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AngloGold scraps 70% earn-in on claims near Equinox Gold's Aurizona mine

Equinox Gold Corp. said Aug. 13 that AngloGold Ashanti Holdings PLC terminated a 70% earn-in agreement on the former's greenfields concessions surrounding the past-producing Aurizona gold mine in Brazil.

According to Equinox Gold, the AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. unit had already spent about US$9 million since commencing exploration in August 2016, completing more than 43,000 line-kilometers of surveying over the entire property.

It also completed approximately 10,000 meters of drilling on eight targets as well as soil geochemistry and geologic mapping surveys, Equinox Gold said.

"While our current priority in the region is near-mine exploration at the Aurizona gold mine to expand the reserve and resource base, we will continue to review and interpret AngloGold's exploration data to prioritize regional exploration targets for future drilling, on our own or with a joint venture partner," said Scott Heffernan, Equinox Gold's executive vice president for exploration.

AngloGold in May 2016 signed a four-year, US$14 million exploration deal with Luna Gold Corp., which merged with JDL Gold Corp. to create Trek Mining, which later became Equinox Gold.

A 2017 feasibility study on Aurizona pegged a posttax net present value, discounted at 5%, of US$197.1 million and a 33.8% internal rate of return, at a base case gold price of US$1,250 per ounce. Initial gold pour is scheduled for late 2018.