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Big River forges ahead with Borborema gold project in Brazil

Big River Gold is forging ahead with its efforts to develop the Borborema gold project in Brazil, despite the current global economic headwinds. With a DFS for a multi-million ounce gold project on the street and over A$3m in the bank, Big River is well placed to weather the Coronavirus storm and the prospect of potentially producing a newly identified waste by-product known as a “mica” that is potentially saleable, should positively impact the economics at the project.

Big River’s Borborema DFS shows a highly profitable, decade-long gold mining operation that could pay for itself within just two and a half years. Borborema could churn out at least 729,000 gold ounces over an initial, phase one, 10.2-year mine life according to the company.

Management said it used a conservative USD$1,400 gold price to produce its DFS that shows an impressive, all in sustaining cost of US$759/oz and a pre-tax net present value of around AUD$320m.  Importantly these numbers do not include the sale of the waste mica that the company recently identified.

Big River said it was busy tweeking the DFS based on feedback from the study team about the inclusion of the mica that is usually sent to waste.  The company said the ore contains around 30% “waste mica” by volume and this may be able to be commercialised as a lucrative by-product 

Test work by an engineering facility in Germany on bulk samples of the ore identified a simple, chemical-free, magnetic separation process to extract the possibly significant mica mineral. Mica has a remarkably wide, if little known range of uses in electronics, automotive applications, paint, plastics and cosmetics.

The company said after the gold has been recovered from its 2Mt per annum Borborema mill, that between 100,000 and 200,000 tonnes of mica per year could also be recovered although no formal assessment of the mica content of the waste rocks has been completed yet.  Big River has already started identifying potential offtake customers for its bulk mica product and it said it is also advancing discussions with financiers as due diligence by its potential backers continues.

Big River Chairman, Andrew Richards said that the company was keeping staff numbers low through these difficult times to preserve cash and minimise overheads whilst all the essential engineering, technical and commercial work was carrying on in both Australia and Brazil.

 

Is your ASX listed company doing something interesting ? Contact : matt.birney@businessnews.com

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