Ensurge, Inc. is a Miami, Florida based mining company focused on development of gold mining opportunities in Brazil and Guyana. The company’s primary focus is to bring capital and technology to existing mining operations to recover gold from existing tailings ponds, improve recoveries of existing milling operations and improve mining operations in exchange for an interest in these operations.
Brazil is a mineral rich country where gold mining began in the late 1700s. Historically, Brazil has been among the major gold producing nations, with production having peaked at about 100 tonnes per annum in 1989. Production estimates for 2010 are about 45 tonnes.
The reasons for the decline are in fact the reasons that make Brazil so attractive to Ensurge. Policies of Brazilian governments during the 1980s and 1990s limited the ability of foreign companies to participate in the gold mining industry in Brazil. Income taxation was high and the ability to repatriate profits was limited. As a consequence, global mining companies looked elsewhere for their growth opportunities.
The indigenous gold mining industry did continue to exist in Brazil, but limited grass roots exploration took place and limited technological advancements in mining and processing technology were implemented. Without the international sourced investment and implementation of newer technologies, gold production declined in Brazil.
In 1995 a new constitution was developed and it was soon followed by new regulations on foreign participation in mining and repatriation of profits. As a consequence, Brazil became open for business to the world’s mining industry again. However, the low and generally declining price of gold during the 1990s reduced the intensity of effort by the world’s mining industry to develop resources in Brazil.
As the price of gold began to rise in 2000, so too has interest in the Brazilian gold mining sector grown. Global mining companies are now very actively looking for major gold deposits in Brazil. However, Ensurge is taking a different approach.
Ensurge is focusing its efforts in areas of historic gold mining in Brazil. These areas include the Cuiaba Gold Belt in Mato Grosso State, Para State and Minas Gerias State. We are seeking existing operating, or abandoned gold mines with significant legacy tailings stockpiles. Older mines in these areas are typically operated by “garimparos”, family owned mining operations that employ crude mining and processing technologies. Most still employ gravity separation and/or amalgamation with mercury. Historic gold recoveries have been 40-50%, leaving significant amounts of gold in tailings.
Modern processing technologies such as column flotation to concentrate the gold in tailings, combined with Carbon In Leach (cyanide leaching and adsorption of pregnant leach liquors on activated charcoal with electrowinning of gold from solution can recover in excess of 90% of the gold in tailings.
Ensurge offers “garimpeiros” access to our capital and technology in exchange for interest in the net after tax profit to be derived from new, modern tailings gold recovery projects. The “garimpeiros” see this offer as a no risk opportunity to generate significant new profits for themselves and many are excited about working with Ensurge to recover gold from legacy tailings as well as current tailings output.
Since the processing of tailings requires no mining or crushing, the capital and operating costs of a tailings gold recovery plant are modest. Typically, recovery of an ounce of gold from tailings requires $25-$50 of capital and about $300-$350 of operating costs.
We plan to size our skid mounted (and therefore mobile) plants to process existing tailings stockpiles in approximately 7 years, to obtain optimal net present value return on our capital. Recovery of on-going tailings production from operating mines will continue as long as volumes are sufficient to generate acceptable on-going returns on capital.
Ensurge plans to add 5-7 new tailings recovery projects per year from the literally hundreds of “garimpeiro” operations in our target geographic areas.