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Big River to complete Brazilian gold feasibility study

ASX-listed Big River Gold has appointed Perth-based engineering consulting group, Wave International, to complete the definitive feasibility study, or “DFS”, for its Borborema gold project in north-eastern Brazil.

Wave’s scope of work includes the supervision of remaining metallurgical test work, optimisation of the current two million tonne per annum flowsheet, design for the process plant and related infrastructure.

The DFS is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of this year.

Big River has also appointed Brazilian geological and mining engineering group, Grupo GE21 Mineral Consultants, to review and update the mining schedule.

This appointment follows the identification of a higher-grade component at the surface within the Stage 1 pit design.

Management said that incorporating this higher-grade resource into the mining schedule is anticipated to improve economics for the Borborema project.

The revised mining schedule will be considered in the DFS.

Borborema currently has a JORC-compliant mineral resource of 68.6 million tonnes grading 1.1g/t gold for 2.43 million ounces, from which an ore reserve of 42.4 million tonnes at 1.18g/t gold containing1.6 million ounces has been derived.

An optimisation study produced in February 2018 had outlined a post-tax net profit value of USD$118m and an internal rate of return of 31% with free cash flows of USD$243m from a two million tonne per annum project over an initial mine life of 10 years.

Upfront capital costs were estimated at USD$93m while all-in sustaining production costs were calculated at just over USD$900 per gold ounce, based on a forecast gold price of USD$1,300 per ounce.

Borborema also benefits from a favourable taxation regime, existing on-site facilities and excellent infrastructure such as buildings, grid power, water, sealed roads and is close to major cities and regional centres in this area of Brazil.

Meanwhile, the company noted that fellow Australian explorer Meteoric Resources is poised to start drilling at the Juruena gold project in Brazil following the arrival of the first of two diamond drill rigs.

Meteoric plans to drill 26 holes totalling 4,700m at the Juruena project in the coming months.

Big River completed the sale of the Juruena and Novo Astro projects to Meteoric in May for $3m in cash and scrip to entirely focus its efforts on the core Borborema project.

This divestment gave Big River a 5.62% shareholding in Meteoric, providing a meaningful exposure to any exploration and development upside at the Juruena and Novo Astro projects.

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