Aura Minerals Inc.
TSX : ORA

Aura Minerals Inc.

February 26, 2009 21:01 ET

Aura Minerals Announces Significant Increase in Serrote da Laje Resource

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 26, 2009) - Aura Minerals Inc. ("Aura Minerals" or the "Company") (TSX:ORA) is pleased to announce that a new resource estimate has been completed for the advanced-stage Serrote da Laje deposit ("Serrote Deposit") at its wholly-owned Arapiraca Copper Gold Iron Ore Project in Alagoas State, Brazil. This resource estimate will also be the basis of a Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") that is currently underway. This new resource estimate demonstrates continued expansion of the Serrote Deposit since the last announced estimation in August 2008 and has significantly increased the Measured and Indicated resource.

Table 1 below presents the updated resource estimate for the Serrote Deposit at the same 0.2% Cu cut-off used in the August 2008 resource estimate (see News Release #2008-18 dated June 23, 2008). Table 2 shows the resource estimate at a 0.3% Cu copper equivalent which includes the gold and magnetite. The equivalence formula was calculated using metal pricing of $1.70/lb Cu, $59/t Fe and $730/oz Au with estimated recoveries of 80% Cu, 70% Au and 42% Fe.

EQCu equals %Cu + g/t Au x 0.564 + Fe x 0.01

The recently completed drill program and surface trenching program confirmed the geological interpretation and continuity of both the north and south zones of the Serrote Deposit. The deposit remains open to the east and south and follow-up drilling is planned in these areas. Furthermore, drilling is required beneath the shallow portion of the northern zone to determine whether the recent high-grade zone discovered in the centre of the deposit extends beneath the shallow northern zone. This would add significantly more higher-grade tonnage to the current resource.



Table 1 - Serrote da Laje Resource Estimate - 0.2% Cu Cut-off

-------------------------------------------------------
Tonnes Cu Au Fe
Resource Category (000) % g/t %
-------------------------------------------------------
Measured 78,760 0.50 0.10 16.87
-------------------------------------------------------
Indicated 116,738 0.50 0.09 14.72
-------------------------------------------------------
Measured and Indicated 195,498 0.50 0.09 15.59
-------------------------------------------------------
Inferred 32,081 0.50 0.09 14.21
-------------------------------------------------------

Table 2 - Serrote da Laje Resource Estimate - 0.3% Cu Equivalent Cut-off

-------------------------------------------------------
Tonnes Cu Au Fe
Resource Category (000) % g/t %
-------------------------------------------------------
Measured 79,037 0.50 0.10 16.88
-------------------------------------------------------
Indicated 116,574 0.50 0.09 14.75
-------------------------------------------------------
Measured and Indicated 195,611 0.50 0.09 15.61
-------------------------------------------------------
Inferred 32,015 0.50 0.09 14.29
-------------------------------------------------------

Table 3 - Serrote da Laje Resource Estimate -- Copper Only -
Variable Cut-off Grades

----------------------------------- ------------------------------------
Measured Indicated
----------------------------------- ------------------------------------
Cutoff Tonnes Cu Au Fe Cutoff Tonnes Cu Au Fe
% Cu (000) % g/t % % Cu (000) % g/t %
----------------------------------- ------------------------------------
0.10 79,735 0.495 0.095 16.79 0.10 117,337 0.497 0.089 14.69
----------------------------------- ------------------------------------
0.20 78,760 0.499 0.096 16.87 0.20 116,738 0.499 0.090 14.72
----------------------------------- ------------------------------------
0.30 71,465 0.523 0.100 17.25 0.30 108,759 0.516 0.092 14.96
----------------------------------- ------------------------------------
0.40 51,803 0.588 0.103 17.13 0.40 83,323 0.565 0.095 14.83
----------------------------------- ------------------------------------
0.50 33,075 0.667 0.110 17.45 0.50 48,961 0.647 0.099 14.66
----------------------------------- ------------------------------------

-----------------------------------
Inferred
-----------------------------------
Cutoff Tonnes Cu Au Fe
% Cu (000) % g/t %
-----------------------------------
0.10 32,834 0.495 0.088 14.09
-----------------------------------
0.20 32,081 0.503 0.090 14.21
-----------------------------------
0.30 30,388 0.516 0.093 14.52
-----------------------------------
0.40 22,963 0.566 0.089 13.48
-----------------------------------
0.50 14,786 0.630 0.094 13.67
-----------------------------------


The Measured and Indicated resources have increased by more than 50% or an increase of 65,498,000 tonnes since the August 2008 resource estimate. An additional 32,081,000 tonnes have also been added to the Inferred category. Furthermore, the Company has yet to include the resources from the nearby Caboclo target. To date, 51 holes have been completed in this near surface zone and a resource calculation is currently ongoing.

