April 08, 2021

Post in News by Gabriel Catalani

ROAD TOWN, British Virgin Islands, March 31, 2021 – Aura Minerals Inc. (TSX: ORA, B3: AURA33) (“Aura” or the “Company”) announces it has filed its Annual Information Form with respect to the year ended December 31, 2020 (“2020 AIF”). The 2020 AIF includes updates to the Company’s properties’ mineral resources (“Mineral Resources”) and mineral reserves (“Mineral Reserves”, and together with Mineral Resources, “Resources and Reserves”), in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”).

In this press release, Aura provides an executive summary of the main updates in the Resources and Reserves for Aura as a whole and each of its material properties. Readers are encouraged to read the 2020 AIF and the Technical Reports (as defined herein).

Rodrigo Barbosa, CEO of Aura, comments: We are pleased to release the results of our exploration investment strategy over the past year. Our renewed focus on exploration has paid off with the successful conversion of resources into reserves at Aranzazu and Apoena at an amount greater than the depletion with a 39% increase in reserves compared to 2019. We are now significantly increasing our exploration in 2021 and the years to come and we expect continued success by increasing our resource base and converting more resources to reserves”.

 

Summary of consolidated Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves at Aura Minerals

 Over the last two years, the Company has increased its exploration efforts, with the result being an increased conversion of Inferred Mineral Resources (“Inferred Resources”) to Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources (“M&I Resources) and Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves (“P&P Reserves”).

The exploration campaign, mine optimizations and price adjustments of metals, combined with the addition and advance of the Almas Gold Project, has allowed the Company to increase reserves by 39% compared to 2019. As result, the Company ended 2020 with equivalent to 12 years of LoM based on GEO 2020 production.

Highlights are: (i) EPP, with its Lavrinha one year pit extension due to increase on in-depth reserves and increase in Nosde reserves; (ii) Aranzazu, with the successful conversion of Inferred Resources into M&I Resources and as consequence, more reserves at GH Area; and (iii) Almas, with four years increase in reserves due to mine plan optimization and adjustment on assumptions for metal prices.

Increasing both M&I and Inferred Resources requires time and a focus on investing consistently. Aura invested a combined US$22 million in geology, largely focused on the conversion of P&P Reserves, over the two-year period 2019 and 2020. Aura is planning to significantly increase exploration spending for 2021 to US$ 24 million to US$ 28 million (both operating and capital expenditures) and additional spending in the years to come, targeting  an increase in Inferred and M&I Resources over the near- and medium-term.

Below, Charts 1 through 3 demonstrate the changes in the Company’s consolidated P&P Reserves, M&I Resources and Inferred Resources between December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2020:

Chart 1: Changes in Aura’s Consolidated Proven and Probable Reserves between December 31, 2019 and December 31, 20201


Notes:

  • “2019” column represents consolidated P&P Reserves as at December 31, 2019. “2020” column represents consolidated P&P Reserves as at December 31, 2020.
  • Depleted, Almas and “Added/Model Change” for the period between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
  • Grades for P&P Reserves as at December 31, 2019 and Deceber 31, 2020 are disclosed individually for each of the properties in this press release.

Chart 2: Changes in Aura’s Consolidated Measured and Indicated Resources (inclusive of P&P Reserves) between December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2020

Notes:

  • “2019” column represents consolidated M&I Resources as at December 31, 2019. “2020” column represents consolidated M&I Resources as at December 31, 2020.
  • Depleted, Almas and “Added / Model Change” for the period between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
  • Grades for M&I Resources as of December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2020 disclosed individually for each of the properties in this press release.

 Chart 3: Changes in Aura’s consolidated Inferred Resources between December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2020

Notes:

  • “2019” column represents consolidated Inferred Resources as at December 31, 2019. “2020” column represents consolidated Inferred Resources as at December 31, 2020.
  • Converted, Almas and “Added / Model Change” for the period between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
  • Grades for Inferred Resources as at December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2020 disclosed individually for each of the properties in this press release.

Aranzazu

 Updated Exploration Activities

The focus of the 2020 drilling campaign was the replenishment of mined reserves from 2018 to 2020, and to prove continuity of the main in-depth ore body from the GH Area with drill holes up to 207.6 meters below previously known zone, confirming results from geophysics indicating the ore body extending at depth.

From 2018 to 2020 (after ramping up), the main focus of drilling at Aranzazu was definition drilling for mine planning purposes. 2020 marked the first year of exploration work at the adjacent mineralized skarn bodies of El Cobre, a skarn deposit within a few kilometers off existing operations.

