Project of the Week: Cabral Gold’s Cuiú Cuiú Project, Brazil

Featured Image: Gold nuggets panned from the main drainage at Cabral’s Cilmar target.

By Esme Whitehouse

This week’s feature project, in my opinion, is a particularly exciting one. Not only is there some seriously promising geology, but the company are going above and beyond in their social responsibility. Cabral Gold (TSXV: CBR, OTC: CBGZF) are a Toronto-listed company with 3 projects in the Tapajós region of Brazil (Figure 1). I spoke to Alan Carter (CEO) about their 100%-owned flagship project, Cuiú Cuiú (pronounced cooyoo cooyoo).

Figure 1. The location of the Tapajós region in northern Brazil (inset) and the location of Cabral’s 3 projects. Cuiú Cuiú is highlighted. Sources: Google maps and Cabral website.

During the 1980s north Brazilian gold rush, the roughly 20,000 people gold washing in Cuiú Cuiú is estimated to have produced ~ 1.5-2Moz of placer gold. This estimate makes it one of the richest Garimpos* in the Tapajós region. In 1982 the regional airport Itaituba became the busiest airport in the world at 1000 planes per day. It is estimated 1 million people migrated to North Brazil in search of gold.

It’s recent history therefore certainly seems to imply there is some gold floating around in streams, but what about in the rocks? There are currently two defined deposits in Cuiú Cuiú, MG and Central (Figure 2). Both are defined as having ~0.5Moz of shear-hosted orogenic gold, controlled by second order structures to the dominant NW-SE regional structural trend (Tocantinzinho lineament). These structures express as ‘wrinkles’ in magnetic data and as such have been used, along with stream sediment sampling, to produce targets for the next 12 or so months of drilling, commencing this week.

Figure 2. A magnetic map of the Cuiú Cuiú prospect highlighting the MG and Central deposits. High grade drill intercepts are labelled. The Tocantinzinho NW-SE structural trend controlling second-order structures is outlined in black. Source: modified from Cabral website.

Their current data suggests gold is hosted in 2m (avg.) high-grade veins, with low grade haloes of up to 50m (Figure 3). Veins are open along strike and at depth representing the upside potential of this project. Drilling will focus on the 4 highlighted areas in Figure 2 as well as upgrading estimates at MG and Central. Medusa is yet to be drilled and Alonso has returned some healthy grades (93.1g/t, 200.3g/t Au) from boulders. Central SE and Pau de Merenda have both returned nice grades of 8m @ 8.4g/t and 9m @ 5.1g/t, respectively. Currently, the 2011 resource estimates are thought to be significantly underestimating Central and MG owing the inclusion of more low-grade halo data relative to high grade drill intercepts.

In a word, potential!

Figure 3. High grade veins with low grade haloes at the MG (left) and Central (right) deposits. Source: Cabral website.

The large footprint (36,000ha) of the project is particularly interesting as it requires a regional-scale, more aggressive approach to exploration and drilling than most projects you hear about. Cabral have purchased their own second-hand CAT-mounted mobile RC drill rig which as well as being more environmentally friendly (no roads required - save the trees!) is a speedy and efficient way tackle the amount of drilling they have planned. Purchasing the drill rig has also significantly reduced all-in drilling costs.

Exploration and mining in Brazil sadly often connote with poor corporate responsibility. Cabral are the exact opposite. In the village of Cuiú Cuiú (popn: 400) Cabral have established a garbage collection service, health care services and renovated the elementary school. They also have a nursery for re-planting any trees they have cause to remove but treat the surrounding forest as protected land to minimise environmental damage. The action they have taken will have a long-term positive impact on the village and is certainly above and beyond the classic community donation most companies choose. It reflects Cabral’s commitment to the area and their project.

A focus on high grade potential is the ethos of Cabral for the coming year. Not only is there a lot of upside potential at Cuiú Cuiú but the speediness and efficiency of their drilling program means results will be flying out frequently for the next however many months so there will be plenty to keep up with.

On my end I’m certainly excited to hear how things progress and I would recommend everyone go and have a look at their most recent presentation which gives lots of lovely gold grades to ogle at.

Alan says there is a long way to go yet in properly delineating existing and new deposits in Cuiú Cuiú, but at the moment all signs point gold.


* Garimpos - Portuguese word meaning prospect. Operated by garimpeiros.

For further information:

Cabral gold:

ESG activity:

Other projects:

Sources: Cabral website and presentations and personal comms with Alan Carter.