Aguia Advances Project Development with Commencement of 7,000 Metre Diamond Drilling Program Joca Tavares and Cerro Preto
Brazilian fertiliser project developer Aguia Resources Limited (ASX: AGR) (“Aguia” or “Company”) is pleased to announce the commencement of an extensive five-rig, 7,000 metre drilling campaign at the Joca Tavares Target and at the sedimentary Cerro Preto Target in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (see Figure 1), as well as the initiation of Environmental Impact Assessment work across the Rio Grande portfolio.
Joca Tavares drilling program
Three rigs will complete 4,500 metres of drilling over the carbonatite-hosted Joca Tavares mineralisation. The program will combine shallow vertical drilling to outline the oxide mineralisation from surface to a depth of 50 metres, and also inclined holes to investigate the fresh carbonatite at depth (see Figure 2).
Drilling will commence at Joca Tavares which is located approximately 35 kilometres from the JORC-compliant 70.1 Mt Três Estradas project (comprising 15.2 Mt indicated and 54.9 Mt inferred resource). Definition drilling aims to add material oxide and fresh carbonatite material to the existing mine plan for Três Estradas.
Aguia recently released a Preliminary Economic Assessment for Três Estradas completed by SRK, showing an NPV of US$ 273 million and IRR of 25%. Additional feed from the Joca Tavares satellite deposit is expected to add significant oxide and fresh rock into the mine plan, which will further enhance both the NPV and the IRR.
Cerro Preto drilling program
Concurrently, two rigs have commenced a 2,500-metre scout drilling program at Aguia’s 100%-owned sedimentary Cerro Preto target, covering an initial 5 km of the strike-length (see Figure 3).
Drilling will be undertaken on a portion of the over 30 km strike length of phosphatic sedimentary horizons which has striking similarities to the Western Phosphate Belt of Idaho. As previously announced, results of initial mapping and scouting of Cerro Preto have returned up to 10.30% P2O5 over 17.5 meters and 8.61% P2O5 over 10 metres in open trenches.
Cerro Preto represents a significant value creation opportunity for Aguia, and as previously stated, the company believes it could be a phosphate project of significant scale.
Environmental Impact works commence
Aguia is also pleased to confirm that it has engaged Golder and Associates to complete and deliver an Environmental Impact Assessment for the Rio Grande Projects. This work is now well underway with completion expected within 10 to 12 months.
Justin Reid, Chairman and Managing Director of Aguia commented: “With the recent completion of a AUD$9.5 million placement to existing shareholders and new global resource focused institutional fund managers, Aguia has rapidly deployed these funds towards aggressive exploration and project development activities in order to unlock further shareholder value.
“We now have the financial flexibility to undertake both exploration and development works across the entire portfolio. The vast majority of funds raised have been committed to exploration and project development and we are fully funded in this regard for almost two years. Furthermore, the weakening Brazilian Real gives us additional purchasing power as most of Aguia’s input costs are in the local currency while end product is priced in US dollars.”
The drilling program will take approximately 4 months and the company expects to report first results before year end. Aguia will continue to update shareholders on other corporate and operational developments as they arise.