The infill drill program was focused on GH Area zone to increase Life of Mine (“LoM”). Exploratory drillholes were planned to extend GH Area and Cabrestante zones down plunge to confirm additional Inferred Resources.

The Company intends to continue infill drilling to convert GH Area zone Inferred Resources to M&I Resources and replace depletion in P&P Reserves while expanding Inferred Resources and M&I Resources both at GH Area and Cabrestante during 2021.

 

Aranzazu Updated Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Estimates

Aranzazu Mineral Resources Updates

The Company estimates Mineral Resources at the Aranzazu mine as of December 31, 2020 are as follows:

TABLE 1: DECEMBER 31, 2020 ARANZAZU MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATE

Resources Category NSR

Cut-off

Tonnes (‘000) Cu (%) Cu (‘000

lbs.)

Au (g/t) Gold (‘000 oz) Ag (g/t) Ag (‘000 oz)
Measured + Indicated 45 12,027 1.43 379,575 1.12 433 20.31 7,854
Inferred 45 3,497 1.45 111,816 0.98 110 19.82 2,229

Notes:

  1. The Mineral Resource estimates were prepared in accordance with the CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, adopted by the CIM Council on May 10, 2014, and the CIM Estimation of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Best Practice Guidelines, adopted by CIM Council on November 29, 2019, using geostatistical and/or classical methods, plus economic and mining parameters appropriate to the deposit.
  2. Mineral Resources are inclusive of Mineral Reserves. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
  3. The estimate of Mineral Resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, marketing, or other relevant issues. Please see the Aranzazu Technical Report and the “Risks Factors” section of the 2020 AIF.
  4. The disclosure of the Mineral Resource estimates and related scientific and technical information has been prepared under the supervision or is approved by Farshid Ghazanfari, P.Geo. as a Qualified Person.
  5. Contained metal figures may not add due to rounding.
  6. Mineral Resources stated at a cut-off of US$45/t NSR.
  7. NSR values have been calculated using a long-term price forecast for copper (US$3.00/lb), gold (US$1,720/oz) and silver (US$22/oz)., resulting in the following formula: NSR ($/t) = (Cu% x US$45.216) + (Au g/t x US$37.973) + (Ag g/t x US$0.374).
  8. A density model based on rock types hosting mineralization was used for volume to tonnes conversion with averaging 2.95 tonnes/m3.
  9. The figures only consider material classified as sulfide mineralization.

 

Aranzazu Mineral Resources – Changes from December 31, 2019 to December 31, 2020:

The chart below shows changes in Inferred Resources at December 31, 2020 compared to December 31, 2019 as described below:

 

  • 5 million tonnes were converted from Inferred Resources to M&I Resources
  • 4 million tonnes were added to GH Area zone (GHFW) in the Inferred Resources category
  • 437 thousand tonnes of Inferred Resources were added following model changes in mine model
  • Cabrestante zone was also reviewed and 700 thousand tonnes were depleted from Inferred Resources reported in the Aranzazu Technical Report due to an inaccurate depletion shape. There is no access to Cabrestante zone at this time, but any future access needs major rehabilitation.

Chart 4: Aranzazu Inferred Mineral Resources

Notes:

  • Cabrestante, Converted, Added and Model Change for the period between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020
  • 2019 grades: Copper (%) = 1.77%; Gold (g/t) = 1.28; Silver (g/t) = 23.11

 

The image below shows major changes in classification of M&I Resources specifically in the GH Area Zone. Panel 1730 was in M&I Resource category by the end of 2019 and Panel 1627 added to M&I Resources and P&P Reserves for GH Area zone in 2020. These panels are the focus of operations in the next two years. The image also shows the increase in size of Inferred Resources in GH Area zone (GHFW) from 1500 to 1300 level (about 200m vertical down dip extension).

The chart below shows changes in M&I Resources at December 31, 2020 compared to December 31, 2019, as described below:

 

  • 661,000 tonnes containing 74,000 GEO were depleted from M&I Resources
  • 3,276,000 tonnes containing 394,000 GEO were converted from Inferred Resources to M&I Resources
  • Model changes resulted in a net loss of 1,604,000 tonnes and 284,000 GEO of M&I Resources, distributed across all areas due to lower grade of copper in GH Area HW (GHHW) zone.

