Supergenic Manganese in the Prospex Area – Bahia, Brazil

Confidential summary report



1 – SHORT ABSTRACT ………………………………………………………..2

2 – LOCATION …………………………………………………………………….2

3 – LOGISTICS …………………………………………………………………….2

4 – BASIC GEOLOGIC ASPECTS …………………………………………..3

5 – LEGAL ISSUES (DNPM) …………………………………………………3

6 – WHAT TO DO? BASIC PRINCIPLES ……………………………….3


8 – FIGURES ………………………………………………………………………..6

9 – PHOTOS ……………………………………………………………………….11

Guilherme M. Gonzaga
Geologist – CREA 2089/D-DF
061-8185 8757

Brasília-DF, 25th of May, 2011



The Prospex project in the region of the Licínio de Almeida Complex in Caetité and nearby regions, in Bahia, shows layers of manganese ore, possibly with grades around 40-48% and low phosphorous grade. The ore is a result of the supergenic enrichment of the Late Archean metavolcano-sedimentary rocks, with no relation to the younger Espinhaço Sequence. The work accomplished by Prospex is not sufficient to provide a complete evaluation. The wells dig in the area are in a block near the company’s camp site are not representative of the real potential of the area, which can be very interesting. It is fundamental that an evaluation project using a motorised auger in areas of dark red soil is accomplished. This should reveal some layers of manganese ore. For that, it is necessary that a professional study of the geomorphological control by many technologies available is done. It seems that the project is in satisfactory conditions in terms of legal requirements. The logistics of the region is excellent for Brazilian standards. I believe that it is possible to develop rewarding and profitable small mining projects as long as there is a highly professional team with access to new basic equipment.



The Açoita Cavalo mine presents a target area estimated in 42.0 ha, bearing NW/SE within the coordinates  (UTM)  8411900 / 0770900;  8411900 / 0771300;  8411300 / 0770900 e 8411300 / 0771900.  It is contained in the east portion of the research area registered in the DNPM under the number 870756/2005 (Fig. 1).   It comprehends 840.0 ha and is located in the manganese bearing district of Urandi / Licinio de Almeida, in the Bahia State (Photos 1 – to 6).



The logistics in the region is excellent considering brazilian standards. Cities like Caetité and Brumado (Fig. 2) show a good infrastructure with hotels, hospitals, quality banking system and a good communication network as well as good asphalt road access, garages, and shops from any basic material can be acquired. Caetité is located 100 Km away from Brumado, which in turn is located 130 Km weast of Vitória da Conquista which has a good airport with daily flights, including jets to Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Brasília. Some cities in the region have small airports for small airplanes The climate in the region is very pleasant, not very hot when compared to other regions in Bahia. At this time of the year (May to August) the temperature falls considerably. Some days it may be necessary to wear light fleece. This issue is a result of the altitude of the Caetité region, reaching up to 1000 meters. There is no occurrence of malaria in the region but it is recommended that all visitors are vaccinated against yellow fever.

It is extremely important to keep in mind that there is a railway going through the region and that it is connected to both Belo Horizonte and Salvador. This allows for cheap transport to the Aratu port, near Salvador. The manganese ore can be transported on this railway. There is also a West-East railway under construction which will provide cheap and effective transportation to a port to be built near Ilhéus. This railway will transport the iron ore from the Bahia Mineração Ltda, which occurs in the region and will be exported to China.



The basement in the region of Caetité, Caculé, Licínio de Almeida, among others, is composed of Archean-Paleoproterozoic gneiss, migmatites, amphibolites and granulites and for remnants of the Late Archean metavolcanosedimentary sequences grouped in the greenstone belt terrains of Licínio de Almeida, Urandi, etc. The metavolcano-sedimentary sequence of Licínio de Almeida shows banded iron formation, calcosilicate rocks (Photo 3), quatzite (Photo 4) and volcanic (Photo 5). These rocks show sporadic manganese mineralisation. Manganese ore layers varying between 30 cm and 1.5 m occur intercalated in a dark red soil which can reach up to 15 m. The manganese ore is resulted from the supergenic enrichment from the rocks of the metavolcano-sedimentary sequence. A list of wells from Prospex is attached below. The regional geological context is shown, in a simplified manner.

