Aura Minerals Inc.
TSX : ORA

Aura Minerals Inc.

April 30, 2010 16:41 ET

Aura Minerals Closes Acquisition of the Sao Francisco and Sao Vicente Gold Mines, Brazil

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 30, 2010) - Aura Minerals Inc. ("Aura Minerals" or the "Company") (TSX:ORA) is pleased to announce that the Company has now completed the acquisition and assumed operational control of the Sao Francisco and Sao Vicente gold mines, located in Mato Grosso State, Brazil.

The Sao Francisco and Sao Vicente gold mines are open-pit heap-leach operations, which together produce approximately 140,000 ounces of gold on an annualized basis. The Company's focus for 2010 will be operational improvements to increase productivity, improve overall gold recovery and lower cash operating costs at both mines. During the interim period, while awaiting formal transfer, the Company completed a detailed operational review at both mines and has identified several areas to target such improvements. Key operational initiatives at the Sao Francisco Mine will include:

  • updating the mine plan to improve grade control and improve mine contractor productivity;
  • upgrading and making minor modifications to the current crushing plant to increase feed to the gravity circuit; improve leaching characteristics of run-of-mine ("ROM") ore previously not crushed. This change will also have a secondary beneficial effect of reducing ore haulage distance;
  • reconfiguring the gravity circuit to improve recovery and increase overall gold security;
  • operational changes to the heap leach to segregate ROM ore and crushed ore to improve heap recovery and reduce overall reagent consumption; and
  • completing an exploration program to increase the current reserve and resource base and test identified targets at the property.

At the Sao Vicente Mine, which is located approximately 50 kilometres to the north of the Sao Francisco Mine, operational improvements will include:

  • specific upgrades to the crushing and process plant to increase equipment availability and thereby increasing plant throughput and reducing operating costs. Such improvements will include installation of certain critical standby equipment to increase plant availability;
  • minor upgrades to the gravity circuit to increase recovery;
  • modifications to the heap leach stacking system to reduce compaction thereby improving heap recoveries; and
  • conducting a definition and expansion drilling program to increase the resource base and drilling nearby targets identified for increased production.

Gold production attributable to Aura Minerals in 2010 is expected to be 60,000 to 65,000 ounces from the Sao Francisco Mine and 35,000 to 40,000 ounces from the Sao Vicente Mine.

"The closing of the acquisition of the Sao Francisco and Sao Vicente gold mines represents another significant step in our transformation to an emerging intermediate gold producer. It also represents additional leverage to gold and diversified production in a mining friendly jurisdiction in the Americas," commented Patrick Downey, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our immediate focus will be to proceed with implementing key mine improvement initiatives and we will leverage our strong heap leach operational experience to improve overall efficiencies and recoveries at both operations to reduce cash operating costs. We will also implement drilling programs at both sites to increase the existing resource and reserve base and test new targets. Together with our producing San Andres Gold Mine in Honduras, these operations will contribute to a sustainable production base of approximately 220,000 ounces of gold on an annualized basis. This production platform will be further strengthened on commencement of operations later this year at our Aranzazu Project in Mexico."

About Aura Minerals Inc.

Aura Minerals is a Canadian resource company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development and operation of gold and base metal projects in the Americas. The Company's portfolio includes the San Andres Gold Mine in Honduras, the Sao Francisco and Sao Vicente gold mines in Brazil, the copper-gold-silver Aranzazu Project in Mexico and the feasibility-stage Serrote Deposit at the copper-gold-iron ore Arapiraca Project in Brazil. The Company is expected to produce between 185,000 and 195,000 ounces of gold in 2010.

Cautionary Statement:

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.

No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein.

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