(Equinox Gold, 28.Apr.2022) — Equinox Gold Corp. (TSX: EQX) (NYSE American: EQX) announced positive drill results from 2021 exploration drilling in the 70-km-long greenstone belt in Bahia State, Brazil that hosts the company’s 100%-owned Fazenda and Santa Luz gold mines (“Bahia Belt”). Exploration has identified multiple near-mine and regional discoveries that highlight growth potential in the Bahia Belt.
“The 2021 exploration program in the Bahia Belt has led to the discovery of significant gold mineralization at multiple targets within haulage distance to our existing mines,” said Scott Heffernan, EVP Exploration for Equinox Gold. “Drilling at the Canto 2 target adjacent to our Fazenda Mine was particularly important, intersecting very high grades and clearly highlighting the potential for both open pit and underground resource growth and mine life extension at Fazenda. Equinox Gold also secured exploration permits covering an additional 323 square km, bringing the total land package in the Bahia Belt to nearly 1,300 square km covering the majority of this highly prospective but underexplored greenstone belt.
“The 2022 exploration program is well underway and includes over 70,000 metres of drilling across targets ranging from early to advanced-stage exploration, a high-resolution airborne magnetic survey covering the entire Bahia Belt, and geologic mapping and geochemical sampling to further refine targets in advance of drilling.”
BAHIA BELT 2021 EXPLORATION PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
Exploration targets in the Bahia Belt were identified by integrating multiple datasets including airborne geophysical surveys, geologic mapping, outcrop and soil sampling, and historical drilling. During 2021 Equinox Gold tested 17 targets throughout the Bahia Belt, drilling 56,918 metres (“m”) in 479 diamond and reverse circulation (“RC”) drill holes (Figure 1). Of the 479 holes, 372 intersected anomalous to ore-grade gold mineralization and of these, 126 intersected significant gold mineralization and identified several gold-mineralized systems close to Equinox Gold’s Fazenda and Santa Luz mines. Highlight results are presented below, and a complete table of drill results can be downloaded here.
Canto 2 Deposit
The Canto 2 deposit was previously operated as a shallow open-pit mine and is directly adjacent to Equinox Gold’s operating Fazenda open-pit and underground mine complex. A total of 12,212 m in 46 holes (Figure 2) was drilled to test mineralization continuity along strike and up to 400 m below surface with the objective of increasing both open-pit and underground mineral resources and upgrading the existing resource classification from Inferred to Indicated. Every drill hole intersected economic-grade gold mineralization and several intersected newly identified bonanza grades including 69.0 g/t Au over 3.5 m and 7.53 g/t Au over 5.2 m in hole FBD010, 67.2 g/t Au over 4.0 m and 3.43 g/t Au over 17.4 m in hole FBD011, 50.8 g/t Au over 2.0 m in hole FBD013, and 3.31 g/t Au over 29.0 m in hole FBD040. Equinox Gold plans to undertake further exploration at Canto 2 in 2022 to further test expansion potential at depth and along strike.
An updated Fazenda Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve statement, which will incorporate Canto 2 drill results, is planned for late 2022.
Canto 2 Drill Highlights (Figure 2)
- 6.88 g/t Au over 3.6 m from 128.0 m (FBD007)
- 69.0 g/t Au over 3.5 m from 131.0 m and 7.53 g/t Au over 5.2 m from 138.8 m (FBD010)
- 67.2 g/t Au over 4.0 m from 106.0 m and 3.43 g/t Au over 17.4 m from 141.8 m (FBD011)
- 50.8 g/t Au over 2.0 m from 69.6 m (FBD013)
- 2.96 g/t Au over 9.0 m from 233.0 m (FBD015)
- 4.68 g/t Au over 10.0 m from 78.0 m (FBD022)
- 2.53 g/t Au over 6.0 m from 191.0 m (FBD027)
- 2.38 g/t Au over 18.0 m from 142.0 m (FBD037)
- 3.31 g/t Au over 29.0 from 259.0 m (FBD040)
- 2.23 g/t Au over 8.4 m from 155.0 m (FBD053)
- 2.03 g/t Au over 8.2 m from 171.8 m (FBD055)
- 2.10 g/t Au over 13.0 m from 32.0 m (FBD056)
The Rufino Target is a new discovery approximately 11 km from the Fazenda Mine. It is hosted in a mafic rock package within a shear zone at least 4 km in length. One quarter of the mapped 4-km strike length was tested with 20 drill holes, 18 of which intersected gold mineralization. Grade-thickness values generally increase to the southeast, culminating with the intercept of 2.35 g/t Au over 55.0 m in hole FBP110. Farther to the southeast, 2.5 km of the mapped shear zone remains untested.
