Sustainable Community Development
March 29, 2022
Equinox Gold is proud to announce the official opening of a new water treatment facility in Aurizona Village.
We are proud to announce that, in partnership with local authorities, a new water treatment facility has been constructed, commissioned and is now delivering water through upgraded pipelines to the households in Aurizona Village. We have provided the necessary training and public authorities, along with community members, have assumed responsibility for operating and maintaining the water treatment facility. This is a true sustainable community investment project, providing new skills and employment opportunities and also improved water access and water quality for community members.
In late March 2021, the northwest region of Maranhão State, Brazil received exceptionally heavy rain (more than 450 mm in two days), described as a 1-in-10,000-years rain event. While the operational structures at our Aurizona mine were not affected, a small freshwater pond overflowed and widespread flooding in the region washed out many roads and increased turbidity in waterways and local sources of drinking water.
Mine site personnel reacted quickly to support neighbouring communities, helping to quickly restore road access and delivering both clean water and bottled drinking water to supplement household and community supplies. We also offered our assistance to improve Aurizona Village’s water treatment plant by upgrading the filtration capacity to address excess turbidity from the flooding.
Although the community’s water treatment plant was functional within a few days following the installation of upgraded filters, we received feedback that storage capacity and the current water treatment facility were not sufficient for the community’s needs. We initiated a review of the community’s water distribution network, installed water storage tanks throughout the village and continued our delivery of both drinking water and clean water to ensure every household had access to water. In April 2021, upon completion of our preliminary review, we announced our decision to upgrade the water distribution pipelines and install a new water treatment plant to replace the community’s current facility.
Water improvement projects involved a number of initiatives, including using ultrasound technology to identify breaks and leaks in the pipelines that distribute water to community households, repairing and flushing the pipelines, filling water storage tanks throughout the community to support households that were not connected to the distribution network, and installing additional filters and tanks in the current facility to improve both capacity and water quality until the new water treatment facility was ready for use.