Aura Minerals, a mining company based in the British Virgin Islands, has received its board’s clearance for the construction of the Borborema gold project in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.

In addition, Aura’s subsidiary, Cascar do Brasil, obtained a $100m (497.92 reais) term loan from Banco Santander to fund part of the project’s construction.

The loan will have a five-year maturity term and principal payments will begin after a 24-month grace period.

One of the requirements for the loan is that the project’s net debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) ratio must not exceed 1.5x.

The company aims to conclude construction at the gold project and begin production by early 2025.

Aura Minerals president and CEO Rodrigo Barbosa: “Our strategic vision is clear: to expedite the development of our projects as fast as we can. Acquiring Borborema in the latter half of last year was a pivotal move. Following nine months of meticulous research and planning, we are not only initiating construction but also securing sufficient funding to ensure the project reaches completion.

“We remain committed to meeting our growth targets for our shareholders. The successful, on-schedule and on-budget ramp-up of the Almas project serves as a proven model, and we anticipate replicating this success with Borborema. Furthermore, we are already nearing completion of licensing for the upcoming Matupá project, which is slated to commence construction next year.”

Last month, Aura released the results of the project feasibility study, which states that the project will have an anticipated production of 748,000oz of gold over an initial mine life of 11.3 years. It also estimated the construction to cost around $188m.

The company is now the sole owner of the Borborema project, while Dundee Resources agreed to convert its 20% equity into a 1.5% net smelter royalty on the first 1.5 million ounces of gold sold, and 1% on the next 500,000oz sold.

Once the production reaches a threshold of two million ounces, the royalty will be terminated.