Preliminary Economic Assessment

As part of the current work on the Serrote Deposit, the Company has retained a group of qualified engineers to complete a PEA study. This study will review mine development options, infrastructure, site layout, metallurgy, development timelines, as well as capital and operating costs. The study will only incorporate the Serrote Deposit. The results of this work are anticipated to be available in the second quarter of 2009.

New Target Identified (To see the attached image, please click on the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ora0226m.pdf)

The Company recently completed a ground magnetic program in the vicinity of the Serrote Deposit and the data was sent to Quantec Geophysics in Vancouver for three-dimensional ("3D") interpretation purposes.

This program revealed a large target only 300 metres to the east of the current Serrote Deposit. This target coincides with strong copper and nickel soil geochemistry anomalies. The Company is currently mobilizing a diamond drill rig to the project to test this large target.

Mr. Patrick Downey, President and CEO of Aura Minerals, stated, "The updated resource clearly demonstrates that the Serrote Deposit is now a large well defined deposit, which is in an area of excellent infrastructure and within 120 kilometres of an industrial port. Resources have been estimated based on copper only with no gold or magnetite credits. Furthermore, with the resource estimation for the Caboclo target still to be added and with the identification of a large new target within 300 metres from the Serrote Deposit, we believe that this area has the potential to host a world class copper district."

Quality Assurance and Quality Control ("QA/QC") Procedures and Methodology

The resource estimation has been prepared by Geosim Services Inc., under the direction of Ronald G. Simpson, P.Geo., an independent Qualified Person for the purpose of NI 43-101. A report under NI 43-101 disclosing the updated resource for the Serrote Deposit is being prepared by Geosim Services Inc. and will be filed by Aura Minerals on Sedar within 45 days.

The mineral resource for the Serrote Deposit was estimated by ordinary kriging constrained by 3D solid models based on a 0.10% Cu grade shell within three fault domains of the gabbro/norite complex. Block dimensions were 20x20 metres horizontal and 10 metres vertical. The deposit has been tested by 355 core holes and 4 RC holes drilled between 1995 and December, 2008. Grade estimation was based on analyses of core samples from 265 drill holes and channel samples from 6 surface trenches. Cutting of high-grade assays for Cu and Fe was not implemented as statistical analysis of the constrained grade distribution showed no significant outliers or high-grade populations. A single extreme assay for Au (24 g/t) located in the central fault domain was capped at 4.15 g/t equivalent to the 99th percentile value of the data set.

Exploration on the Serrote Deposit is being conducted under the supervision of Mr. Carlos H. Bertoni, M.Sc. & P.Geo., who is the Company's Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101. Mr. Bertoni has also reviewed and approved the contents of this news release as applicable.

The Company's diamond drilling program is being conducted by Geosol-Geologia e Sondagens Ltda. The core is measured, logged, photographed and then split in half using a core saw. Half the core is retained on-site in a secure storage facility and the other half is processed through the on-site sample preparation facility under the supervision of SGS-Geosol Laboratorios Ltda. ("SGS-Geosol"). The entire half-core is crushed and pulverized and 150 gram splits of this pulp are sent directly by SGS-Geosol to their main ISO-accredited assay laboratory in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. At this laboratory, samples are analyzed by inductively coupled plasma multi-element analysis (35 elements are reported); Cu is additionally analysed by acid digestion and Atomic Absorption ("AA") finish; Fe over 40% is assayed by XRF (X-Ray Refraction); and the gold, palladium and platinum content is determined by fire assay with an AA finish. Aura Minerals sends check samples to the ALS Chemex laboratory in Brazil and systematically puts certified standard samples and blank samples in all batches of samples sent to SGS-Geosol as a means of quality control. Additionally, SGS-Geosol has its own stringent internal QA/QC protocols.

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 Aranzazu copper mine in Mexico, the Company owns the advanced stage Arapiraca Project in north-eastern Brazil, which was originally explored in the 1980's and 1990's for copper and gold and includes the Serrote Deposit. The project also contains magnetite (up to 50%) and nickel and the Company plans to evaluate the Arapiraca Project for all four metals which can be readily extracted. The nearby infrastructure is excellent with ready access to electricity, water and shipping ports.

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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