Aura Minerals’ exploration portfolio features several prospective gold and base metal projects, which will play an important role in supporting future growth objectives. Aura Minerals seeks to increase financial flexibility and company value through the development, partnership or sale of these assets.
The Company’s non-core exploration land holdings consist of the Cumaru project, the Inaja Greenstone Belt (the “Inaja Project”) and the North Carajas Belt claims, located in the State of Para, Brazil (collectively, the “Para Properties”). With the focus of the Company being mine development and production and in light of the early exploration stage of the Para Properties, the Company granted an option to Vale S.A. (formerly, Companhia Vale do Rio Doce) to earn up to a 70% interest in the Inaja Project (the “Inaja Option”) and is reviewing options to realize value from the other Para Properties. Such options may include joint venture agreements or outright sale. While the Company is considering its options on these properties, areas of low potential may be dropped by the Company to reduce holding costs. No exploration was conducted by the Company on the Para Properties in 2011 and none is planned in 2012.
In connection with Inaja Option, Vale S.A. has conducted extensive exploration work across the entire area (about 100,000 hectares) of the Inaja Project, including an airborne magnetic survey, detailed geological mapping of iron formations and ultramafic rocks, sampling of stream sediments, and a detailed ground magnetic-radiometric survey. Drilling of prospective targets is ongoing.