Coringa dry stacking plan finds favour with state environmental agency, Serabi says

With Serabi Gold having supplied all required data for a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on its Coringa gold project, in Brazil, to its independent consultants Global Resource Engineering Limited, CEO Mike Hodgson says the London- and Toronto-listed firm is now working hard on the permitting side.

Permitting a mine in Brazil – in particular the waste storage element – has become a lot trickier in the past few years following two major tailings dam collapses at iron ore mines in the country.

But, in the company’s June quarter results, Hodgson said Serabi was making good progress on permitting Coringa, a deposit that comes with 216,000 oz of indicated resources at an average in-situ grade of 7.95 g/t Au and inferred resources of 298,000 oz at 6.46 g/t.

He said: “The plan to replace a conventional tailings dam with installing a filtration plant allowing for the dry stacking of tails has been well received by the state environmental agency, SEMAS, who had already approved the original environmental impact assessment (EIA) on the basis of a conventional dam.”

The company is now completing an amendment to the EIA to reflect this design variation, he said, explaining that Serabi expects SEMAS to approve the amendment and, then, proceed with the necessary public hearings.

“We hope to be in a position to receive the Preliminary Licence during the second half of the year,” he said.

Coringa is located in north-central Brazil, in Pará State, 70 km southeast of the city of Novo Progresso.

Artisanal mining at Coringa produced an estimated 10 t of gold (322,600 oz) from alluvial and primary sources within the deep saprolite or oxidised parts of shear zones being mined using high-pressure water hoses or hand-cobbing to depths of 15 m, according to Serabi. Other than the artisanal workings, no other production has occurred at Coringa.

Serabi acquired Coringa from Anfield Mining on December 21, 2017, with management considering the asset to be very much a “carbon-copy” of Palito in terms of the geology, size and mining operations that will be used. The company’s Palito complex is made up of high grade, narrow vein underground mines that produce around 40,000 oz/y of gold.

The PEA on Coringa is still expected to be completed by the end of July, Serabi said.