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Aura to begin mining at Ernesto gold deposit in Brazil

Aura Minerals Inc.'s board approved the start of operations at the Ernesto gold deposit in Mato Grosso, Brazil.

The company said March 8 that pre-stripping will start in the third quarter, with ore production to begin in December.

The mine plan calls for a total of 35 million tonnes of material to be mined from Ernesto over a three-year mine life.

The estimated life-of-mine capex is US$13.3 million, while the life-of-mine cash flow discounted at a 5% rate stands at US$41.4 million.

Aura added that the deposit will be mined using a conventional open pit method similar to the adjacent Lavrinha and Japones deposits.

President and CEO Rodrigo Barbosa said the project will be financed via a combination of the company's operational cash flows in Brazil and a secured US$8 million loan.