Our Environment

Minimizing our environmental impact

Equinox Gold is committed to implementing best practices in responsible mining. Operating responsibly requires the commitment of all team members, from the Board of Directors to the site workforce to the camp manager who implements a recycling program. Every person has a role in minimizing our environmental impact.

Our Commitment

MINIMIZING OUR ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT

As part of the planning process, we identify risks and develop management strategies to prevent and mitigate environmental impacts. We consider full life-of-mine risks and opportunities, carefully planning every stage of development from exploration through to construction, operations and finally closure, always seeking to minimize our environmental.

PARTNERING WITH LOCAL GROUPS

Equinox Gold’s commitment to environmental sustainability includes partnering with local groups to provide favourable environmental outcomes as well as opportunities for education and training. For example, at Castle Mountain, we have collaborated with the California Bighorn Sheep Preservation Society to install watering points that are used to keep our local population of bighorn sheep healthy and thriving.

2020 PERFORMANCE

A summary of Equinox Gold’s management approach to ESG issues, progress during 2020 and next steps for 2021 can be found in our Responsible Mining: Commitments & Performance document. More detailed information about Equinox Gold’s environmental performance during 2020 can be viewed here.

Minimizing our environmental footprint

Planning for the future
Reviewing the potential to use thickened or filter and dry stack of tailings at various sites

Tailings Management

Equinox Gold adheres to all local and federal regulations and to best practice international standards to ensure our waste and tailings are safely managed. Monitoring and warning systems are installed at our tailings facilities and they are monitored, inspected and audited routinely by trained personnel, independent experts and local regulators.

In 2019, the Company formed an Independent Tailings Review Board of independent technical experts with the mandate to further review the design, construction and management practices for the Aurizona tailings storage facility. Our other tailings facilities in Brazil are reviewed by independent engineers. Equinox Gold prepared a document in 2019 that outlines the tailings dam management process at Aurizona. This document will be updated by year-end 2020 to include the tailings facilities at the other Brazil mines.

Implementing opportunities for water conservation

WATER & CYANIDE MANAGEMENT

Equinox Gold’s water management strategy is focused on protecting the quality of local water resources and minimizing the amount of water used to maintain operations. We strive to both reduce our water use and to recycle water where possible. Our sites comply with all required discharge and prescribed water quality standards, although most of our sites are zero-discharge.

Equinox Gold is a signatory to the International Cyanide Management Code, which commits the Company to applying leading practices in the transport and safe use of cyanide and also to implementing programs to monitor for cyanide in both surface water and groundwater at all of its sites.

Reviewing opportunities to implement green power sources or carbon offset programs at mine sites

ENERGY & GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

Equinox Gold understands its responsibility to contribute positively in the global fight against climate change. For the company to have the greatest impact, it is imperative that we become as energy efficient as possible and seek low-carbon or renewable energy alternatives at our operations. The company uses a systematic approach to identify the main sources of energy use, set greenhouse emissions targets and review and report on progress. Awareness at both site and corporate is a critical component of our approach.

During 2020 the Company took part in an Energy and Greenhouse Management Assessment Workshop involving senior management and site representatives, the outcomes of which will form the basis of a strategic plan to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse emissions. Equinox Gold is committed to disclosing its GHG emissions and energy use according to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and will provide these disclosures during 2021.

Progressive reclamation and closure plans to return ecosystems as close as possible to their original state

BIODIVERSITY & MINE CLOSURE

Equinox Gold adheres to all local and federal regulations and additional voluntary standards to prevent or mitigate the impact of mining activities on habitat and species loss, and to promote conservation of local biodiversity. Special consideration is given to local threatened species and critical habitat. We are committed to progressive site remediation and our closure plans focus on agreed end land uses in consultation with local regulators and communities.

Equinox Gold actively seeks partnerships with organizations focused on positive biodiversity outcomes. At the Company’s Castle Mountain Mine in California, for example, the Company has partnered with the Searchlight Township to transplant Joshua trees throughout the community, an initiative that protects the Joshua trees and also expands green spaces in the community.

A workforce with ethnic and gender diversity that reflects the regions and communities in which we work

HUMAN RIGHTS & DIVERSITY, HUMAN RESOURCES & LABOUR RELATIONS

Equinox Gold recognizes its responsibility to comply with applicable laws and regulations as well as internationally recognized standards to protect the rights of workers and communities across its business activities. Human rights is a fundamental issue on which all of our business is conducted. We value inclusion and diversity and regard these values as a strength to our organization. During 2020, Equinox Gold held a workshop with senior management focused on human rights and diversity to better understand our site level management approach and discuss possible paths forward to formalize our principles, procedures and policies.

Equinox Gold’s objective is to have a highly talented workforce with ethnic and gender diversity that reflects the regions and communities in which we work. At the site level, we have programs in place to identify, train and hire local community members, and to provide support and training opportunities that assist local community members to advance in the company. We respect the rights of all workers, including freedom of association, and strive for collaborative relationships with our workforce and, as applicable, the unions that represent our workforce.

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