MINIMIZING OUR ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT
When designing our projects and planning our daily activities, we identify risks and develop a strategy to prevent and mitigate environmental impact, reducing both near- and long-term risk at our projects. Project design considers full life-of-mine risks and opportunities, carefully planning every stage of development from exploration through to construction, operations and finally closure to ensure we are minimizing our environmental footprint and bringing net benefits to our community partners.
PARTNERING WITH LOCAL GROUPS
Equinox Gold’s commitment to environmental sustainability includes partnering with local groups to provide education and training that leads to improved agriculture and artisanal mining practices in local communities. For example, the Company promotes environmental education and collaborates with community leaders to undertake waste management and reforestation activities.
Equinox Gold communicates regularly with community leaders to provide updates on project development and solicit feedback on project design, and works with local landowners to ensure the company’s activities do not interfere with agriculture and subsistence practices.
The Castle Mountain Mine produced more than 1.2 million ounces of gold from 1992 until 2001, when the project was shut down due to low gold prices. Since shut down the project has been almost entirely reclaimed. During operations and reclamation the project received numerous awards for exemplary environmental and reclamation practices.
Equinox Gold has prepared a document that outlines the tailings dam management process at Aurizona. In 2019, the Company also formed an Independent Tailings Review Board (“ITRB”). The ITRB is composed of independent technical experts with the mandate to further review the design, construction and management practices for the Company’s tailings storage facilities, and to provide advice and recommendations to the site team and the Company’s senior management team.
During 2019, Equinox Gold became a signatory to the International Cyanide Management Code, which commits the Company to applying leading practices in the transport and use of cyanide at all of its sites. Mesquite has been certified under the Code since 2011. Los Filos has been certified since 2016.