Aura Minerals, through its subsidiary Aura Matupá, has secured exploration rights for the Pé Quente and Pezão projects in Mato Grosso, Brazil.

The initial payment for the exploration rights was $500,000.

The company may finalise the acquisition for an additional $9.5m within 12 months if the exploration results are satisfactory.

The two projects consist of six mineral rights within a 50km radius of Aura’s Matupá Project and the X1 deposit, and the feasibility study was published in November 2022.

Both the Pé Quente and Pezão projects are situated in the Alta Floresta Gold Province and are considered to have the same type of mineralisation as Aura’s nearby Matupá Project.

The Pé Quente Project, located approximately 34km from the X1 deposit, encompasses four mineral rights over an area of 19,592.78 hectares (ha).

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It includes gold mineralisation targets and has undergone historical surface sampling, geophysical surveys and drilling, with 97 holes drilled for a total of 11,781.60m.

On the other hand, Pezão Project, about 50km from the X1 deposit, consists of two mineral rights covering 9,131.62ha. It also includes gold mineralisation targets.

Similar to the Pé Quente Project, historical surface sampling, geophysical surveys and drilling were done by Graben Mineracao.

Aura Minerals president and CEO Rodrigo Barbosa said: “The Matupá project is located in a highly productive region, known for its abundant artisanal mining activities.

“This project represents the first industrial-scale operation in the area, and from the outset our goal has been to consolidate several nearby deposits into the Matupá project.

“By leveraging our scale, high recovery rates, and commitment to environmental and social standards, we believe that incorporating the Pezao and Pe-Quente projects into Matupá will result in a significant increase in resources and reserves through [a] win-win situation for all stakeholders involved.”

Aura intends to invest around $1.6m in 13,000m of drilling over the next 12 months.

The focus of the programme will be on infill drilling and possible extensions with an aim to confirm the mineralisation continuity and grades.