The Aurizona Gold Project is located in Maranhão State in northern Brazil and is 100% owned and operated by Luna Gold Corp. (TSX:LGC). Aurizona is an open-pit mine with a gravity and carbon-in-leach milling operation. The mine is in commercial production and produced 79,229 ounces of gold in 2013. Luna is targeting between 85,000 and 95,000 ounces of annual gold production in 2014.
Aurizona is an orogenic gold deposit hosted in a greenstone belt of the São Luis Craton. There are a number of mineralized bodies on the property, but work to date has focused on the Piaba and Tatajuba deposits on which the current resource is based. Luna recently announced an increase in reserves to 2.36 million ounces of gold which extends the mine life to 15 years with production estimated to be between 125,000 and 140,000 ounces per annum.
Aurizona Gold Stream
Sandstorm has a gold stream agreement to purchase 17% of the life of mine gold produced from Aurizona at a per ounce price of US$404. Sandstorm made an upfront payment of US$17.8 million in cash and 1.1 million common shares of Sandstorm (5.5 million pre-consolidation) to acquire the stream in May 2009. In September 2012, Sandstorm committed an additional US$10 million towards the Phase 1 expansion project at Aurizona and has since issued a $10 million non-revolving loan facility to Luna, subject to interest at a rate of 12% and maturing on June 30, 2017. The proceeds from the loan will be used towards the Phase 1 Expansion and exploration activities at the Aurizona Mine.
If Luna develops an underground mine on Aurizona, Sandstorm has the right (but not the obligation) to purchase 17% of the payable gold from the underground mine, at a per-ounce price of US$500. For consideration, Sandstorm would pay 17% of the capital expenditures incurred to determine the economic viability and to construct the underground mine.