VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — (MARKET WIRE) — 08/05/10 — Aura Minerals Inc. (“Aura Minerals” or the “Company”) (TSX: ORA) is pleased to release the first drill results from the Phase 1 deep drilling program at the wholly owned copper-gold-silver Aranzazu Project in Zacatecas State, Mexico. Nine holes have been completed to date as part of this program, with results available for the first four drill holes.
The deep drilling program at the Aranzazu Project is designed to target the depth extent of known copper-gold ore shoots beneath the currently defined resource as part of an ongoing program aimed at developing a large bulk tonnage underground operation at the Aranzazu Project. Holes AZC-090, AZC-092, AZC-119, and AZC-125 were located to test the depth and on-strike continuity of the “Glory Hole-Tiro Azules” zone. The results are very encouraging, with all holes intersecting mineralization at depths ranging from 75 metres to 150 metres below the deepest intercepts from previous drilling.
Highlights from the deep drilling are as follows (see Table 1, Map 1 and Map 2):
— Hole AZC-090 which returned 34.5 metres of 1.08% Cu, 0.7 g/t Au and 10.7 g/t Ag; — Hole AZC-092 which returned 15.0 metres of 0.79% Cu, 0.9 g/t Au and 9.2 g/t Ag; and — Hole AZC-119 which returned 31.5 metres of 1.90% Cu, 1.4 g/t Au and 20.4 g/t Ag.
Hole AZC-119 intersected mineralization in the footwall structure more than 100 metres below historical hole 54300-3, which was drilled in 2007 and returned 2.48% Cu and 1.2 g/t Au over 41.5 metres (see News Release #2008-23 dated September 18, 2008). Hole AZC-092 intersected the same structure approximately 30 metres down-dip from AZC-119. Hole AZC-125 intersected the hanging wall structure, but did not intersect mineralization below Hole AZC-092. The exploration team believes that this is due to a steepening plunge to the southeast of the footwall structure which has occurred in other areas of the ore body, and additional drilling is now planned to test the down-plunge extent of the footwall structure projected from holes AZC-119 and AZC-092.
Drilling continues along strike and down dip as part of the deep drilling program; core logging and sampling is ongoing and results will be released when available. A second drill rig has now commenced drilling as part of the deep hole program. A directional drill system is also presently being considered for the program. This will enable the use of previous drilled holes as pilot holes allowing drilling of multiple “daughter” holes from the pilot hole. Beside the cost savings, this would accelerate the program. The planned drilling will target depth extensions down to 850 metres below surface. The current resource estimate of 24 million tonnes of Measured and Indicated Resources grading 1.01% Cu, and an additional 9 million tonnes of Inferred Resources grading 0.82% Cu (both at a 0.5% Cu cut-off) averages only 250 metres below surface.
Commenting on the above, Mr.
Patrick Downey, President and CEO of Aura Minerals, stated, “We are very pleased with these initial results from the deep drill program at the Aranzazu Project. Results to date clearly shows the depth potential of the project and that the grade and widths are comparable to those within the existing resource, which lends confidence to our belief that we will be able to expand the overall operation. The gold grades also clearly show similar continuity which will improve the overall gold grade of the deposit, as historical holes did not include gold assays thereby diluting the average gold grade within the existing resource. With a second drill rig, we will continue to systematically drill at depth along the strike of the existing orebody to provide further confidence in the grade and continuity of the down dip extensions of the deposit. The deep drill program will support a new resource estimate which will begin the next stage in the planned development of a large bulk tonnage underground operation.”
The Company has also completed more than 56 drill holes over the past 4 months as part of an infill drilling program within the existing resource envelope. These results will be released once all QA/QC checks are complete, which is expected early next week.
