Aura Minerals Inc.
TSX : ORA

Aura Minerals Inc.

December 16, 2009 09:00 ET

Aura Minerals Releases Drill Results for the Aranzazu Copper-Gold-Silver Project in Mexico

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2009) - Aura Minerals Inc. ("Aura Minerals" or the "Company") (TSX:ORA) is pleased to release additional drill hole results from its wholly owned Aranzazu Project in Zacatecas State, Mexico.

The Company is continuing to drill close-spaced resource definition holes for mine planning as part of the planned restart of operations in Q2/2010. Results from a further 25 holes have been received.

Highlights are as follows (see Table 1 and Maps 1 and 2 below):

  • Hole AZC-042 which returned 19.5 metres of 3.07% Cu, 0.93 g/t Au and 34.21 g/t Ag;
  • Hole AZC-043 which returned 5.9 metres of 2.30% Cu, 3.84 g/t Au and 43.88 g/t Ag;
  • Hole AZC-044 which returned 52.5 metres of 1.56% Cu, 1.33 g/t Au and 14.79 g/t Ag;
  • Hole AZC-048 which returned 25.5 metres of 1.80% Cu, 0.48 g/t Au and 22.63 g/t Ag;
  • Hole AZC-050 which returned 13.5 metres of 1.62% Cu, 0.64 g/t Au and 19.87 g/t Ag;
  • Hole AZC-057 which returned 13.5 metres of 3.41% Cu, 1.25 g/t Au and 21.26 g/t Ag;
  • Hole AZC-061 which returned 61.5 metres of 1.89% Cu, 1.03 g/t Au and 26.58 g/t Ag;
  • Hole AZC-062 which returned 84.0 metres of 2.19% Cu, 0.67 g/t Au and 16.09 g/t Ag; and
  • Hole AZR-038 which returned 12.2 metres of 1.07% Cu, 1.16 g/t Au and 12.68 g/t Ag.

The results continue to demonstrate the continuity of the high grade Arroyos Azules zone and also the proximal Glory Hole zone. The Arroyos Azules zone is currently part of the mine plan for the planned restart of operations. Of importance is that the continuity of the overall mineralized system is being confirmed along strike and expanded down-dip. This drilling will be continued as part of the previously announced plan (see News Release 2009-13 dated October 14, 2009) to investigate the potential to develop the Aranzazu Project as a high tonnage, bulk mining operation. This would require a significant underground and surface drill program during 2010. Limited deep drilling to date shows that the deposit may be open at depths of over 550 metres. If continued to this depth along the known strike extent of 2,200 metres, there is potential to add significantly to the known resources.

Commenting on the above, Mr. Patrick Downey, President and CEO of Aura Minerals, stated, "The Aranzazu Project continues to return excellent drill results which gives us confidence that we can expand current resources at depth and along strike with the potential to develop a large ore body and which would support a high tonnage bulk mining operation.

We are also well advanced on the restart of operations and remain on target to recommence production in the second quarter of 2010."

Table 1 – Aranzazu Assays (see Map 1 and Map 2 below)


