In September 2012 the Company released the results of a definitive Feasibility Study on the Serrote deposit which focuses on developing the Serrote deposit as an open pit mine that will supply sulphide ore to a concentrator at a rate of 7 million tonnes per year, producing copper in concentrate with gold credits. Magnetite recovery and oxide ore treatment have been identified as future opportunities. The Company has commenced negotiations for project financing and development.
The Serrote project is a copper-gold project located in the central-southern part of the Brazilian State of Alagoas, approximately 15 kilometres northwest of the town of Arapiraca. The property currently consists of 24 exploration licences totalling 40,899 hectares, 11 exploration applications totaling 19,622 hectares and one mining concession totalling 400 hectares. The Serrote project is 100% owned by Aura Minerals.
The Serrote project is readily accessible from Maceio, the capital city of the State of Alagoas, via paved highways, located 160 kilometres from the Serrote Project. The Zumbi dos Palmares international airport also serves the area and lies just north of Maceio, approximately 140 kilometres from the Serrote project. Infrastructure in the area is well-established with electric energy, communication and transportation networks, including paved highways, all located within the property boundaries of the Serrote project. A one-metre gauge railroad, four kilometre distance from the Serrote project, passes through the city of Arapiraca and links directly to three deep-sea ports (Suape, Aracaju and Salvador), which are capable of shipping iron-ore and copper concentrates. In addition, the Serrote project is 450 kilometres by road and 580 kilometres by rail to Camacari, Bahia State, the site of Brazil’s only copper smelter (Caraiba Metais).
The Serrote project has been designed as a conventional open pit operation using large diameter blast-hole drills, hydraulic excavators and truck haulage. Proven and Probable mineral reserves are based on mining of the Serrote resource only. Resources estimated for the satellite deposits Caboclo, Rogerio and Zeze are not included in the reserves and remain a future opportunity.
The proposed process plant has a throughput capacity of 19,000 tonnes per day (7 million tonnes per annum), and consists of 3-stage crushing, ball milling, and conventional flotation to produce a copper concentrate product. Copper concentrate will be trucked either approximately 150 km and shipped from the Maceio port for offshore sales, or approximately 450 km to the smelter located near Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Oxide mineralization will be stockpiled separately for treatment in a possible future heap leach operation. The Project design includes space provision for a possible magnetite recovery circuit.
For additional information on the Feasibility Study, please consult the report entitled NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Feasibility Study for the Serrote da Laje Project, Alagoas State, Brazil dated October 15, 2012 (the “Feasibility Study”), a copy of which may be found on the Company's website and its profile on SEDAR at www. sedar.com