Chart 5: Aranzazu M&I Mineral Resources

Notes:

  • Inclusive of P&P Reserves
  • Depletion, Added and Model for the period between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020
  • 2019 grades: Copper (%) = 1.61%; Gold (g/t) = 1.09; Silver (g/t) = 20.11

 

Aranzazu Mineral Reserves Updates

The Company estimates Mineral Reserves at the Aranzazu mine, as of December 31, 2020 are as follows:

  

TABLE 2: DECEMBER 31, 2020 ARANZAZU MINERAL RESERVE ESTIMATE*

 

Reserves Category

NSR

Cut- off

Tonnes (‘000)   Cu (‘000

lbs.)

Au (g/t) Gold (‘000 oz) Ag (g/t) Ag (‘000 oz)
Proven & Probable 57 6,274 1.36 187,629 1.02 206 18.41 3,714

Note*:

  1. The Mineral Reserve estimates were prepared in accordance with the CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, adopted by the CIM Council on May 10, 2014, and the CIM Estimation of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Best Practice Guidelines, adopted by CIM Council on November 29, 2019, using geostatistical and/or classical methods, plus economic and mining parameters appropriate to the deposit.
  2. Mineral Reserves are the economic portion of the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources. Mineral Reserve estimates include mining dilution and mining recovery. Mining dilution and recovery factors vary with specific reserve sources and are influenced by several factors including deposit type, deposit shape and mining methods.
  3. The estimate of Mineral Reserves may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, marketing, or other relevant issues. Please see the Aranzazu Technical Report and the “Risks Factors” section of the 2020 AIF.
  4. The NSR cut-off US$60/t is based on the total predicted operating cost.
  5. Ore NSR values have been calculated using 3.00 US$/lb for copper, 1,720 US$/oz. for gold and 22 US$/oz silver, the proposed concentrate off take-terms metallurgical recoveries of 91.5% for copper, 77.0% for gold, 65.0 % for silver and 70.0% for arsenic. Dilution was applied in the in the form of planned and unplanned dilution from hanging wall and footwall end-wall. Dilution from backfill (for secondary stopes) was also in-cluded. All dilution material was assumed at zero grades. Total dilution is approximately 23%.
  6. Ore NSR values have been calculated using following formula: NSR ($/t) = (Cu% x US$45.216) + (Au g/t x US$37.973) + (Ag g/t x US$0.374)..
  7. Mining recoveries of 90% were applied to the stopes and ore development sill cuts respectively.
  8. Mineral Reserve estimates for the Aranzazu Mine provided in the Aranzazu Technical Report were prepared under the supervision of R.S. Dowdell. C.Eng., independent consultant to Aura, as Qualified Person as that term is defined in NI 43-101.
  9. The Aranzazu updated Mineral Reserve is based on December 31, 2020 updated resource model and does not consider to be material change compare to prior year.

 

Aranzazu Mineral Reserve – Changes from December 31, 2019 to December 31, 2020:

The following is a summary of changes in P&P Reserves between December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2020, as shown in the chart below:

 

  • An overall increase of 1.9 million tonnes in P&P Reserves (43%) with Net Smelter Return (“NSR”) 22% higher due to an increase of 17% Au content and 3% Ag content. This increase offset 16% reduction in Cu content due to model changes.
  • A change in NSR cut-off from US$60/tonne to US$57/tonne due to commodity prices and optimization of mining method. This improves the rate of conversion of Resources to Reserves mainly in the GHHW where the mineralized zone is narrower. The conversion of Resources to Reserve in the GHHW (GH Area Hanging Wall) increased three times compare to the 2019 reserve, which represents 21% of the current reserve in Aranzazu. The MXS (Mexicana Sur) zone represents remaining 14% of the 2020 reserve and does not show changes in tonnage and content.
  • Current P&P Reserves represent a 6.8-year LOM considering current capacity at the plant (a 3-year increase comparing to 2019) and a 5-year LOM considering the 30% plant capacity increase to be achieved on second semester this year.
  • Gain in the Trafigura Agreement: As announced by the Company on November 19, 2020, a subsidiary of the Company has entered into a new offtake agreement with Trafigura México, S.A. de C.V with respect to the copper and gold concentrate produced at Aranzazu. New conditions in this agreement include lower penalties for penalty elements which reduce the discount and consequently making more marginal blocks viable. Approximately US$17M (US$4.5/tonne) is expected to be saved over period of 3 years.

