Big River Gold believes its Borborema gold project in Brazil could be expanded up to 4-6 million tonnes per annum in the first few years of operation, potentially more than doubling what was previously considered. 

Big River Gold (ASX:BRV) is progressing a project engineering cost estimate update for the 2.4-million-oz Borborema project and in doing so has identified the opportunity to potentially build a bigger operation.

Big River is now planning to progress studies into the feasibility of expanding the plant throughput from 2Mtpa up to 4-6Mtpa in year three or four.

There have been some other positive developments that could further de-risk the development, including process water preliminary studies indicating the site water deficit is significantly less than previously estimated.

“We’re making great advances in process water security on several levels; they’re still in train and need to be crystallised but we’re very optimistic,” executive chairman Andrew Richards told Stockhead.

“If that’s the case, then we are increasingly of the view that we are going to be a much bigger project than 2 million tonnes per annum and we’re working towards that.

“While we had hoped to be in a position to release the engineering cost update in the third quarter, there have been strong improvements with flow-on effects in the engineering plans being developed and the strategy for moving forward to best exploit the Borborema deposit.”

Big River is progressing efforts to increase the availability and volume of off-site process water sources with a view to reducing the potential risk for the planned 2Mtpa plant and underpin future throughput expansion.

The company has also started both near-project exploration and regional exploration within the surrounding Serido Shear Zone.

Big River plans to start a 5,000m drilling program as soon as possible, once a drill rig has been secured, to test the high-grade down plunge extensions, upgrade the confidence of the resource and test exploration targets north and south of existing drilling.

The company has also completed a regional remote sensing review of the Serido Fold Belt in north‐east Brazil which contains the shear hosted Borborema project. This has resulted in the generation of several potential targets that warrant follow up and detailed assessment.

Brazil pro-mining, popular for gold

Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, interest in gold and lithium projects in Brazil hasn’t waned, with Bnamericas reporting at the end of June that $US3.6bn worth of gold and lithium deals were done in the first half of 2021.

And the forecast is that M&A activity for the rest of 2021 will continue to be strong.

Brazil is a great place for Australian miners to do business.

Pitt Street Research analyst Stuart Roberts told Stockhead previously that the Latin American country has one of the most pro-mining administrations that it has had in a generation or so.

The region where the Borborema project sits traditionally has a higher rate of unemployment than the rest of the country.

This means Big River is likely to get some localised support to advance the development of the project.




This article was developed in collaboration with Big River Gold, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.