Aura Minerals Inc. [ORA-TSX; ARMZF-OTC] on Wednesday February 3 said its board of directors has approved the development of the Almas Gold Project, an open-pit mine located in the state of Tocatins, Brazil. The decision is based on the conclusion of a completed feasibility study and detailed analysis by the management team.
The Almas Project is expected to be operational by the second half of 2022 with an after-tax total investment of US$73 million, yielding an after-tax net present value of US$183 million, based on a gold price of US$1,558/oz.
Average annual gold production is estimated at 51,000 ounces during the first four years. The mine is expected to have a lifespan Aura of 17 years.
Aura shares advanced on the news, rising 2.3% or 34 cents to $14.59 and now trade in a 52-week range of $18.30 and $1.76.
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).
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.
Aura has 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.
The Almas Gold project consists of three deposits (Paiol, Vira Saia and Cata Funda) and several exploration targets, including Nova Prata/Espinheiro, Jacobina and Morro do Carneiro. Of these, only three deposits, Paiol, Vira Saia and Cata Funda, have seen significant exploration work.
Measured and indicated resources at the Almas Gold project stand at 23.2 million tonnes, grading 1.00 g/t gold or 745,445 ounces. Mineral reserves at the site are estimated to be 20.6 million tonnes of grade 0.92 g/t gold or 608,373 ounces. The project contains a heap leach stockpile of 36,900 ounces.