reclamation begins immediately when the land is no longer used for mining.

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