The chart below breaks down the main changes in P&P Reserves compared to 2019:

Chart 6: Aranzazu P&P Mineral Reserves

Notes:

  • Depletion and “Added / Model Change” for the period between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020
  • 2019 grades: Copper (%) = 1.61%; Gold (g/t) = 0.87; Silver (g/t) = 17.87

 

Aranzazu 2021 Planned Exploration Activities

Aura has approved a 2021 exploration budget which is significantly above what the Company invested since the 2018 restart of the mine in order to continue testing the downdip extension of GH Area and upgrading the existing Inferred Resources to M&I Resources. In parallel, a large amount of exploration drilling is planned for Cabrestante and El Cobre to find and delineate new skarn mineralization in the near-mine zone.

 

San Andres

San Andres Updated Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Estimates

The 2020 drilling campaign in San Andres focused on the delineation drilling and detailing of P&P Reserves, as well as evidence of the level of oxidation of the ore, and details of the oxide-sulfide transition zone and respective recoveries.

As a result, there was an increase in the level of reliability of the P&P Reserves, bringing greater predictability in the production plan for the coming years. Areas where the recovery rate has not been reached due to the degree of change have been depleted from M&I and Inferred Resources and P&P Reserves as shown below.

The December 31, 2020 Mineral Resources estimated by Aura total are demonstrated in the table below. The Mineral Resources pit shell optimization did not consider any sulfide material. Note that the Mineral Resources are inclusive of Mineral Reserves.

 

TABLE 3: DECEMBER 31, 2020 SAN ANDRES MINERAL RESOURCE ESTIMATE*

Resources
 Category
Oxide Mixed Total
Tonne
 (t)’000
Au
 (g/t)
Oz’
 000
Tonne
 (t)’000
Au
 (g/t)
Oz’
 000
Tonne
 (t)’000
Au
 (g/t)
Oz
 ‘000
Measured + Indicated 61,026 0.49 968 7,800 0.81 204 68,824 0.53 1,172
Inferred 144 0.42 2 3,860 0.81 101 4,004 0.80 103

Note*:

  1. The Mineral Resource estimates were prepared in accordance with the CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, adopted by the CIM Council on May 10, 2014, and the CIM Estimation of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Best Practice Guidelines, adopted by CIM Council on November 29, 2019, using geostatistical and/or classical methods, plus economic and mining parameters appropriate to the deposit.
  2. Mineral Resources are inclusive of Mineral Reserves. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
  3. The estimate of Mineral Resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, marketing, or other relevant issues. Please see the San Andres Technical Report and the “Risks Factors” section of the 2020 AIF.
  4. The disclosure of the Mineral Resource estimates and related scientific and technical information has been prepared under the supervision or is approved by Farshid Ghazanfari, P.Geo. as a Qualified Person.
  5. Contained metal figures may not add due to rounding.
  6. The Mineral Resources estimate is based on optimized shell using $1,900/oz gold.
  7. The cut-off grade used was 0.20 g/t for oxide material and 0.26 g/t for mixed material.
  8. A density model based on rock type was used for volume to tonnes conversion with averaging 2.34 tonnes/m3.
  9. Surface topography as of December 31, 2020, and a 200m river offset restrictions have been imposed.

 

San Andres Mineral Resources – Changes from December 31, 2019 to December 31, 2020

Approximately 240,000 ounces were exchanged from oxide to sulfide due to changing the alteration model (reduced size of the mixed zone). At the same time, 86,000 ounces were added due to the inclusion of the Buffa oxide zone to M&I Resources. With respect to Inferred Resources, oxide was converted from Inferred to Indicated. The remaining Inferred Resources in Buffa zone is mixed and the subject of bottle roll testing.

 

Chart 7: San Andres Inferred Mineral Resources

Notes:

  • Convertion and “Added/Model” for the period between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020
  • 2019 grades: Gold (g/t) = 0.78

 

Chart 8: San Andres M&I Mineral Resources

Notes:

  • Inclusive of P&P Reserves
  • Depletion, Buffa Added and Mixed Loss for the period between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020
  • 2019 grades: Gold (g/t) = 0.51

San Andres Updated Mineral Reserves Estimates

The December 31, 2020 Mineral Reserves for San Andrés are summarized in the table below:

TABLE 4: DECEMBER 31, 2020 SAN ANDRES MINERAL RESERVES ESTIMATE*

Mineral Reserve Category Oxide Mixed Total Material
Tonne
 (t)’000
Au
 (g/t)
Oz’
 000
Tonne
 (t)’000
Au
 (g/t)
Oz’
 000
Tonne
 (t)’000
Au
 (g/t)
Oz
000
Proven + Probable 45,551 0.50 730 3,618 0.91 106 49,169 0.53 836

