Aura Minerals Inc. [ORA-TSX; AURA32-B3] on Friday January 15 released its operational forecasts and said it is planning for a sharp increase in gold production this year.
After recently declaring record high production of 204,000 gold equivalent ounces (GEO) in 2020, the company is targeting annual production of between 250,000 and 290,000 GEO in 2021.
The cash cost form operation per equivalent ounce of gold produced this year is expected to be in the range of US$728 and US$86/oz.
Aura also said it plans to double its annual production to between 400,000 and 480,000 GEO in 2024, growth that will be driven by a combination of brownfield expansion and existing greenfield projects, not including any potential acquisitions.
Gold equivalent ounces, or GEO, are calculated by converting the production of silver and copper into gold using a ratio of the prices of these metals to that of gold.
Aura shares advanced on the news, rising 1% or 15 cents to $14.75 and now trade in a 52-week range of $18.30 and $1.73.
Aura is a mid-tier gold and copper production company with a focus on development and operation of gold and base metal projects in the Americas. Its producing assets include the San Andres gold mine in Honduras, the EPP gold mine complex in Brazil, the Aranzazu copper-gold-silver mine in Mexico, and the Gold Road (pre-operational) gold mine in Arizona.
The company has two additional gold projects in Brazil (Almas and Matupa) and one gold project in Colombia (Tolda Fria).
Aura recently declared commercial production at its Ernesto open-pit gold mine in Mato Grosso, Brazil.
The Ernesto mine is part of the Ernesto/Pau-a-Pique (EPP) mine complex, which consists of a processing plant that is fed by the Lavrinha, Japones, Rio Alegre and now Ernesto open pit mines, as well as the Pau-a-Pique underground deposits.
In 2019, the EPP complex produced 55,933 ounces of gold at an operating cash cost of US$963 an ounce.
This year, the company expects to start construction of the Almas open-it disseminated gold project, to develop a pre-feasibility study for the Matupa project and to further expand production capacity at Aranzazu, which, along with sustaining and exploration capital expenditures, will drive capital expenditures to a total of between US$93 million and US$104 million in 2021.