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Equinox to triple gold production in 2020

Enlarged Equinox Gold (TSX: EQX) has confirmed plans to more than triple gold production in 2020 following its now-complete merger with Leagold Mining but has cautioned the COVID-19 pandemic could change expectations.
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Equinox Gold expects first gold later this year from Castle Mountain in California

Staff reporter

It had previously flagged the possibility of 700,000 ounces of gold this year but yesterday put 2020 guidance at 540,000-600,000oz at all-in sustaining costs of US$1,000-$1,060/oz.

It said total consolidated production, including Leagold's output prior to the March 10 completion of the merger, was estimated at 615,000-680,000oz.

Equinox had produced about 201,000oz in 2019.

The merger means the Ross Beaty-backed company now has six mines across the US, Mexico and Brazil and it's expecting its first gold from past-producing Castle Mountain in California in the third quarter.

CEO Christian Milau said Equinox was fully funded to increase production over the next two years to more than 1 million ounces of gold annually, an aim he had outlined to Mining Journal in March.

"We also recognise the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential effect on our operations and our guidance for this year," Milau said yesterday, adding expectations would be adjusted if necessary.

The company said last week it had temporarily suspended mining activities at RDM in Brazil for 15 days in line with government restrictions related to the pandemic but said the mill would continue to process lower-grade stockpiles.

Its shares have ranged from C$4.91-$13.53 over the past year and closed up 3% yesterday to $9.40, capitalising it at $2 billion (US$1.4 billion).