Castle Mountain (Au)


LOCATION: California, United States
OPERATOR: Equinox Gold Corp.

The Castle Mountain mining property is located in California, close to the Nevada border and is in the historic Hart Mining District, 120 km south of Las Vegas, Nevada. The project is being advanced by Equinox Gold, which also owns the Mesquite mine described on page 47. Equinox Gold was formed in 2017 following the combination of NewCastle Gold Ltd. (“NewCastle”), Trek Mining and Anfield Gold Corp. NewCastle was the previous owner of the Castle Mountain property.

In April 2016, Franco-Nevada agreed with NewCastle to restructure the existing royalties on the property into a single 2.65% NSR royalty. The new royalty overrides the five separate pre-existing royalties held by Franco-Nevada, covering all of the existing Castle Mountain project and extending 10 miles from the boundary of the project.

The Castle Mountain land holdings total greater than 40 km2 of patented and unpatented claims. The mine was previously operated by Viceroy Gold and MK Resources and produced over 1.2 million ounces of gold over a 10-year mine life, with residual mining through to 2004. Construction and commissioning of the Castle Mountain Phase 1 mine was completed in mid-September 2020. First gold was poured on October 15, 2020. During 2020, Castle Mountain produced 5,338 gold ounces with loaded carbon from Castle Mountain being processed in the carbon stripping and smelting plant at the Mesquite mine. For 2021, Equinox Gold anticipates production of 30,000 to 40,000 ounces of gold with Phase 1 operations expected to produce on average 40,000 ounces of gold annually. A feasibility study for the Phase 2 expansion was released in March 2021. The Phase 2 project will expand ROM heap leaching and incorporate milling of higher-grade ore, increasing production to an average of 218,000 ounces per year for 14 years followed by leach pad rinsing to recover residual gold. Life-of-mine production including Phase 1 operations and end of mine life rinsing is estimated at 3.4 million ounces of gold.


  • Achieved commercial production in November 2020
  • Feasibility study completed for expansion to >200,000 ounces per year
  • Franco-Nevada’s royalty covers entire project area with a 10-mile area of interest

2020 2019 2018
Revenue to Franco-Nevada ($ million) $ – $ – $ –

CastleMountain map