Rufino Drill Highlights (Figure 3)
- 8.96 g/t Au over 2.0 m from 134.0 m (FBD059)
- 0.78 g/t Au over 27.0 m from 17.0 m (FBP108)
- 2.35 g/t Au over 55.0 m from 35.0 m (FBP110)
Mansinha & Mansinha Sul Targets
The Mansinha and Mansinha Sul Targets lie on the same structural corridor as the Santa Luz Mine, representing a potential gold-mineralized zone more than 11 km in length. The target is hosted in a shear zone within a felsic package of volcaniclastics and subvolcanic intrusive rocks. Artisanal mining and limited historical shallow drilling have occurred, but no thorough modern exploration has taken place prior to Equinox Gold’s 2021 exploration program. Approximately 5 km of the 11-km-long shear zone was tested with 148 drill holes of which 134 encountered gold mineralization. The target has been tested to depths greater than 100 m in only a few locations, leaving significant exploration potential at depth.
Mansinha Drill Highlights (Figure 4)
- 2.28 g/t Au over 7.0 m from 37.0 m and 1.49 g/t Au over 14.0 m from 51.0 m and 1.38 g/t Au over 11.0 m from 77.0 m (SLP036)
- 1.31 g/t Au over 17.0 m from 61.0 m (SLP045)
- 4.66 g/t Au over 12.0 m from 20.0 m and 3.90 g/t Au over 6.0 m from 42.0 m (SLP046)
- 2.20 g/t Au over 8.0 m from 26.0 m (SLP050)
- 1.20 g/t Au over 20.0 m from 84.0 m (SLP103)
- 9.43 g/t Au over 3.0 m from 16.0 m (SLP123)
- 0.91 g/t Au over 25.0 m from 62.0 m (SLP160)
- 0.76 g/t Au over 25.0 m from 10.0 m (SLP161)
- 1.90 g/t Au over 10.0 m from 32.0 m (SLP162)
- 1.35 g/t Au over 13.0 m from 45.0 m (SLP163)
- 0.69 g/t Au over 35.0 m from 28.0 m (SLP165)
- 0.67 g/t Au over 39.0 m from 73.0 m (SLP166)
- 2.45 g/t Au over 10.0 m from 71.0 m and 4.48 g/t Au over 3.0 m from 101.0 m (SLP169)
- 4.04 g/t Au over 6.0 m from 64.0 m (SLP183)
- 2.77 g/t Au over 24.0 m from 55.0 m (SLP218)
Mansinha Sul Drill Highlights (Figure 5)
- 7.61 g/t Au over 15.0 m from 53.0 m (SLP153)
- 1.07 g/t Au over 11.0 m from 16.0 m and 3.79 g/t Au over 9.0 m from 38.0 m (SLP172)
- 1.89 g/t Au over 13.0 m from 25.0 m (SLP174)
- 3.63 g/t Au over 9.0 m from 55.0 m (SLP175)
- 1.72 g/t Au over 20.0 m from 37.0 m (SLP178)
- 2.35 g/t Au over 15.0 m from 16.0 m (SLP179)
- 1.65 g/t Au over 13.0 m from 71.0 m (SLP181)
- 2.30 g/t Au over 16.0 m from 34.0 m (SLP187)
- 2.89 g/t Au over 6.0 m from 28.0 m (SLP191)
- 3.14 g/t Au over 5.0 m from 41.0 m (SLP194)
- 1.25 g/t Au over 16.0 m from 19.0 m (SLP196)
- 4.30 g/t Au over 6.0 m from 49.0 m (SLP201)
- 1.25 g/t Au over 27.0 m from 65.0 m (SLP205)
- 1.60 g/t Au over 13.0 m from 13.0 m (SLP212)
- 0.52 g/t Au over 35.0 m from 12.0 m (SLP216)
- 2.47 g/t Au over 14.0 m from 29.0 m (SLP227)
- 1.90 g/t Au over 9.0 m from 59.0 m (SLP251)
LAND PACKAGE INCREASE
Following a metallogenic review of the Bahia Belt and favourable preliminary regional exploration results, Equinox Gold obtained new exploration permits covering an additional 323 square km (Figure 1). These new permits filled gaps in the existing land package, expanded the Company’s exploration territory around highly prospective targets, and opened new targets for exploration. The total land package now covers approximately 1,292 square km. Equinox Gold plans to fly an aeromagnetic survey over the entire land package in Q2 2022, to be followed by geologic mapping and geochemical sampling in high-priority areas identified by the survey.