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Aura Secures Additional US$31 million in Financing and Announces Fully Funded Construction for the Borborema Project

Aura Minerals Inc
Aura Minerals Inc

ROAD TOWN, British Virgin Islands, Dec. 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aura Minerals Inc. (TSX: ORA, B3: AURA33 and OTCQX: ORAAF) (“Aura” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that Borborema Inc. (“Borborema”), a wholly owned subsidiary and indirect owner of the Company’s Borborema gold project in Rio Grande do Norte State, Brazil (the “Borborema Project”), has entered into an agreement with Gold Royalty Corp. (“Gold Royalty”) to secure US$31 million in financing to develop the Borborema Project (the “Transaction”). The US$31 million in financing is composed of a US$21 million net smelter return royalty over the Borborema Project (the “NSR Royalty”) and a US$10 million gold-linked loan (the “Gold-Linked Loan”).

Together with the US$100 million term loan previously entered into with Banco Santander Brazil and US$14 million raised through gold collars with several financial institutions, Aura, through its subsidiaries, has now secured over US$145 million towards construction of the Borborema Project, which has an estimated total construction capex of US$188 million.

Key Financing Terms

NSR Royalty:

  • Upfront Payment: US$21.0 million in cash upon closing of the Transaction.

  • Royalty Terms: Gold Royalty acquired a secured 2.0% net smelter return royalty on the first 725,000 ounces produced from the Borborema Project.

  • Stepdown: The NSR Royalty will decrease to 0.5% after 725,000 ounces of payable gold is produced from the Borborema Project.

  • Buyback Option: The remaining 0.5% of the NSR Royalty will be subject to a US$2.5 million buyback at Borborema’s option exercisable by Borborema after the earlier to occur of (i) of 2,250,000 ounces of payable gold being produced at the Borborema Project, or (ii) January 1, 2050.

  • Pre-production Payments: Borborema will make quarterly payments to Gold Royalty of 250 ounces of gold (1,000 ounces per year). The pre-production payments will cease upon the earlier of (i) the date of commencement of commercial production of the Borborema Project; and (ii) the tenth (10th) year anniversary of the closing of the Transaction.

  • ESG Co-Investment Payments: Gold Royalty will make ongoing payments to Borborema of US$30 per gold equivalent ounce delivered or paid to Gold Royalty. These payments are earmarked for ESG related investments by Borborema, up to a maximum of US$300,000.

Gold-Linked Loan:

  • Loan Principal: US$10.0 million paid to Borborema in cash upon closing of the Transaction.

  • Maturity: 6 years from closing of the Transaction.

  • Prepayment: The loan can be prepaid at any time commencing on the 24 month of the closing of the Transaction subject to certain prepayment costs.

  • Quarterly Interest Payments: Quarterly coupon payments of minimum 110 ounces of gold (440 ounces per year). Coupon payments can be made via cash settlement or physical delivery of gold.

  • Conversion: Upon maturity, Gold Royalty has the option to be:

    • Paid US$10 million cash; or

    • Paid US$5 million in cash plus receive a 0.5% net smelter return royalty over the Borborema Project.

  • Security: The Gold-Linked Loan will be secured against certain mining concessions relating to the Borborema Project and a pledge of the shares of the Borborema operating entity, with the Company's interests thereunder subordinated to senior project financing lenders. The Gold-Linked Loan is also guaranteed by Aura.

Rodrigo Barbosa, President & CEO commented, “We have successfully concluded our financing plan for the Borborema project with an additional US$31 million from Royalty and Gold Loan Agreements, bringing our total external funding to US$ 145 million. This amount, together with our own cash fully addresses the projected US$188 million capital expenditure. This diversified funding strategy, which encompasses debt, royalty, gold loan, and positive collars, aligns perfectly with our goal to mitigate financial risks while enhancing shareholder equity returns.”

Completion of the Transaction is subject to customary conditions and is currently expected to be completed in December 2023, with an outside date of January 31, 2024.

About Aura 360° Mining

Aura is focused on mining in complete terms – thinking holistically about how its business impacts and benefits every one of our stakeholders: our company, our shareholders, our employees, and the countries and communities we serve. We call this 360° Mining.

Aura is a mid-tier gold and copper production company focused on the development and operation of gold and base metal projects in the Americas. The Company’s four producing assets include the San Andres gold mine in Honduras, the EPP and the Almas gold mines in Brazil and the Aranzazu copper-gold-silver mine in Mexico. In addition, the Company has the Tolda Fria gold project in Colombia and four projects in Brazil, of which three gold projects: Borborema and Matupá, which are in development; and São Francisco, which is on care and maintenance. The Company also owns the Serra da Estrela copper project in Brazil, Carajás region, under exploration stage.

Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements”, as defined in applicable securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) which include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the activities, events or developments that the Company expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future.

Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond the Company’s ability to predict or control, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by the Company, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Specific reference is made to the most recent Annual Information Form on file with certain Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities for a discussion of some of the factors underlying forward-looking statements, which include, without limitation, the ability of the Company to close the Transaction, the Company’s ability to achieve its short-term and longer-term outlook and the anticipated timing and results thereof, the ability to lower costs and increase production, the ability of the Company to successfully achieve business objectives, copper and gold or certain other commodity price volatility, changes in debt and equity markets, the uncertainties involved in interpreting geological data, increases in costs, environmental compliance and changes in environmental legislation and regulation, interest rate and exchange rate fluctuations, general economic conditions and other risks involved in the mineral exploration and development industry. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect the forward-looking statements.

All forward-looking statements herein are qualified by this cautionary statement. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information or future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law. If the Company does update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that it will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: For more information, please contact:    Investor Relations