Canada-based mining company Equinox Gold Corp will expand its Aurizona gold mine in Brazil following a pre-feasibility study (PFS).
The company said the planned expansion will incorporate ore from the existing Piaba open-pit deposit, as well as ore from the Piaba underground deposit and the Tatajuba, Boa Esperanca, and Genipapo open-pit deposits.
The expansion will extend the mine life of Aurizona to 11 years with average annual production of 137,000oz/y of gold and the total life-of-mine (LOM) production of 1.5Moz of gold, the company explained.
It also claimed that peak production in the years 2026 to 2029 will average more than 160,000oz/y of gold if the expansion goes ahead.
The capital development and construction will take three years and the initial CAPEX will be approximately C$154 million (US$120 million).
Christian Milau, chief executive, Equinox Gold predicted the expansion will generate C$1 billion of net cash flow at current gold prices, as well as "additional economic and social opportunities for further growth".
Scott Heffernan, executive vice president, Equinox Gold, said the company hopes to develop the region as a "cornerstone asset" for mine exploration.