Note*:

  1. The Mineral Reserve estimates were prepared in accordance with the CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, adopted by the CIM Council on May 10, 2014, and the CIM Estimation of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Best Practice Guidelines, adopted by CIM Council on November 29, 2019, using geostatistical and/or classical methods, plus economic and mining parameters appropriate to the deposit.
  2. Mineral Reserves are the economic portion of the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources. Mineral Reserve estimates include mining dilution and mining recovery. Mining dilution and recovery factors vary with specific reserve sources and are influenced by several factors including deposit type, deposit shape and mining methods.
  3. The estimate of Mineral Reserves may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, marketing, or other relevant issues. Please see the San Andres Technical Report and the “Risks Factors” section of the 2020 AIF.
  4. The disclosure of the Mineral Reserve estimates and related scientific and technical information has been prepared under the supervision or is approved by Farshid Ghazanfari, P.Geo. as a Qualified Person.
  5. The Mineral Reserves estimate is based on pit designs optimized at using a gold price of $1,700/oz.
  6. Mineral Reserves are based on a 2020 updated resource model.
  7. Mineral Reserves have been estimated at a cut-off grade of 0.26 g/t for oxide material and 0.35 g/t for mixed material, with dilution of 7% and mining recovery of 93%.
  8. Contained metal figures may not add due to rounding.
  9. Surface topography as of December 31, 2020, and a 200m river offset restrictions have been imposed.

 

San Andres Mineral Reserves – Changes from December 31, 2019 to December 31, 2020:

 Approximately 78,000 ounces of P&P Reserves were exchanged from oxide to sulfide due to changing the alteration model (reducing size of the mixed zone).

 Chart 9: San Andres P&P Mineral Reserves

Notes:

  • Depletion and “Model Change” for the period between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020
  • 2019 grades: Gold (g/t) = 0.52

 

2021 Planned Exploration Activities

Aura is planning to maintain infill and extension drilling in the mine / near-mine area, increase the district and regional exploration efforts to generate new drill targets and start a preliminary assessment of the sulfide mineralization potential.

 Ernesto and Pau-a-Pique

 

Updated EPP Exploration Activities

 Near mine

During 2020, infill drilling campaign was focused on Lavrinha and Nosde mines. A total 2,101.95 meters drilled in 15 holes in the west side of the Lavrinha mine and a total of 1,360 samples (including those used for QA/QC purposes) were collected. Infill drilling in Nosde mine was focused on the NW and SE extensions to convert inferred resources to Measured and Indicated. A total of 6,543.78 meters in 77 drill holes was drilled and 5,871 samples (including those used for QA/QC purposes) were collected in this drilling campaign.

The Company believes the results have been successful for Open Pit mines and increasing LOM for the Lavrinha and Nosde deposits. The Ernesto Mine declared commercial production from October 2020.

Aura invested in near mine exploration for infill/extension drilling to convert Inferred Resources to Measured and Indicated in Lavrinha, Japonês, Nosde and Ernesto mines between 2017-2020, totalling 45,221m drilled (487 drill holes). Near mine exploration added 3 years LOM to Lavrinha and Japones combined and upgraded all of Nosde’s Inferred Resources to Indicated Resources and confirmed 5 years LOM for Nosde. Nosde mine contributes to EPP LOM on next 5 years and compensate depleted ounces from other mines in EPP project.

 

New targets

Besides near mine targets, Aura has an extensive land package (10,050 ha mine concession and 208,379 ha exploration permit) in the Guapore belt and surrounding of Pontes e Lacerda including different targets from greenfield to brownfield and advanced exploration.

Bananal is one of exploration targets, which is located ~22km from the EPP plant. Drilling was started in 2019 and continued during 2020. The Bananal target is divided into three parts, Bananal North, Bananal South, and Bananal Central, due to different locations of these targets. In 2020, infill drilling campaigns were conducted in Bananal North (drilling in 100 by 50 meters grid) and in Bananal South (drilling in 25 by 25 meters grid). Additionally, exploration drilling was conducted to extend Bananal South and Central targets.

In Bananal North, a total of 4,390.15 meters was drilled in 17 holes and 3,567 samples (including QA/QC samples) collected. In Bananal South a total of 19,141.40 meters in 66 holes was drilled and 14,975 samples collected (including QA/QC samples). A total of 566.81 meters was drilled in two holes in Bananal Central.

