The Tucano Gold Mine is located in Amapá State in northern Brazil. The mine is approximately 200 kilometres from Macapá, the state capital, and is accessible by the Brazilian federal highway BR-210, or by chartered aircraft. It is currently the second largest gold producer in Brazil, producing around 145,000 ounces per year from several open pit mines. Formerly a heap leaching operation, it ran from late 2005 until January 2009, producing approximately 292,000 troy ounces of gold from 8.8 Mt of ore. The property was put under care and maintenance due to problems treating the increasingly transitional material. Beadell Resources Limited acquired the property in 2010 and the process plant was upgraded with the addition of a SAG mill and CIL infrastructure, capable of treating sulphide ore. From November 2012 to June 30, 2017, 17.0 Mt at 1.34 g/t gold containing 735,294 ounces of gold were processed, feed was made up of a blend of pit oxide ore, sulphide ore, spent ore, and historic stockpiles. Great Panther acquired Beadell Resources Limited in a friendly transaction that closed in March 2019, and holds a 100% interest in the project.
Tucano Mine Operating Results
|Tonnes Waste Moved (t)||17,381,302||16,655,670||18,235,696||18,173,428|
|Gold Ore Mined (t)||3,363,254||2,935,037||3,017,666||2,440,542|
|Gold Ore Milled (t)||3,714,942||3,597,163||3,720,125||3,504,129|
|Head Grade (g/t)||1.14||1.45||1.21||1.25|
|Plant Recovery (%)||89.3%||86.9%||89.9%||87.3%|
|Total Gold Recovered (oz)||122,292||145,870||129,764||123,296|
|Total Gold Sold (oz)||121,469||146,316||128,342||122,472|
|Cash Costs (US$/oz)||$827||$728||$1,100||$880|
|All-in Sustaining Costs (US$/oz)||$1,006||$866||$1,180||$1,073|
Tucano is located within 2,500 km2 of highly prospective and under-explored “Birimian age” greenstone terrane. There is a pipeline of high potential in-mine and near-mine prospects, anchored by several high-grade gold drill intervals over several metres, which represent a near-term opportunity to improve the head grade and prolong the mine life.
Mineralization at Tucano is controlled by a major north-south shear zone. The texture and mineralogy along the shear zone indicate high-temperature hydrothermal alteration. This zone exhibits intense hydrothermal alteration, particularly silicification and sulfidation, bearing auriferous pyrrhotite, and pyrite. The alteration is most intense in the proximity of reactive meta-sediments such as banded iron formations and carbonate and, to a lesser extent in calcsilicates, schists, and amphibolites. Late cross cutting intrusions are typically barren.
The mineralization at Tucano occurs in a series of deposits over a 7 km strike length associated with a north-south trending shear zone occurring coincident with a north-south line of topographic ridges. From south to north, these deposits have been named Tap A, B, C, and Urucum. Tap D is a separate structure in the west. Higher grades are associated with the more intensely hydrothermally altered rocks.