LOCATION & INFRASTRUCTURE
The mine will be constructed near a town of about 35,000 people in the State of Rio Grande do Sul. The town has a university which teaches mining engineering and geology. It is located about 255 km from Port Alegre, the State Capital. The metallic copper will be sent to the coast to the Port of Rio Grande, one of the largest and deepest ports in all of South America. The copper project is located about 60 km from our future phosphate mine.
THE REGION: RIO GRANDE COPPER BELT
We refer to our asset region as the Rio Grande Copper Belt, but in reality, the region is prolific in mineral wealth.
Although technologies are brilliant at locating mineral assets, it still helps to understand a little of their genesis deep in the earth hundreds of millions of years ago. Why do particular areas of the world contain rich mineral deposits? Aguia’s copper resource was formed half a billion years ago when South America was still joined to Africa. This ancient land mass is known as Gondwana. It’s where you find the renowned Kalahari Copper Belt, which has hosted prolific copper output for over 60 years.
Geological studies have revealed unique and striking similarities between the geology of the Kalahari with that of southern Brazil, in particular with that of the Rio Grande Copper Belt. The general consensus is that in all likelihood Rio Grande was the western portion and Kalahari was the eastern portion of the same copper belt before the opening of the South Atlantic ocean, which separated South America from Africa. This view is shared by Aguia’s geological team and this together with other observations and assessments has led to Aguia staking extensive copper tenement holdings in the Rio Grande Copper Belt.
The wealth which gold discoveries brought in the 19th century remains visible in the region’s towns. Recently the TSX-listed Lavras Gold announced a gold resource of 1,000,000 oz located near to Aguia’s tenements. There are many limestone mines currently in operation, and the region still hosts some significant coal mines. The renowned Camaqua copper mine, which is close to our project site, was mined in the region for over 100 years. Not to mention that Aguia itself has a JORC-compliant Resource of 105 Mt of phosphate in the region.
The region has not attracted investment in recent times, losing out to northern and central Brazil, but that is changing.
Tunnel at Andrade ridge. The photo was taken by the Australian team in 2019.
- No further high-cost drilling is required for this asset.
- Provides certainty in relation to the copper resource;
- Indicates an economically viable copper mine building on the Copper Scoping Study
A final Resource Statement was released to the market on 9th February 2023.
A Pre- Feasibility Study is now being prepared, which will provide revised economics for the project. This will be released to the market once completed.
To read the 9 March 2021 Copper Scoping Study click here.
Source: IDTechEx research commissioned by the International Copper Association.
Source: Indexmundi -Platts Metals Week, Engineering and Mining Journal; Thomson Reuters Datastream; World Bank.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT UPDATE
The first stage of Stakeholder Engagement has already begun.
FUTURE DEVELOPMENT 11 TARGETS
See below for images taken from all of Aguia’s 11 targets.
Copper Acquisition 2019
In February 2019, Aguia signed an option agreement to purchase the copper claims from a private Brazilian company, Referencial Geologia. In March 2019, Aguia issued a JORC-compliant Copper Resource Statement. The Statement was based on the results of 38 diamond drill holes previously drilled by Referencial Geologia between 2009 and 2010. The results were subsequently compiled into Aguia’s database.
Aguia then undertook extensive exploration campaigns that included:
- A surface mapping program;
- The reprocessing of a historical airborne geophysical data package;
- A ground geophysical survey (Induced Polarisation and Magnetometry);
- A petrographic study; and
- The mapping and re-sampling of 18 historical trenches.
Our Copper Project’s drilling database by the end of 2019 included:
- Detailed logging and geochemistry from 48 diamond drill holes totalling 8,986 metres;
- 23 historical trenches that were re-sampled, totalling 1,646 metres; & 10,074 assay records.
In early 2020 two diamond drill holes confirmed the north and south high-grade copper zone within the existing mineral resource area. As a result of these 2 drills holes, a Copper Scoping Study was released in March 2021, which included a resource update with an Indicated Resource of 18.03 Mt at 0.41% Cu and1.87g/t Ag and an Inferred Resource of 3.98 Mt at 0.53% Cu and 2.06g/t Ag.
Infill Drilling 2022
This entire infill drilling program comprised 25 drill holes totalling 2,646 metres and was undertaken in 2022. The goal was to take Aguia’s Copper Resource to a Measured and Indicated with the certainty required to move the project to a Pre-Feasiblity Statement and to begin the Environmental Permitting Process. This was achieved.
The final Measured and Indicated Resource Statement was issued in February 2023- see details above. No further drilling is necessary as we now have strong copper project economics. And we can proceed with the permitting of Aguia’s metallic copper mine.