Gold producing, development, and exploration in the Iron Quadrangle
Jaguar Mining is a Canadian-listed junior gold mining, development, and exploration company operating in Brazil. They have three gold mining complexes and a large land package with significant upside exploration potential from mineral claims covering an area of approximately 65,000 hectares. Jaguar Mining’s principal operating assets are located in the Iron Quadrangle. The Iron Quadrangle is a prolific greenstone belt in the state of Minas Gerais. It includes the Turmalina Gold Mine Complex and Caeté Gold Mine Complex (Pilar and Roça Grande mines, and Caeté Plant) which combined, produce more than 95,000 ounces of gold annually. The Company also owns the Paciência Gold Mine Complex, which has been on care and maintenance since 2012.
“Each quarter we need to produce more ounces of gold than we did in the prior quarter,” says CEO, Vern Baker.
Turmalina Gold Mine
“This is a mine (Turmalina) that’s increasing its production up to 50 thousand ounces. Last year, we were at about 33. This year will be a bit over 40. And next year, we will be at 50,” says Baker.
Turmalina is an underground mine utilizing the sub-level stoping mining method with rockfill and paste fill.
The Turmalina deposits are located in the western part of the Iron Quadrangle. This was the principal region for Brazilian hard rock gold mining until 1983 and accounted for approximately 40% of Brazil’s total gold production. Further, gold was produced from numerous deposits. It was primarily in the northern and southeastern parts of the Iron Quadrangle. And it was mostly hosted by Archean or Early Proterozoic-aged banded iron formations (BIF) contained within greenstone belt supracrustal sequences.
The Pilar Mine, the company’s other underground operation, is also experiencing an increase in production. It grew from 43,000 ounces in 2019 to an expected 50,000 ounces in 2020.
The Caeté Mining Complex (CCA) comprises of two underground mines (Roça Grande Mine and Pilar Mine) that utilize a combination of mechanized cut and fill and sub-level stope mining methods.
The basal units of the Nova Lima Group host the Pilar deposit. The rocks in the region of the mine are comprised of tholeiitic basalts and komatiite flows of the Ouro Fino and Morro Vermelho Units, along with their intrusive equivalents.
According to Baker, the Company has put a significant amount of money into sustaining capital development. Moreover, this enabled them to open up new mining panels in Pilar and in Turamalina. Further, its allowing the Company to increase production by having additional work areas and having good sequencable areas for mining.
The Iron Quadrangle has produced gold for over 300 years, but not a lot of modern exploration technology has been used. “We think there’s just a tremendous opportunity to find additional reserves and resources and completely new ore bodies right here in the Iron Quadrangle,” says Baker.
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