Brazil Minerals, Inc., a U.S. holding company with revenues from gold and diamonds, announced today that its subsidiary, Mineração Duas Barras Ltda., had obtained the formal environmental permit to remove and commercialize sand, which is found in abundance in its mine. MDB operates an open pit mine and has the largest alluvial processing plant for gold and diamonds in Latin America.
The Company has received formal permission from SUPRAM (Superintendência Regional de Regularização Ambiental, the local environmental regulator) allowing the removal and commercialization of sand from the mining concession. Sand is a normal operational byproduct of the processing of alluvial gravel for diamonds and gold at the MDB plant, and therefore there is no direct cost to MDB in obtaining sand in large quantities. The Company has performed geochemical testing of several samples of its sand at a highly regarded analytical laboratory and the results indicate availability of sand of high quality sufficient for commercialization for cement mixing, glass manufacturing, and mortar preparation. Montes Claros, a city of over 400,000 people, and the closest large city to the MDB plant, is growing at double digit rates, and therefore demand for sand for civil construction and other uses is high, and there are very few suppliers.
Marc Fogassa, Chairman and CEO of BMIX commented, "Our sand will be able to generate cash flows or be used as a means of payment. For instance, we needed an extra truck to work in our excavation front for diamonds and gold. The cost of renting a large truck is approximately $8,000 per month. Instead of paying entirely with cash, the owner of the truck has agreed to 75% payment in sand on a monthly basis. We intend to study opportunities to exploit our abundant sand in other ways given its strong local demand."
MDB mines conflict free diamonds and gold, and sells rough and polished diamonds and 96% purity gold. It owns mineral rights encompassing approximately 1,404 acres, including a fully-operational mining concession. MDB has NI 43-101 technical reports and a bankable feasibility study on file with the local mining authority. It also has the permit to export its production of rough diamonds as well as its own cut and polished diamonds.