Hole #

East

North
Azimuth (deg-rees) Dip
(deg-rees)
From
(metres)
To
(metres)
Inter-
val
(1) (metres)
Cu
(2)(4) (%)
Au
(3) (g/t)
Ag
(3) (g/t)
AZC-038 254000 2724197 211 -52 31.50 36.00 4.50 0.57 0.08 2.90
AZC-042 253944 2724150 213 -63 192.00 211.50 19.50 3.07 0.93 34.21
AZC-042 253944 2724150 213 -63 217.50 220.50 3.00 1.73 0.49 8.60
AZC-043 253944 2724150 213 -69 256.40 262.30 5.90 2.30 3.84 43.88
AZC-044 253881 2724138 211 -46 117.00 120.00 3.00 2.37 0.40 11.35
AZC-044 253881 2724138 211 -46 138.00 190.50 52.50 1.56 1.33 14.79
AZC-044 253881 2724138 211 -46 201.00 208.50 7.50 1.50 0.62 11.12
AZC-046 253881 2724283 221 -45 231.00 241.50 10.50 1.08 0.39 5.77
AZC-046 253881 2724283 221 -45 247.50 253.50 6.00 0.88 0.31 4.53
AZC-046 253881 2724283 221 -45 292.50 297.00 4.50 1.09 0.25 6.83
AZC-046 253881 2724283 221 -45 304.50 313.50 9.00 0.79 0.16 5.60
AZC-047 253817 2724245 219 -50 166.50 169.50 3.00 1.43 0.77 13.65
AZC-048 253882 2724283 219 -50 228.00 234.00 6.00 1.09 0.34 34.70
AZC-048 253882 2724283 219 -50 255.00 264.00 9.00 0.79 0.28 3.35
AZC-048 253882 2724283 219 -50 276.00 279.00 3.00 0.82 0.35 3.55
AZC-048 253882 2724283 219 -50 322.50 348.00 25.50 1.80 0.48 22.63
AZC-050 253797 2724305 221 -45 175.50 189.00 13.50 1.62 0.64 19.87
AZC-050 253797 2724305 221 -45 226.50 232.50 6.00 0.83 0.28 6.53
AZC-050 253797 2724305 221 -45 264.00 268.50 4.50 3.34 0.88 28.57
AZC-052 253797 2724305 221 -51 184.50 192.00 7.50 1.14 0.32 16.20
AZC-052 253797 2724305 221 -51 207.00 222.00 15.00 0.61 0.18 9.90
AZC-052 253797 2724305 221 -51 247.50 253.50 6.00 0.75 0.22 5.10
AZC-052 253797 2724305 221 -51 258.00 261.00 3.00 0.83 0.26 8.40
AZC-053 253818 2724245 221 -65 223.50 228.00 4.50 0.61 0.22 6.37
AZC-053 253818 2724245 221 -65 250.50 265.50 15.00 0.56 0.23 5.79
AZC-054 253798 2724306 219 -56 232.50 235.50 3.00 0.79 0.22 9.80
AZC-054 253798 2724306 219 -56 258.00 261.00 3.00 1.08 0.25 7.90
AZC-054 253798 2724306 219 -56 283.50 286.50 3.00 0.78 0.23 0.05
AZC-054 253798 2724306 219 -56 310.50 313.50 3.00 0.75 0.38 0.78
AZC-055 253799 2724259 219 -51 177.00 180.00 3.00 1.05 0.56 10.90
AZC-056 253779 2724275 221 -53 162.00 166.50 4.50 1.83 0.62 31.63
AZC-057 253852 2724205 219 -45 4.50 7.50 3.00 0.70 0.48 21.55
AZC-057 253852 2724205 219 -45 106.50 109.50 3.00 0.92 0.35 5.80
AZC-057 253852 2724205 219 -45 129.00 142.50 13.50 3.41 1.25 21.26
AZC-057 253852 2724205 219 -45 169.50 175.50 6.00 0.63 0.18 3.01
AZC-059 253848 2724321 221 -53 301.50 309.00 7.50 0.57 0.21 8.48
AZC-060 253799 2724260 221 -61 190.5 195 4.5 1.13 0.33 12.87
AZC-060 253799 2724260 221 -61 223.5 253.5 30.0 0.63 0.21 4.24
AZC-061 253915 2724198 210 -70 39 42 3.0 0.92 0.26 17.60
AZC-061 253915 2724198 210 -70 204 210 6.0 1.04 0.72 7.40
AZC-061 253915 2724198 210 -70 252 313.5 61.5 1.89 1.03 26.58
AZC-062 253892 2724208 210 -67 189 195 6.0 0.95 0.79 6.13
AZC-062 253892 2724208 210 -67 231 315 84.0 2.19 0.67 16.09
AZC-063 253905 2724271 220 -46 225 243 18.0 0.97 0.51 7.74
AZC-063 253905 2724271 220 -46 249 252 3.0 0.56 0.22 2.60
AZC-063 253905 2724271 220 -46 265.5 271.5 6.0 0.94 0.35 4.30
AZC-063 253905 2724271 220 -46 277.5 285 7.5 0.88 0.28 5.92
AZC-063 253905 2724271 220 -46 291 295.5 4.5 0.64 0.11 4.80
AZC-064 253905 2724272 220 -50 249 252 3.0 0.87 0.16 4.90
AZC-064 253905 2724272 220 -50 256.5 259.5 3.0 0.56 0.22 2.40
AZR-034 254191 2724081 214 -55 99.1 106.7 7.62 0.72 0.64 15.70
AZR-034 254191 2724081 214 -55 192.0 210.3 18.3 0.78 1.12 9.85
AZR-034 254191 2724081 214 -55 242.3 245.4 3.0 0.75 1.97 10.10
AZR-035 254215 2724072 207 -58 210.3 221.0 10.7 0.91 0.77 20.54
AZR-035 254215 2724072 207 -58 227.1 230.1 3.0 0.55 0.43 6.80
AZR-036 254166 2724085 210 -65 89.9 100.6 10.7 1.03 0.77 28.26
AZR-037 254201 2724144 210 -50 22.9 25.9 3.0 0.63 0.39 5.98
AZR-037 254201 2724144 210 -50 147.8 150.9 3.0 0.56 0.49 63.45
AZR-037 254201 2724144 210 -50 236.2 239.3 3.0 1.33 1.48 19.86
AZR-037 254201 2724144 210 -50 256.0 263.7 7.6 0.99 1.58 13.27
AZR-038 254169 2724140 210 -47 129.5 132.6 3.0 0.68 0.88 21.42
AZR-038 254169 2724140 210 -47 201.2 204.2 3.0 0.86 1.30 12.00
AZR-038 254169 2724140 210 -47 217.9 230.1 12.2 1.07 1.16 12.68
AZR-039 254302 2723971 211 -44 13.7 16.8 3.0 2.41 0.03 1.78
AZR-039 254302 2723971 211 -44 61.0 64.0 3.0 1.35 3.62 13.82
  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")

Qualified Person

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 assays are determined by three acid digestion with an AA finish, over limits are determined by fire assay with a gravimetric finish. All samples are analyzed by inductively coupled plasma emission spectrography for multi-element analysis and by AA for copper. 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 resource company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of mining properties in the Americas. In addition to the Company's San Andres Mine in Honduras and the Aranzazu Mine in Mexico, the Company owns the advanced stage Arapiraca Project in north-eastern Brazil. The Company has also agreed to acquire the Sao Francisco and Sao Vicente Gold Mines in Brazil, subject to regulatory approvals.

For further information, please visit Aura Minerals' web site at www.auraminerals.com.

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.

To view Map 1 and Map 2 accompanying this press release, please click on the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ora1216.pdf

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

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