The results of drilling were incorporated into resource estimate for Bananal South and North and if future infill and exploration drilling is positive, Aura may publish a technical report and include these assets into LOM for EPP project. Aura continues to drill infill and exploration drilling in 2021 for all three targets in Bananal.

 

EPP Mineral Resources

The Company estimates that the total of Combined Mineral Resources of the EPP Project as of December 31, 2020 are as follows:

TABLE 5: DECEMBER 31, 2020 EPP MINERAL RESOURCES ESTIMATE*

  Tonnes (t) Au (g/t) Contained Au oz  
 
Total Measured & Indicated 5,742,732 2.15 397,775  
Total Inferred 969,224 2.87 89,440  

Notes*

  1. The Mineral Resource estimates were prepared in accordance with the CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, adopted by the CIM Council on May 10, 2014, and the CIM Estimation of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Best Practice Guidelines, adopted by CIM Council on November 29, 2019, using geostatistical and/or classical methods, plus economic and mining parameters appropriate to the deposit.
  2. Mineral Resources are inclusive of Mineral Reserves. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
  3. The estimate of Mineral Resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, marketing, or other relevant issues. Please see the EPP Technical Report and the “Risks Factors” section of the 2020 AIF.
  4. The disclosure of the Mineral Resource estimates and related scientific and technical information has been prepared under the supervision or is approved by Farshid Ghazanfari, P.Geo. as a Qualified Person.
  5. Contained metal may not sum in the above table due to rounding.
  6. Detail of resource estimate for each mine and in different categories are reported in AIF along with consolidated figures for tonnes, grades and ounces. Readers encourage to review AIF for detail of each mine.

 

EPP Mineral Resources – Changes from December 31, 2019 to December 31, 2020:

Changes in Inferred Resources were the result of converting Inferred Resources to the indicated category in Nosde (>90% conversion factor) and reporting Ernesto Resources from an optimized pit shell.

Chart 10: EPP Inferred Mineral Resources

Notes:

  • Conversion and Ernesto Model for the period between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020
  • 2019 grades: Gold (g/t) = 1.16

The chart below summarizes the changes in the M&I Resources for EPP, which are due to:

  • Depleted 70,000 ounces from Lavrinha, Japones, Ernesto and to lesser degree Nosde and PPQ
  • Increased gold prices increased M&I in PPQ by 51,000 ounces
  • Conversion of 749,000 tonnes with 35,000 ounces from Inferred Resources to M&I Resources in Nosde
  • Extensions in Lavrinha (502,000 tonnes) added 23,000 ounces

 

Chart 11: EPP M&I Mineral Resources

Notes:

  • Inclusive of P&P Reserves
  • Depletion, PPQ and NSD/LAV for the period between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020
  • 2019 grades: Gold (g/t) = 1.48

EPP Updated Mineral Reserves Estimates

The Company estimates that the total of Combined Mineral Reserves of the EPP Project as of December 31, 2020 are as follows:

 TABLE 6: DECEMBER 31, 2020 EPP MINERAL RESERVES ESTIMATE*

Tonnes (t) Au (g/t) Contained Au oz
Total Proven + Probable 6,371,118 1.45 296,000
Notes*
  1. The Mineral Reserve estimates were prepared in accordance with the CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, adopted by the CIM Council on May 10, 2014, and the CIM Estimation of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Best Practice Guidelines, adopted by CIM Council on November 29, 2019, using geostatistical and/or classical methods, plus economic and mining parameters appropriate to the deposit.
  2. Mineral Reserves are the economic portion of the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources. Mineral Reserve estimates include mining dilution and mining recovery. Mining dilution and recovery factors vary with specific reserve sources and are influenced by several factors including deposit type, deposit shape and mining methods.
  3. The estimate of Mineral Reserves may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, marketing, or other relevant issues. Please see the EPP Technical Report and the “Risks Factors” section of this AIF.
  4. The disclosure of the Mineral Reserve estimates and related scientific and technical information has been prepared under the supervision or is approved by Farshid Ghazanfari, P.Geo. as a Qualified Person.
  5. Contained metal may not sum in the above table due to rounding
  6. Detail of reserve estimate for each mine and in different categories are reported in AIF along with consolidated figures for tonnes, grades and ounces. Readers encourage to review AIF for detail of each mine.

