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Greenstone Mine construction in final stretch with pre-commissioning activities underway

Nov 30, 2023

Equinox Gold is a growth-focused gold producer operating entirely in the Americas, with seven operating mines in the USA, Mexico and Brazil. As part of its vision to be a million-ounce gold producer, in April 2021 Equinox Gold bought a 60% interest in the Greenstone Mine in Ontario, Canada, with the remaining 40% held by Orion Mine Finance Group. Greenstone Mine will be one of the largest open-pit gold mines in Canada and will be Equinox Gold’s flagship asset when it commences production in 2024.
Construction of the Greenstone Mine is in the final stretch with the Project over 90% complete and pre-commissioning activities underway. The Project remains on track to achieve its first gold pour in the first half of 2024.
At the Plant Site, almost all equipment has been installed and the piping, electrical and instrumentation teams are focused on the final connections, terminations, and programming. All conveyors are erected, the large retaining wall at the primary crusher (MSE wall) is complete and cladding on the geodesic ore storage dome is nearing completion. Pre-commissioning activities have started in various areas of the crushing circuit. A major milestone was the recent commissioning of the Power Plant, which will be the primary source of power for the site. The plant is run by 6 natural gas-powered piston engines. Thermal energy will be recovered from the engines and a glycol distribution loop will provide heat to the process buildings and the Truck Shop.
The Commissioning team has ramped up and is working closely with both the Construction and Operations teams in their planning. The focus is now shifting to pre-commissioning and wet commissioning activities at the Process Plant in preparation for hot commissioning in Q1 2024.
The team achieved a key offsite infrastructure milestone during the summer with construction completion of the new segment of Highway 11, spanning 4.7 km. Construction of the new Hydro One Geraldton Operating Centre is underway with work on the building foundation progressing.


Greenstone minie


Mine pre-production activities continue to meet the planned tonnage, with 13.6 million tonnes mined to date. Ore stockpiling will begin in Q4 2023, with 800,000 tonnes of stockpile planned for start up and 2 million tonnes by the end of H1 2024.
The Effluent Water Treatment Plant (“EWTP”) continues to treat water from the MacLeod High Tailings, underground workings from historical mining activities and surface contact water. The EWTP has treated and discharged just over 1.52 million m³ of water to date this year.
All of this work has been achieved through the dedication of Greenstone Mine employees and contractors. Greenstone Mine’s safety culture is based on trust, collaboration and an understanding that achieving our goals requires focused effort. The Finish Strong 2023 Campaign highlights the importance of staying focused on working safely as we near the finish line. Statistically, there is often an increase in incidents during the final phase of a project as people start to think about their next job and, in this case, the approaching holiday season. The Finish Strong Campaign highlights the importance of keeping our eyes and minds on the task at hand, focusing on positive behaviors and ensuring we work together to ensure the safety of our workforce. The Finish Strong Campaign rewards workers for tasks completed safely and looks for areas for improvement, empowering workers to understand the hazards and how to work as a team to get into the mindset of “what if something goes wrong.” Workers are our strongest asset when it comes to assessing the work as it happens in the field, rather than envisioned in the office. Work fronts change and we must trust and empower our workforce to be adaptable to those changing conditions and successfully complete the job without incident. Since the start of Project construction, we have achieved over 5,000,000 hours worked with only 1 Lost Time Incident.



Protecting the health and safety of our workforce and local communities continues to be paramount as we finalize the construction and ramp up operations at the Greenstone Mine. We will continue to achieve this by complying with applicable health and safety laws and regulations, investigating all near misses and safety incidents and sharing those outcomes in our toolbox meetings, while continually monitoring and assessing safety practices.
Greenstone Mine will produce on average 400,000 ounces of gold per year for the first five years and more than 5 million ounces of gold in total over an initial 14-year mine life, with expansion and mine-life extension potential from both underground and near-mine open-pit deposits. At its peak, Greenstone Mine will employ more than 550 direct workers.

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Tags: Northern Ontario / Operational Updates / Gold / All Articles