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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 Corp. (“Equinox”) 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 125,736 ounces of gold in 2019, which was down from the approximately 140,000 ounces produced in 2018. For 2020, Equinox anticipates production of 125,000-145,000 ounces of gold.

During 2019, Equinox completed 48,045 meters of drilling on historical low-grade dumps and leach pads. This resulted in stacking an additional 13.1 million tonnes of economic low-grade material identified through these drill programs, which represents an additional 78,000 ounces recovered. Incorporating this material into the Mesquite mine plan contributed to a reduction in all-in sustaining cost, as the material did not require blasting, had a very low strip ratio and was located close to the leach pads resulting in short haul times. The material was mostly oxidized ore, which also has a shorter leach cycle and higher recoveries than non-oxidized ore.

ASSET HIGHLIGHTS

  • New owner motivated to extend mine life
  • Production forecast for 2020 of 125,000-145,000 ounces

2019 2018 2017
Revenue to Franco-Nevada ($ million) $ 2.8 $ 2.7 $ 2.4