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Brazil names Belo Sun’s Volta Grande “strategic” project

Mining camp at the Volta Grande gold project. (Image from Belo Sun’s presentation.)

Brazil has selected Canada’s Belo Sun Mining’s (TSX: BSX) proposed Volta Grande gold mine for its investment partnership programme (PPI), which supports projects producing minerals and metals deemed strategic for the country.

The PPI was created last year to support companies involved in the exploration and mining of a variety of commodities, including gold, iron ore and battery metals such as lithium, cobalt and nickel.

The nomination gives the project, located in the Brazilian Amazonic state of Pará, a welcome boost, as Volta Grande has been the target of long-running opposition.

Its construction licence remains subject to a 2017 injunction, which Belo Sun is working to address, completing the presentation of its indigenous study in October.

Brazilian regulations ask resource companies to carry out studies on how a project would impact locals when their lands are located less than 10 kilometres (6 miles) from the project.

The company warned in November that it anticipated additional legal claims and actions might be brought in Brazilian courts to attempt to delay the development.

It also noted a complaint made this year to the Ontario Securities Commission by a consortium of activist groups, claiming dissemination of misinformation, which Belo said it believed was without merit.

“Despite this, the company is committed to advancing the Volta Grande gold project as a responsible and accountable mining project which will be environmentally sensitive and create broad economic and social benefits, making it a project worthy of support from all groups,” it said.

The Volta Grande project consists of an open pit, a gold recovery process facility, water and tailings management and supporting infrastructure.

It is expected to produce an average of 205,000 ounces of gold a year over its nearly 17-year life.