Big River Gold (ASX:BRV) is ramping up discussions with major lenders to fund development of the high margin, long life +2-million-ounce Borborema gold project in Brazil.

Big River’s definitive feasibility study (DFS), released today, envisages a $US99m ($144m) capex, stage 1 mine life of 10.2 years, producing an average 71,250oz of gold a year from a single open pit.

Based on a $US1,400/oz gold price (currently $US1,480/oz), Big River estimates a pretty decent post-tax net present value (NPV) of $US203m and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 41.8 per cent.

All-in sustaining costs of production are estimated at $US839 per ounce – that’s a pretty healthy profit margin, if all goes according to plan.

Now, Big River says it will advance discussions with several financial institutions “that have expressed interest in providing project finance” and were awaiting the finalised cashflow model, which is now completed.

The ~$20m market cap explorer has also been approached by a number of Australian and overseas banks and institutions to discuss various funding options, it says.

Chairman Stephen Copulos says the DFS represents a big reduction in operating costs and containment of capital estimates, compared with previous project studies.

“[This] provides a strong basis for profitability over the next 10 years at least,” he says.

“The company’s strategy is now to secure financing, investigate opportunities that may further reduce costs and construction time and accelerate the implementation of the Borborema project.”

The share price – which has ranged between 0.8c and 2.4c over the past 12 months – was up 20 per cent to 1.8c in morning trade.