Amarillo Gold Corp. (TSX-V: AGC) (“Amarillo” or the “Company”) is pleased to deliver the following update on the permitting process at the Mara Rosa Project, Goias state.
In May 2012, Amarillo filed an application for a preliminary license for permit to mine on the Mara Rosa project. (See News Release dated June 4th 2012). Since that time the Licensing process has been put on hold, whilst a review of the impact of the historic mining activity at the Posse Deposit, was carried out. (see MD & A Q1 2013). The review was instigated in response to request from the Ministério Público (“MP” or Public Prosecutors office).
The Company is now pleased to report that it has delivered the preliminary IPA report, (IPA:- Investigação de Passivo Ambiental – Investigation into Environmental Damage) to the respective authorities. The IPA report is the result of 18 months of monitoring and measuring the quality of the surface and ground waters in the catchment around the Posse deposit, soil sampling, and monitoring the aquatic biota.
It is the opinion of the company and its environmental consultant, that the work in the IPA report shows no lasting environmental effect from the past mining work. The company now expects the permitting process to move ahead once the authorities have had time to review.
The Company has applied applied for a preliminary license (“LP”). In Brazil mine permitting is governed and administered by each state, however the States tend to keep the same standards so the process is very similar throughout Brazil. The process has three stages, the preliminary license (“LP,”), the installation license (“LI”), and finally the license to operate (“LO”). The application for an LP is accompanied by an Environmental base-line report called the EIA ( Estudo de Impacto Ambiental which translates to Environmental Impact Statement) and an environmental mitigation report, or RIMA ( Relatório de Impacto Ambiental). The department that administers the permitting in Goias state is called SEMARH. The application is also subject to review by the MP and it is noteworthy that in recent years all large engineering and mining projects in Brazil, have seen the MP play a much more active role.
In late 2011 the MP instigated an investigation into possible contamination of waters in the Mara Rosa district by historic mining, based on a public complaint lodged in 1998. The Posse deposit is not the only suspended mine in the district and the area also was the focus of widespread artisanal working in the 1980’s. This investigation showed that there were acidic waters in the district, and although they were not from the Mara Rosa project the issue concerned the MP enough to ask for suspension of the LP until Amarillo could measure the environmental impact of the historic mining at Posse. The old mine at Posse was operated by Mineração Genipapo, (owned by Western Mining at the time), which shut down operations in 1995, and in 2003 the state authorities issued a certificate that indicated that the area was considered remediated, however the MP considers that the previously filed complaint had not been correctly addressed.
In April 2013, Amarillo submitted an initial response to the MP’s concern about acid waters by showing several assays of the Pit waters at Posse, which indicate they were not acidic (Ph 7.4) and suitable for aquatic life. The MP did not consider this adequate and requested a larger study. The preliminary IPA report now submitted by Amarillo is the summary of this study. It includes several sets of water analysis in the two small open Pits (now filled with water) as well as surface water from surrounding streams. Ground waters were checked from existing underground wells and from auger holes drilled by Amarillo. These analyses (carried out at three monthly intervals) showed that there were no low ph waters and no significant presence of heavy metals with values all below the limits published by CONAMA (National Council for the Environment) in Resolution 357 of 2005.
The two open pits are now the home of a quantity of fish with at least four species identified including tilapia (a fish not indigenous to Brazil), lambari (a small fish known as bio-indicator because of its’ requirement for high quality water), piaba and caranha (specimens of up to 5 kg. can be found in the larger open pit). The report includes analyses of two different types of the fish found in the open pits, (tilapia and piaba) and showed that levels of heavy metals in the fish were below the limit of detection though copper values were detected in low quantities (but within the limits allowable according to the World Health Organisation, WHO). Similar small quantities of copper were also found in six other samples of fish from surrounding rivers and streams and would seem to be the norm for the area.
The IPA was of a preliminary investigative nature and concluded that there was no chemical contamination caused by previous mining.
The Company awaits a response from the MP, but once a satisfactory review is received the LP process will recommence and the permitting process should move forward. An LP is only granted after a public hearing held in the municipal and the company intends to hold this in April. There is great public support for the implantation of the mine in the area (a traditional mining district).
The Company expects to obtain the LP before the end of the 2nd Quarter 2014.
Frank Baker, a metallurgist with over 30 years experience and also a member of the AUSIMM and IOM3 is the qualified person for this news release as per the guidelines of the NI-43-101. Mr. Baker is the manager of the Mara Rosa Project.
About Amarillo Gold Corp.
Amarillo Gold Corp. is focused on acquisition, discovery, and definition of gold resources in Brazil. The Company’s principal projects are the Mara Rosa Project in the state of Goias, and the Lavras do Sul Project in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The Posse Deposit at Mara Rosa contains 1,174,900 ounces of measured and indicated gold contained in 20.85 MT at 1.75 g/t Au, and 156,400 ounces of gold inferred from 3.63 MT at 1.38 g/t Au (0.5 g/t cut-off grade) (NI 43-101 compliant resource as independently determined by Australian Exploration Field Services Pty. AEFS). The Mara Rosa Gold Project has received a positive economic assessment from a Pre-feasibility study and is preparing to proceed to a bankable feasibility study. Should this continue to be positive it would be possible to commence mining by 2015.
The Posse Deposit was successfully mined by Western Mining Company (WMC) during the 1990s (mined areas are excluded from the above-stated resource figures), and is located in an area of excellent infrastructure: approximately 35 km NE of Yamana’s Chapada open pit Cu-Au operation, some 80 km NE of Yamana’s Pilar Au project (in Feasibility), 95 km NW of Votarintim’s Niquelandia Ni laterite mine, 105 km from NE of Serra Grande’s underground Au mine, and 105 km NNW of Anglo American’s Ni laterite project at Barro Alto.
The Lavras do Sul Project is an advanced exploration stage property (190 sq. km.) comprising more than 19 prospects centred on historic gold workings, with encouraging gold mineralization discovered and defined by more than 16,000 metres of drilling. The initial resource estimate at the Butia prospect reported 215,000 ounces of gold indicated from 6.4 MT at 1.05 g/t Au, and 308,000 ounces of gold inferred from 12.9 MT at 0.74 g/t Au using a0.3 g/t cut-off grade in a NI 43-101 compliant resource as independently determined by Atticus Consulting 2010. Lavras do Sul is also located near excellent infrastructure. The Company also has a portfolio of earlier stage projects and all properties under Amarillo’s management are located in areas of good infrastructure and mining-friendly communities.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
AMARILLO GOLD CORP.
Per: “Buddy Doyle”
Buddy Doyle, President
Amarillo Gold Corp.
+ 1-604-689-1799 (Canada)
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS:
This news release contains Forward Looking Statements regarding our intentions and plans. Various factors may prevent or delay our plans, including but not limited to, contractor availability and performance, weather, access, mineral prices and success and failure of the exploration and development carried out at various stages of the program. Permission from the Government and community is also required to proceed with future mining production. In the case of this news release the timing and response of the MP and SEMARH are not in the companies control and could differ from our expectations causing further delay to our permitting process. Readers should review risk factors applicable to junior mining exploration companies generally to understand the variety of risks that can affect the Company.