EPP Mineral Reserve – Changes from December 31, 2019 to December 31, 2020:

 Drivers of changes to P&P Reserves are:

  • Depletion as explained above and shown in the EPP Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources chart
  • Added 59,000 ounces from extensions and Nosde conversion from Inferred Resources
  • Higher conversion rate from M&I Resources to P&P Reserves for Nosde deposit

 Chart 12: EPP P&P Mineral Reserves

 Notes:

  • Depletion and “Added / Model” for the period between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020
  • 2019 grades: Gold (g/t) = 1.07

  

EPP 2021 Planned Exploration Activities

Aura has approved a 2021 exploration budget for EPP which is significantly above what the Company invested in the last 5 years to both to maintain extension and infill drilling at mine / near-mine zones of Ernesto Connection, Lavrinha, Japonês and Nosde and for infill and extension of Bananal Target, where the Company will continue to move forward with resource estimation and project development in 2021. Aura is also developing an important regional exploration program along the Guaporé Belt with the objective to generate new drill targets.

 

Almas

 Updated Mineral Reserves and Minerals Resources for Almas have been included in the Company’s Annual Information Form for the first time. The Company filed the Almas Technical Report (as defined below) on March 10, 2021 and expects Almas to start production in the third quarter of 2022, as announced in a press release of the Company dated February 3, 2021.

The Almas Gold Project contains combined M&I Resources of 23.3 Mt at an average grade of 1.00 g/t containing 745,445 ounces of gold and Inferred Resources of 5.35Mt at an average grade of 1.19 g/t containing 205,615 ounces. In addition, the Almas Gold Project contains a combined P&P Resources of 21.9 Mt at an average grade of 0.92 g/t containing 645,273 ounces of gold. Readers are encouraged to read the 2020 AIF and the Almas Technical Report for further details.

 

2021 Planned Exploration Activities

Aura initiated an exploration program in Almas in 2020, which will be intensified in 2021 and future years with target generation and development activities through historical data integration, surface sampling and mapping followed by exploration drilling with the goal of increasing Resources and Reserves in the future. Former artisanal mining, positive surface sampling results and historical exploration drilling may indicate the existence of gold mineralization in multiple targets within Aura’s mineral rights in the district to be explored in 2021 and future years.

 

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

 Aura incorporates a rigorous Quality Assurance and Quality Control program for all of its mines and exploration projects which conforms to industry best practices as outlined by National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

Details of Aura’s QA/QC programs at its mineral properties are contained in the 2020 AIF and the related Technical Report.

 

Qualified Persons

Farshid Ghazanfari, P.Geo., Geology and Mineral Resources Manager for Aura has reviewed and confirmed the scientific and technical information contained within this news release, and has approved its disclosure as the Qualified Person for Aura as defined in National Instrument 43-101.

 

Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements”, as defined in applicable securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) which include, without limitation, expected production from, and the further potential of the Company’s properties; the ability of the Company to achieve its longer-term outlook and the anticipated timing and results thereof; the ability to lower costs and increase production; the economic viability of a project; strategic plans, including the Company’s plans with respect to its properties; amounts of mineral reserves and mineral resources; the amount of future production over any period; and capital expenditure and mine production costs.

Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond the Company’s ability to predict or control, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements if such risks, uncertainties or factors materialize. In addition, the results from the Study are also based on assumptions, including assumptions from the Technical Reports, which may include assumptions on indicated mineral resources, measured mineral resources, probable mineral reserves and/or proven mineral reserves, which could also cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements if such assumptions prove wrong. Specific reference is made to the most recent Annual Information Form on file with certain Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities and the Technical Reports for a discussion of some of the factors underlying forward-looking statements, which include, without limitation the ability of the Company to achieve its longer-term outlook and the anticipated timing and results thereof, the ability to lower costs and increase production, the ability of the Company to successfully achieve business objectives, copper and gold or certain other commodity price volatility, changes in debt and equity markets, the uncertainties involved in interpreting geological data, increases in costs, environmental compliance and changes in environmental legislation and regulation, interest rate and exchange rate fluctuations, general economic conditions and other risks involved in the mineral exploration and development industry. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect the forward-looking statements.

