Belo Sun ups gold estimate at flagship project in Brazil

Canadian miner Belo Sun (TSX:BSX), currently working on a feasibility study for its $750 million Volta Grande gold project in Brazil, updated Friday its measured and indicated resource at its 100% owned asset.

According to the fresh figures, the measured and indicated pit constrained mineral resources now stand at 5.1 million ounces of gold, up almost 10% from a previous estimate.

The Toronto-based firm expects the revised figures will support the definitive feasibility study for the development of the project, located on the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon.

"This mineral resource update represents an increase in the measured and indicated category of one million ounces of gold, when compared with the December 2012 mineral resource update which was used as the basis of the May 2013 pre feasibility study,” said president and CEO of the company Mark Eaton.

“Belo Sun team is currently using the current mineral resource estimate in the modeling and mine sequencing for the ongoing definitive feasibility study."

The Volta Grande, or Big Bend, open-pit gold project is expected to start operating in 2016 and become Brazil’s biggest gold mine, producing more than 300,000 ounces a year over its 10-year life.

The company has been facing increasing opposition to the project, mainly from local authorities who want to block the mine development.

They claim the company failed to study the impact of the mine on Amazon communities.

They also say that, as Volta Grande is being constructed near the controversial Belo Monte dam, the combined effects of both could be devastating.