The Cuiú Cuiú gold project consists of several shear zone-hosted gold deposits that occur within granitic rocks of the Cuiú Cuiú Complex (2,015 Ma), in the Tapajós Region of northern Brazil. This region was the site of a major gold rush by artisanal miners from the late 1970s until the late 1990s which, according to the Brazilian Department of Mineral Production (DNPM) had a total historical production of between 20 and 30 million ounces of gold. Cuiú Cuiú was one of the earliest and largest garimpos in the province.
Cuiu Cuiu is estimated to have previously produced 1.5 – 2Moz of placer gold (Source: DNPM) and is located approximately 25km NW of Eldorado Gold’s Tocantinzinho project which has Proven and Probable Reserves of 39.6Mt @ 1.4g/t gold for 1.8Moz. The project has M&I resources of 48.7Mt @1.35 g/t gold (2.1Moz) and Inferred resources of 2.4Mt @ 0.90 g/t gold (0.1Moz). In April 2017 Eldorado received its construction license for Tocantinzinho (see Eldorado financial Q1 quarterly statement).
The area at Cuiú Cuiú which has been subject to most of the previous exploration efforts is approximately 5,500 ha (11 km by 5 km) in size. Previous work on the property included geological mapping, extensive soil sampling, rock sampling, airborne and ground geophysics, power auger drilling and diamond core drilling.
This work has so far defined two gold deposits at Cuiu Cuiu; Central and Moreira Gomes, which are 5km apart and have combined Indicated resources of 3.4Mt @ 1.0g/t gold (0.1Moz) and combined Inferred resources of 31Mt @ 1.2g/t gold (1.2Moz). These resources were based on an initial 25,945m of drilling. A further 22,070m was drilled following this resource calculation.
Gold mineralization is localized within shear zones which are in turn controlled by a large scale northwest-southeast striking lineament (the so-called Tocantinzinho trend), probably a crustal scale shear. The dimensions of the Central and Moreira Gomes deposits that had been sufficiently outlined by core drilling for mineral resource estimates in 2011 are as follows:
- Central extends over a strike length of at least 800 m in a northwest-southeast direction, and is 50 to 70 m wide, with a maximum known vertical depth of 450 m.
- Moreira Gomes extends over a strike length of 1,200 m east-west, is 30 to 50 m wide, and has a vertical depth of 400 m.
Both zones remain open along strike and at depth. In the course of the previous exploration work a gold-in-soil anomaly 18km in length was identified much of which has still to be tested and excellent drill results were returned from at least 6 other target areas which require further work.