The Aurizona Gold Project is located in Maranhão State in northern Brazil. Aurizona is an orogenic gold deposit hosted in a greenstone belt of the São Luis Craton. There are many mineralized bodies on the property, but work to date has focused on the Piaba and Tatajuba deposits on which the current resource is based.
The Aurizona mine was an active open-pit operation from 2010 to 2015, producing approximately 329 kozs of gold at an average grade of 1.3 g/t. Ore was processed through a gravity and carbon-in-leach plant with gold recoveries averaging 88%.
A Feasibility Study was released in August 2017 and outlined a mine restart plan involving an upgrade to the mill that provides for an 8,000 tpd crushing and grinding circuit that can treat all ore types. The average annual production is expected to be 136,000 ounces of gold over an initial 6.5 year mine life and commercial production is expected in 2019.
Aurizona reported 971,000 ounces of Proven and Probable Reserves as of December 2018 contained in 19.8 Mt of 1.5 g/t gold material (0.6 g/t cut-off). Exploration programs are ongoing at a number of drill-ready targets including Piaba West which has the potential to extend the existing Piaba deposit 900 metres to the southwest, and Tatajuba which is situated on the same Piaba structure and represents a potential four-kilometre extension along strike from Piaba West.
The total Measured & Indicated Resources (exclusive of reserves) increased to 692,000 ounces contained in 12.8 Mt at 1.68 g/t gold, including a new underground Indicated Resource of 460,000 ounces at 1.96 g/t gold. The updated mineral resource estimate incorporated 13,635 metres of shallow infill and step-out drilling focused on the western end of the Piaba deposit, completed since the release of the July 2017 Feasibility Study.
At the end of the third quarter, the Aurizona re-start project was 80% complete. Pre-production mining activities began in April and more than 4 Mt of material has been moved and 270 kt of ore has been stockpiled.
Exploration drill results were released from the Tatajuba target, which is the western extension of the main Piaba trend. The drill program focused on a 600 metre long portion of Tatajuba where historical drilling identified significant gold mineralization in the shallow saprolite zone. Each of the 12 drill holes intersected the gold zone, extending mineralization to depths of 150 metres from surface. Results included 1.25 g/t gold over 44.0 metres from 98.0 metres.