The Serrote da Laje project is an advanced stage greenfield copper-gold development asset in Brazil

CASE STUDY

Serrote da Laje is an advanced stage, greenfield copper-gold asset in a mining-friendly region of northeastern Brazil. Benefiting from existing permits and excellent access to infrastructure, the project presents a low capital intensity and defensive investment opportunity. The asset is a well-understood and conventional, low strip deposit amenable to open pit mining that will employ proven processing technology to produce copper concentrate.

Appian acquired the Serrote da Laje greenfield copper-gold development project from Aura Minerals in March 2018 for a total consideration of US$40m (US$10m deferred), following a 6-month due diligence period. Following announcement of the sale, Aura Minerals’ market capitalization increased circa 70% within a 2-month period.

Prior to the successful carve-out of Serrote da Laje by Appian, the asset was non-core to Aura Minerals, who were focusing on their three producing operations in Honduras and Brazil, as well as working to restart the copper-gold-silver Aranzazu mine in Mexico. The sale of a non-core asset enabled Aura Minerals to focus on the core elements within their portfolio and provided them with sufficient capital to successfully do so. Originally scoped to be a large tonnage, low grade project, the internal Appian technical team has re-scoped the development plan from first principals to optimize project economics and returns. The attractive capital profile and development timeline identified by Appian defines a clear path to a low cost commercial operation. Work is currently underway to complete an updated definitive feasibility study (“DFS”) for the Serrote project, following which construction of the operation will begin.

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