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How CEO Rodrigo Barbosa plans to double production at Aura Minerals by 2025

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(Kitco News) - Latin America-focused Aura Minerals, a producer of copper and gold, plans to nearly double production to 450,000 gold-equivalent ounces by 2025, by developing three new projects in Brazil.

CEO Rodrigo Barbosa spoke to Kitco mid-September at the Precious Metals Summit 2023 held in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

The three projects are Almas, an open-pit mine that recently started commercial production; Borborema, where initial construction has begun and for which $100 million of the $188M cost has been secured; and Matupa, which has a feasibility study ahead of construction expected to begin next year.

Aura Minerals also has producing mines in Mexico, Honduras and Brazil.

Barbosa said operational costs have stabilized after increasing in 2021 and 2022, while capital costs on new projects have seen inflation of 15 to 20 percent. "We managed to build Almas on budget mostly because of people at the local level making decisions either on the negotiation or changing the specification of some products, or even scaling down some of the investments so that we could really contain the costs and build this project on budget despite the high inflation," he said.

Aura Minerals has an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $1,150 to $1,250 an ounce. The three projects under development each have AISCs under $1,000/oz.

"We should be growing production while reducing our costs over the next two or three years, mostly because the project has most favorable conditions to produce at the lower cash costs," Barbosa said.

Kitco Mining's coverage of the Precious Metals Summit 2023 was sponsored by Newcore Gold.

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