Status IN PRODUCTION
Location Sonora, Mexico
Production 30,000-35,000 oz in 20211
Reserves 325 koz @ 3.90 g/t gold
M&I Resources 602 koz @ 4.17 g/t gold2
Upside Potential Expand throughput, exploration
Mercedes is an underground gold-silver mine located in the State of Sonora in northern Mexico, approximately 250 km northeast of Hermosillo, Mexico and 300 km south of Tucson, Arizona. Mercedes commenced production in 2011 and was acquired by Equinox Gold in April 2021 through its acquisition of Premier Gold Mines.
Mercedes was placed on care and maintenance in April and May 2020 in compliance with Mexico-wide government-mandated restrictions related to COVID-19. A phased re-start of the mine began in June 2020 and the decision was made to resume operations at lower throughput to allow for an optimization of mine sequencing and the maintenance schedule. This change had a positive impact, with a considerable reduction in tonnes of waste, increase in the average gold grade and a decrease in costs. Operations are exploiting low sulfidation quartz veins and quartz veinlet stockwork for gold and silver using underground modified overhand cut and fill, narrow vein longitudinal longhole mining, and longhole open stoping methods at an ore extraction rate of approximately 2,000 tonnes per day.
While Mercedes is expected to produce approximately 50,000 ounces of gold in 2021, only production after the acquisition of date of April 7, 2021 is attributable to Equinox Gold. As such, Equinox Gold expects Mercedes to produce 30,000-35,000 ounces of gold in 2021 at AISC of $1,025-$1,075 per ounce of gold sold.
Work has commenced on a substantial primary development program to increase access to multiple ore bodies. In addition, several exploration targets exist on the property with the potential for mine life extension. In addition to identifying potential targets close to existing infrastructure on the property, Equinox Gold expects to explore along the several kilometres of the unexplored main northwest vein systems that the existing mines sit on, as well as other regional targets.