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Fazenda Gold Mine

Producing gold in Brazil

Fazenda has been operating for nearly 40 years as both an underground and open pit mine.

Snapshot

Ownership

100%

Location

Bahia, Brazil

2023 Production1

~66,400 oz gold

2023 Costs1

$1,390-$1,430 per oz AISC

Reserves

315 Koz @ 1.47 g/t gold

M&I Resources2

294 Koz @ 1.77 g/t gold

Mining and processing

Underground and open pit / CIL plant

Estimated mine life

~5 years with existing reserves

1. Preliminary production results announced on January 11, 2024. Audited results, including costs, will be announced on February 21, 2024.
2. M&I Mineral Resources are exclusive of Mineral Reserves. See Operations / Reserves & Resources and Cautionary Notes.

Overview

Fazenda is located within the Maria Preta mining district in Bahia State, Brazil, about 180 km northwest of the state capital city of Salvador and only 55 km southeast of Equinox Gold’s Santa Luz mine. Equinox Gold assumed ownership of Fazenda in March 2020 with its acquisition of Leagold Mining.

Fazenda has been in operation for nearly 40 years and has produced more than 3.3 million ounces of gold to date. Open pit mining and heap leaching began in 1984 and transitioned to underground mining with a carbon-in-pulp plant in 1988 (which was subsequently converted to carbon-in-leach in 1992). Today the mine is primarily an underground operation complemented with some small open pits.

Production at Fazenda in 2023 is forecast at 60,000 to 65,000 ounces of gold with all-in sustaining costs between $1,390 to $1,430 per ounce of gold sold. Sustaining capital of $14 million is budgeted for underground development, open-pit waste stripping, a tailings facility raise and fleet and infrastructure improvements. Non-sustaining capital of $12 million is primarily for exploration and underground development.

Operating Data

 2023 Guidance2022 Actuals2021 Actuals
Gold produced (oz)60,000-65,000 65,64160,401
Cash costs ($/oz)1,170-1,210 1,047875
AISC ($/oz)1,390-1,430 1,2151,159
Sustaining capital ($M)14 915
Growth capital ($M) 1286

Mining and Processing

The majority of mill feed (~75%) is from underground mining, with the remainder coming from a series of small open pits. Underground mining is owner-operated via five declines along an estimated 6 km strike of the mineralized trend. The underground mining rate is up to 3,800 tonnes per day which provides for approximately five years of underground production based on existing Mineral Reserves. The Company expects to extend the underground mine life with recent exploration activities and has successfully replaced the Mineral Reserves for the past five years.

Open pit mining is performed by a mining contractor with conventional truck and shovel operations. The average mining rate is approximately 4.6 million tonnes per year with a strip ratio averaging 9:1 (waste:ore). Existing Mineral Reserves support a five-year open pit mine life, with the potential for mine life extension by mining the crown pillar in a number of ore bodies.

Ore is delivered to a 3,780 tonnes-per-day crushing and grinding circuit and processed with gravity concentration and a standard carbon-in-leach plant. Gold recovery averages more than 90%.

Exploration and Geology

Fazenda is located within the Rio Itapicurú Greenstone Belt, a 100 km long and 60 km wide north-south trending volcanic-sedimentary belt situated within the São Francisco Craton. Fazenda is an epigenetic, structurally controlled, and hydrothermally altered Precambrian quartz vein hosted lode gold deposit that has been subjected to greenschist facies metamorphism. The main mineralization is in the form of sulphide-bearing quartz veining, and these multiple vein systems vary in true width from 1.5 to 40 metres.

Drilling has successfully converted Mineral Resources to Mineral Reserves for the past five years. Underground exploration opportunities exist in large gaps in historical drilling, and gold mineralization remains open along strike to the east and west. In 2021, Equinox Gold delineated Mineral Reserves in the Canto 2 open pit deposit that will be incorporated into the Fazenda mine plan in 2023.

In addition, ongoing exploration in the Bahia District along the 70 km long greenstone belt that hosts Equinox Gold’s Fazenda and Santa Luz mines, has identified the potential to establish a mining district with the opportunity to truck mineralization to either Fazenda or Santa Luz for processing, based on the ore’s metallurgical characteristics.