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Aura narrows Q1 loss as net sales revenue increases 17%; negotiates with lenders

TORONTO – Aura Minerals Inc. (TSX:ORA) narrowed its net loss in the first quarter as the struggling mid-tier gold and copper producer also announced it is in negotiations with creditors over loan repayments.

Aura reported after markets closed Monday that its net loss in the three months to March 31 was $10.9 million or five cents per share.

That compared with $18.7 million or eight cents per share for the first quarter of 2012 as net sales in the quarter increase 17 per cent over the prior-year period.

Meanwhile, the company disclosed that it was not in compliance with its revolving credit facility’s financial covenant as of the end of the quarter and was in talks with lenders to obtain a waiver or a forbearance.

However, subsequent to quarter end’s, Aura received about $10.3 million in additional preliminary bridge financing for its Serrote development.

Aura’s producing assets include the San Andres gold mine in Honduras, the Sao Francisco and Sao Vicente gold mines in Brazil and the copper-gold-silver Aranzazu mine in Mexico. It core development asset is the copper-gold-iron Serrote project in Brazil.

“Over the past year and a half, we have focused on achieving cost-efficient improvements to our existing operations while continuing to focus on our expansion plans at Aranzazu and the development of the Serrote project,” president and CEO Jim Bannantine said in remarks accompany the earnings release.

“As a result of this effort, this quarter shows an overall improvement in throughput and production at our operations and the highest quarterly gold production in the company’s history.”