Aura Minerals reported in late April 2010 it had completed acquisition of the São Francisco and São Vicente gold mines in Brazil from Yamana Gold. Plans for the transaction were first announced in June 2009. The two open-pit, heap leach operations are expected to produce a combined total of about 140,000 oz/y of gold.
While awaiting closure of the transaction, Aura completed a detailed operational review at both mines and now plans to undertake initiatives to improve operating efficiencies.
At São Francisco, Aura will update the mine plan to improve grade control and improve mine contractor productivity; modify the crushing plant and gravity circuit; and complete an exploration program to increase the current reserve and resource base and test identified targets at the property.
At São Vicente, which is located approximately 50 km to the north of São Francisco, operational improvements will include specific upgrades to the crushing and process plant to increase equipment availability and plant throughput and reduce operating costs, including installation of certain critical standby equipment to increase plant availability.