Table 1 – Aranzazu Deep Drill Program Assays (see Map 1 and Map 2 below) ————————————————————————— Inter- val Cu Azimuth Dip From To (1) (2) Au Ag (deg- (deg- (met- (met- (met- (4) (3) (3) Hole # East North rees) rees) res) res) res) (%) (g/t) (g/t) ————————————————————————— AZC-090 254517 2724095 211 -69 439.5 445.5 6.0 0.94 0.4 8.5 ————————————————————————— AZC-090 254517 2724095 211 -69 582.0 616.5 34.5 1.08 0.7 10.7 ————————————————————————— AZC-092 254449 2724139 210 -68 532.5 547.5 15.0 0.79 0.9 9.2 ————————————————————————— AZC-119 254416 2724160 210 -65 382.5 385.5 3.0 1.09 1.0 39.0 ————————————————————————— AZC-119 254416 2724160 210 -65 484.5 516.0 31.5 1.90 1.4 20.4 ————————————————————————— AZC-125 254416 2724160 210 -74 433.5 439.5 6.0 0.77 0.1 14.5 ————————————————————————— AZC-125 254416 2724160 210 -74 444.0 447.0 3.0 0.68 0.2 13.6 ————————————————————————— (1) true width has yet to be determined (2) using a copper cutoff grade 0.5% (3) fire assay and atomic absorption finish (4) atomic absorption (“AA”)
Exploration at the Aranzazu Project is being conducted under the supervision of Mr.
Alan Hitchborn, P.Geo., who is the Company’s Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101. Mr. Hitchborn has also reviewed and approved the contents of this news release as applicable.
Quality Assurance and Quality Control (“QA/QC”) Procedures for the Aranzazu Project
Aura Minerals is presently drilling at the Aranzazu Project utilizing both core and reverse circulation drill rigs. The drilling is conducted by Layne de Mexico. The reverse circulation drill uses a bit sized from 5.5 inches to 4.75 inches. The core program utilizes HQ-sized core and then stepping down to NQ-sized core as required. Samples are collected on a 1.5 metre sample interval. The reverse circulation drill cuttings are split at the drill rig. The samples collected consist of an approximate 25% split of the total material recovered from the interval sampled. This material is shipped directly to the Stewart Group de Mexico (“Stewart Mexico”) sample preparation facility in Zacatecas, Mexico and processed utilizing the same sample preparation protocol as used for the core samples discussed below. Assays are completed at the ISO 9001-2008 certified Eco Tech Laboratory Limited (“Eco Tech Stewart”), a subsidiary of the Stewart Group Ltd., in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. Diamond drilling core is logged, photographed and then split in half using a diamond core saw. Half the core is retained off-site in a secure storage facility and the other half is sampled, secured in sealed, labeled bags and then transported to the Stewart Mexico facility in Zacatecas, Mexico and processed utilizing the same preparation protocol discussed below. Assays are completed at the Eco Tech Stewart laboratory in Kamloops, B.C. The entire half-core and reverse circulation drill cuttings are crushed to 95% passing 2 millimetres, split and pulverized to 95% passing 150 mesh, split again, and a 150 gram sample sent for assay. Gold assays are determined by fire assay with an AA finish, over limit assays are determined by fire assay with a gravimetric finish. Silver, copper, lead and zinc assays are determined by a four acid digestion with an ICP-MS finish. Molybdenum assays are determined by aqua regia digestion followed by an ICP-OES finish. Silver overlimits are determined by a fire assay with a gravimetric finish. The Company systematically inserts certified standard samples, sample duplicates in a non-sequential order and blank samples in all batches of samples sent to Stewart Mexico and Eco Tech Stewart as a means of quality control. Additionally, Stewart Mexico and Eco Tech Stewart has its own stringent internal QA/QC protocols. Check samples are systematically sent to the ALS Chemex lab in Vancouver, Canada. Chain of custody of drill samples is maintained throughout the process with the use of numbered seal tags closing sample bags and third party professional transportation of samples to the laboratories. Each stage of sample handling is recorded in log sheets and receipts obtained from each party involved.
About Aura Minerals Inc.
Aura Minerals is a Canadian mid-tier gold production company focused on the acquisition, exploration, development and operation of gold and base metal projects in the Americas. The Company’s producing assets includes the San Andres gold mine in Honduras, and the recently acquired, producing Sao Francisco and Sao Vicente gold mines in Brazil. The Company is also developing the copper-gold-silver Aranzazu Project in Zacatecas state in Mexico, which will commence operation in the second half of 2010. Other significant assets include the feasibility-stage Serrote Deposit at the copper-gold-iron ore Arapiraca Project in Brazil.
No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein. This news release contains forward-looking statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include those risks set out in Aura Minerals’ public documents filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Although Aura Minerals believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on these statements, which only apply as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Aura Minerals disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
To view Map 1 and Map 2, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ora-maps.pdf.
Contacts: Aura Minerals Inc.
Patrick Downey President & Chief Executive Officer (604) 669-4777 (604) 696-0212 (FAX) firstname.lastname@example.org www.auraminerals.com