 

 Technical Reports

Readers are encouraged to read the technical reports prepared for the following mineral properties of the Company:

  • the technical report with an effective date of January 31, 2018, and entitled “Feasibility Study of the Re-Opening of the Aranzazu Mine, Zacatecas, Mexico” prepared for Aura Minerals by F. Ghazanfari, P.Geo. (Farshid Ghazanfari Consulting), A. Wheeler, C.Eng. (Independent Mining Consultant) C. Connors, RM-SME (Aura Minerals Inc.) B. Dowdell, C.Eng. (Dowdell Mining Limited) P. Cicchini P.E. (Call & Nicholas, Inc.) G. Holmes, P.Eng. (Jacobs Engineering) B. Byler, P.E. (Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions) C. Scott, P.Eng. (SRK Canada) D. Lister, Eng. (Altura Environmental Consulting) F. Cornejo, P.Eng. (Aura Minerals Inc.) (the “Aranzazu Technical Report”);
  • the technical report dated July 2, 2014, with an effective date of December 31, 2013, and entitled “Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Estimates on the San Andres Mine in the Municipality of La Union, in the Department of Copan, Honduras” prepared for Aura Minerals by Bruce Butcher, P.Eng., former Vice President, Technical Services, Ben Bartlett, FAusimm, former Manager Mineral Resources and Persio Rosario, P. Eng., former Principal Metallurgist (the “San Andres Technical Report”);
  • the technical report dated January 13, 2017, with an effective date of July 31, 2016, and entitled “Feasibility Study and Technical Report on the EPP Project, Mato Grosso, Brazil” prepared for Aura Minerals by a group of third-party consultants including P&E Mining Consultants Inc., MCB Brazil and Knight Piesold Ltd. (the “EPP Technical Report”); and
  • the technical report dated March 10, 2021, authored by by F.Ghazanfari. P.Geo. (Aura Minerals), B.T.Hennessey(MiconInternational,Canada),L.Pignatari,P.Eng.(EDEM,Consultants,Brazil), T.R.Raponi,P.Eng.(Ausenco,Canada), Dymov ,P.Eng.(Independent Consultant, Canada), P.C.Rodriguez, FAIG, (GE21 Consultants, Brazil) and A.Wheeler, C.Eng. (Independent Mining Consultant, UK) ,and titled “Updated Feasibility Study Technical Report (NI 43-101) for the Almas Gold Project, Almas Municipality, Tocantins, Brazil” (the “Almas Technical Report”, and together with the Aranzazu Technical Report, San Andres Technical Report and  EPP Technical Report, the “Technical Reports”).

 

Risks relating to Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Estimates

 The figures for mineral resources and reserves contained herein are estimates only and no assurance can be given that the anticipated tonnages and grades will be achieved, that the indicated level of recovery will be realized or that the mineral resources and reserves could be mined or processed profitably. Actual reserves, if any, may not conform to geological, metallurgical or other expectations, and the volume and grade of ore recovered may be below the estimated levels. There are numerous uncertainties inherent in estimating mineral resources and reserves, including many factors beyond the Company’s control. Such estimation is a subjective process, and the accuracy of any reserve or resource estimate is a function of the quantity and quality of available data and of the assumptions made and judgments used in engineering and geological interpretation. Short-term operating factors relating to the mineral resources and reserves, such as the need for orderly development of the ore bodies or the processing of new or different ore grades, may cause the mining operation to be unprofitable in any particular accounting period. In addition, there can be no assurance that metal recoveries in small scale laboratory tests will be duplicated in larger scale tests under on-site conditions or during production. Lower market prices, increased production costs, the presence of deleterious elements, reduced recovery rates and other factors may result in revision of its resource and reserve estimates from time to time or may render the Company’s resources and reserves uneconomic to exploit. Resource and reserve data is not indicative of future results of operations. If the Company’s actual mineral resources and reserves are less than current estimates or if the Company fails to develop its resource base through the realization of identified mineralized potential, its results of operations or financial condition may be materially and adversely affected.

All forward-looking statements herein are qualified by this cautionary statement. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information or future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law. If the Company does update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that it will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements.

 

About Aura 360° Mining

Aura is focused on mining in complete terms – thinking holistically about how its business impacts and benefits every one of our stakeholders: our company, our shareholders, our employees, and the countries and communities we serve. Our mission is to find, mine and deliver the planet’s most important and essential minerals that enable the world and humankind to create, innovate, and prosper and our vision is to be one of the most trusted, responsible, well respected and results driven mining companies. We call this 360° Mining.

Aura is a mid-tier gold and copper production company focused on the development and operation of gold and base metal projects in the Americas. The Company’s producing assets include the San Andres gold mine in Honduras, the Ernesto/Pau-a -Pique gold mine in Brazil, the Aranzazu copper-gold-silver mine in Mexico and one pre-operational gold mine in the United States, Gold Road. In addition, the Company has two additional gold projects in Brazil, Almas and Matupá, and one gold project in Colombia, Tolda Fria.

For further information, please visit Aura’s website at www.auraminerals.com or contact:

Rodrigo Barbosa

President & CEO
305-239-9332