Mining exploration firm Avanco Resources has raised A$18.1m in a share placement to fund the future development of its expanded Pedra Branca project in Brazil.
Stage 1 is the company's first mine development project in Carajas mineral province in Brazil, while its second copper development (stage 2) is situated within the same district.
Earlier in October 2013, the company secured $70m in project finance for the stage 1 development of the Pedra Branca mine.
The first stage, which is estimated to have start-up capital of $50m, will be capable of producing about 12,000t of copper and 7,000 ounces of gold per year.
Procurement, construction and commissioning of stage one will be expedited, with start-up targeted for the first quarter of 2015.
Key terms for a $58m debt facility were agreed earlier in 2013, along with a non-binding agreement on a $12m royalty-based investment with BlackRock World Mining Trust.
Avanco said that in parallel with stage one, finance has been allocated for infill drilling and mining studies at stage two.
The company, which owns 100% of Carajas copper exploration portfolio, intends to reach a decision to mine at Pedra Branca by mis-2015, coinciding with early cash flows from stage one.
The financing also provides for continuation of Avanco's regional exploration programme, and the drill testing seeking the next discovery at stage three will be ongoing throughout 2014, said the company.
Avanco is targeting 40,000t of copper per year and associated gold credits from its Carajas stage one and stage two projects.