Quartzite is a very hard rock composed predominantly of an interlocking mosaic of quartz crystals. Recently polished quartzite slabs have become sought after as a higher-end substitute to granite in kitchen countertops and tiles. Brazil has a flourishing quartzite mining industry centered in the neighboring the states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo with smaller producers being the norm. Each quarry produces quartzite of different color and texture and therefore stones are unique to their location. Mining is via simple open pit procedures, not particularly labor intensive, and with the mined product normally prepared as cubes of raw quartzite measuring ten meters in each diameter. Buyers are normally responsible for the logistics of transporting such raw quartzite blocks from the mine. Buyers for quartzite mined in Brazil are primarily from four locations: Brazil itself, United States, China, and Italy. It is common for mines to develop an exclusive selling relationship to a buyer.
While our subsidiary Jupiter Gold is primarily focused on gold in Brazil, in one of its mineral rights, measuring 233 acres, a greenfield deposit of quartzite was identified by its exploration team and became its “Quartzite Project”. The Quartzite Project is in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil, in a region known for quartzite mining.
In 2021, Jupiter Gold studied the Quartzite Project with detailed drilling and a preliminary estimate of a deposit with mineralization of 3.7 million tons of quartzite was obtained. In 2021, Yan Taffner Binda, a mining engineer with vast experience in quartzite who meets the “Qualified Person” criteria under Regulation S-K 1300, prepared the mining plan for an open pit quarry at the Quartzite Project. An initial mining license from the Brazilian mining department, has been obtained.
In 2021, Geoline, an independent engineering and environmental licensing consultancy, performed the field studies needed to file Jupiter Gold’s petition to the applicable regulatory body for an operation license. Jupiter Gold’s expectation is to obtain such approval within the next three to six months, which would allow it to start operations and thereafter revenues in 2022. Jupiter Gold anticipates that its quartzite quarry will require five on-site full-time employees; expected prices for the type of color and texture of the quartzite anticipated to be mined range from $1,200 to $2,000 per cubic meter.