Franco-Nevada

Mesquite (Au)

LOCATION: California, United States
OPERATOR: Equinox Gold Corp.
ROYALTY: NSR: 0.5-2%

Mesquite is a gold operation located in south-east California, approximately 70 km northwest of Yuma, Arizona and 230 km east of San Diego, California. The mine is an open-pit, run-of-mine, heap leach operation. Equinox Gold acquired the asset from New Gold Inc. (“New Gold”) in October 2018. It was originally started in 1986 and then re-started in January 2008 by Western Goldfields Inc., a predecessor company of New Gold. Franco-Nevada holds royalties on the entire Mesquite mine property that range from a 0.5% to a 2% NSR, depending on the claim block, as shown on the schematic.

Mesquite produced 141,270 ounces of gold in 2020, an increase from 2019 ounces produced of 125,736. For 2021, Equinox Gold anticipates production of 130,000 to 140,000 ounces of gold.

Mesquite plans to invest in a leach pad expansion and a new truck fleet to support a longer life of mine. During 2020 Mesquite stacked ore-grade mineralized material identified in historical dumps, which required no blasting and had shorter hauls than material mined from the open-pits. While the mine outperformed 2019 production, 2020 saw mining transition to a larger percentage of non-oxide ore, which is higher grade but has a longer leach cycle and lower recoveries. The non-oxide ore is segregated on the leach pad and given higher lime dosing, as well as a longer irrigation cycle, to facilitate recoveries. Drilling in the Big Chief, Midway and Brownie dumps during the first half of 2020 yielded positive results.

ASSET HIGHLIGHTS

  • Stacked 1 million tonnes of oxide material from historical dumps
  • Completed mining of non-oxide Vista East deposit
  • Commenced stripping of oxide ore from Brownie deposit

2020 2019 2018
Revenue to Franco-Nevada ($ million) $ 4.2 $ 2.8 $ 2.7