Coffey Mining tackles challenges and solutions for mineral exploration at Brazil's SIMEXMIN 2010

Coffey International Limited subsidiary, Coffey Mining, will be discussing challenges and solutions for the Brazilian mineral exploration market in the upcoming Brazilian Symposium of Mineral Exploration ("SIMEXMIN"), between 23-26 May in Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

SIMEXMIN, the biennial symposium promoted by the Agency for the Technological Development of the Brazilian Mineral Industry, brings together the Brazilian and international communities of the mineral exploration sector to discuss the challenges and advances experienced in mineral exploration in Brazil and abroad over the last years. Discussions will cover political, economic, legal, technological, environmental and financial matters.

Coffey Mining global business development manager David Atchison said continued growth in the Chinese economy is driving exploration in countries such as Brazil. "Chinese mining companies are looking to secure future supplies of resources and this is resulting in unprecedented levels of outbound investment in major global mining markets such as Brazil," said Achison.

"Also, uncertainty in the global economy, namely debt concerns in European countries, has resulted in historically high gold prices which is providing investment opportunities for companies exploring the commodity in South America."

Mario Reinhardt, operations and business development director for Coffey Mining in Brazil, said the development of the different phases of mineral exploration in Brazil was still facing some challenges. However, he commended the current efforts the country has in place to offer an increasing volume of quality public data to assist in minimising the risk involved in mineral surveying and increase local investments.

"I believe that broader availability of airborne geophysical data, geological data and images, detailed mapping and updates of the large metallogenetic context at a lower cost, or even free, would reduce the risks of mineral surveying. As a consequence, further investments would be attracted, delivering positive results and greater return for the community and the country.

"An update of the minimum requirements of the Brazilian standards for surveying and mineral resources and the utilisation of international best practices could stimulate an increasing professionalisation of the sector," he said.

Despite the challenges, Reinhardt said the consultancy was observing a strong recovery in the market, with new mining projects in Brazil and South America underway and a large number of international investors interested in these projects.

"Currently, Coffey Mining's Brazilian team is working on 25 exploration projects in Brazil and overseas. These projects are in different stages, ranging from grassroots through to resource estimation, and our activities include regional studies, remote sensing targeting, geophysics and multi-criteria analysis, target follow up and detailing and resource estimations," explained Reinhardt.

Coffey Mining specialists in geology, mining engineering and geotechnologies will be at SIMEXMIN 2010 showcasing the best practices in prospecting, surveying and development of exploration projects and geospatial solutions.

"We have recently expanded our team of specialists to cater for an increasing demand for technical concept studies, pre-feasibility and bankable feasibility studies. Some of these new professionals will be at our booth, including Linton Kirk, global chief mining engineer at Coffey Mining, recently seconded to our Brazilian operation," said Reinhardt.

Coffey Mining has 50 years' experience in the global mining industry, more than 15 years' experience in Brazil and specialists accredited in all mining jurisdictions globally.