Big bets placed Belo Sun’s Amazon gold mine happening soon

Belo Sun Mining (TSE:BSX) shares are on a tear, rising 56% over fewer than three weeks as punters await the feasibility study for the company’s 7 million ounce Volta Grande project in Brazil, the country’s largest gold project under development.

After a wobble yesterday when Belo Sun fell in sympathy with a broad rout among gold stocks (despite gold’s nice move higher), the counter was up another 8% on Wednesday although year to date losses still amount to 50%.

Investors who chased the Toronto-based company from 51c to 81c since August 9 haven’t had much to go on in with one technical analyst even suggesting “Belo is only for experienced traders who are comfortable trading in an aggressive decline.”

The technical report and drill results out in July did not fundamentally change the estimates contained in Volta Grande’s pref-feasibility study and that so disappointed shareholders when it was released in May.

A feasibility study and definitive resource estimates are expected in the fourth quarter and Brazilian government permits may or may not be “imminent”.

The $750 million project on the Xingu river is still being assessed by the Secretary of Environment (SEMA) of Pará state after Brazil’s Federal Public Ministry (MPF) recommended further impact studies in February.

The 100%-owned project, expected to produce more than 300,000 ounces per annum over its 10-year life, is also facing fierce opposition from civil society groups given its location close to the indigenous territory of Paquiçamba where a reserve for the Juruna indians are in the process of being established.

In September last year after reports about a federal investigation into the project that found inconsistencies in the environmental assessment – Belo Sun withdrew and then quickly re-instated a $50 million financing deal provoking bewilderment from investors.

Another potential stumbling block could be the 2,000 miners working illegally at three unlicensed gold mines in the area who would not welcome the Canadian firm, particularly if it gets the lion share of the local resources.

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