TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 02/25/13 -- Aura Minerals Inc. ("Aura Minerals" or the "Company") (TSX: ORA) is pleased to announce that the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary Mineracao Vale Verde Ltda. ("MVV") has received funds in the amount of R$20 million (the "Bridge Loan") from Banco Itau BBA S.A. ("Itau"), a subsidiary of Itau Unibanco Group and one of Brazil's leading investment banks. The Bridge Loan will be used to further develop the Company's Serrote da Laje project located in the state of Alagoas, Brazil. The Company is in negotiations with Itau to increase the amount of the Bridge Loan to an aggregate of R$100 million.
The Bridge Loan, and any increase, is being used by the Company for community engagement and specifically with respect to acquiring lands required for the Serrote project, of which approximately 60% have been acquired to-date, and for engineering, long-lead equipment procurement and early site improvements.
In addition to the Bridge Loan, the Company has retained Itau as a financial advisor to assist in structuring the project financing for Serrote. Itau is a major Brazilian private bank and has expertise in negotiating long-term project financing with development banks.
Jim Bannantine, President and CEO of Aura Minerals stated: "The Bridge Loan from Itau is a significant milestone in advancing the Serrote Project and ably demonstrates the level of confidence that the various financial institutions have in the project. The Company is in advanced negotiations with adjacent communities for the remainder of the land acquisitions for Serrote. The Company is also in advanced negotiations with potential equity partners and is proceeding with engineering and early procurement. The Company is confident that it will obtain long-term project financing and that the Company will be in a position to commence construction in the second half of 2013, with production start-up by mid-2015."
About Aura Minerals Inc.
Aura Minerals is a Canadian mid-tier gold and copper production company focused on the exploration, development and operation of gold and base metal projects in the Americas. The Company's producing assets include the San Andres gold mine in Honduras, the Sao Francisco and Sao Vicente gold mines in Brazil and the copper-gold-silver Aranzazu mine in Mexico. The Company's core development asset is the copper-gold-iron Serrote project in Brazil. Activities to date on the Serrote project include detailed negotiations for debt and equity financing, a geotechnical drill program, the engineering has been awarded and the Company has commenced advancing with early procurement. The Company also has the Inaja Greenstone Belt project currently optioned to Vale.
This news release contains certain "forward-looking information" and "forward-looking statements", as defined in applicable securities laws (collectively, "forward-looking statements"). All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect the Company's current estimates, predictions, expectations or beliefs regarding future events and include, without limitation, statements with respect to financing activities for the Serrote project. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as "expects", "anticipates", "plans", "projects", "estimates", "assumes", "intends", "strategy", "goals", "objectives" or variations thereof or stating that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved, or the negative of any of these terms and similar expressions.
Forward-looking statements in this news release are based upon, without limitation, the following estimates and assumptions: the presence of and continuity of metals at the Company's Mines at modeled grades; the capacities of various machinery and equipment; the availability of personnel, machinery and equipment at estimated prices; exchange rates; metals and minerals sales prices; appropriate discount rates; tax rates and royalty rates applicable to the mining operations; cash costs; anticipated mining losses and dilution; metals recovery rates, reasonable contingency requirements; and receipt of regulatory approvals on acceptable terms.
Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond the Company's ability to predict or control, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Specific reference is made to the most recent Annual Information Form on file with certain Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities for a discussion of some of the factors underlying forward-looking statements, which include, without limitation, gold and copper or certain other commodity price volatility, changes in debt and equity markets, the uncertainties involved in interpreting geological data, increases in costs, environmental compliance and changes in environmental legislation and regulation, interest rate and exchange rate fluctuations, general economic conditions and other risks involved in the mineral exploration and development industry. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect the forward-looking statements.
All forward-looking statements herein are qualified by this cautionary statement. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information or future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law. If the Company does update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that it will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements.
Aura Minerals Inc.
Vice President, Corporate Development
(416) 509-0583 or (416) 649-1033
(416) 649-1044 (FAX)
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