According to information from the geologic literature of which I was already aware, the manganese ore which occurs associated to this kind of geologic setting can show grades of up to 40-48% and low phosphorous grade. On the other hand, the manganese occurring in the Espinhaço rocks shows high phosphorous grade.  It is absolutely necessary to make it clear that during one day working on Prospex areas it was not possible to know or estimate how much manganese occurs in the small area of red soils near the camping site on which wells have been made (Photo 6). I did not either have access to the results of chemical analyses containing information about the contents of manganese and phosphorous.



According to information from Alexandre, the manager of Prospex which have been confirmed by (CONFIDENTIAL), the Prospex areas are in a phase of extension of their licenses with the DNPM. Recently, inspectors from environmental agencies visited the area in order to perform the environmental licensing inspection for the report which will allow the mining activities. It seems that all the situation is within the law. I was informed that the process should be ended in the next 3 weeks, according to the deadline given by the inspectors (vide the receipt from the environmental agency attached below.

The relationship between Prospex and the small farmers in the region is very adequate. Apparently there is no conflict between them. I believe that Prospex’s manager is completely aware of the necessary procedures regarding this issue. I can not see any immediate issue regarding legal matters.



I am not aware of previous work with motorised auger. This simple and versatile equipment can and should be used for an evaluation of the extensive areas of dark red soil in topographic levels lower than the large professional and well trained with the auger, perform exploration activities many areas where the dark red soil occurs. If manganese is found in shallow levels, trenches can be opened. If manganese is found in a deeper level, a well can be dig. This kind of activities is cheaper and more functional than a systematic program of wells. Time and money are saved.

Before the beginning of the activities with the auger, it will be necessary to perform a comprehensive study of the geomorphological control using the varied technologies available. Many areas  would be selected for the exploratory activities with the auger and later, some special areas would be studied in more detail.

Attached below is useful information about an auger that is manufactured n Belo Horizonte. I have had the opportunity to work with it in many projects in the Amazon, where we always achieved good results. It is necessary that a large number of samples are sent to a laboratory so that we can have a statistical database for manganese and contaminant elements. We have to understand the variations in the grades in relation to the geomorphological control.

In order to develop small mining sites in parallel to the regional exploratory activities it is necessary that equipment such as trucks, tractors and machinery in general are new, not showing constant maintenance problems which can bring delays and loss to the project. In my opinion, Mr. Alexandre, Prospex’s manager, is a person who is professional and qualified enough to deal with this subject. However, investment is necessary in order to buy new equipment.



1 – One day of intensive work on the Prospex areas was absolutely insufficient (NO TECHNICAL DATA – CONFIDENTIAL ).

2 – Thanks to the efforts by Mr. Alexandre, Prospex allowed him to forward me this information on my last day in the area. It was not possible to discuss the contents of these documents with Mr. Alexandre. I want to register in here that I am thankful to him for his efforts and his good manners towards me.

3 – The logistics in the region is very good for Brazilian standards. This makes the geology and mining activities in the region much easier.

4 – From what I could observer, it seems that the legal situation in regards to DNPM, environmental agencies and small farmers is acceptable. I suggest that more detailed information regarding the subject is requested from Mr. (CONFIDENTIAL). I did not have enough time to deal with this subject in detail.

5 – The manganese in the region is a result of the supergenic enrichment of metavolcano-sedimentary rocks from the Late Archean represented by the Licínio de Almeida Complex. There is no relation with the rocks from the Santo Onofre Group incthe Espinhaço Sequence.

6 – I did not have access to lab analysis of the grade of manganese and contaminant elements. However, according to conversations with the manager of Prospex, the manganese grades can eventually reach up to 45-50%. The phosphorous grade is low. This information is in accordance with my previous knowledge of the subject.

7 – The manganese occurs in discontinuous fashion, associated to many layers intercalated with dark red soil. In reality, they are lenses of varied sizes. There is not enough data to quantify the subject. (CONFIDENTIAL).

8 – Considering the logistic of the region and the theoretical manganese potential with possible adequate grades and low quantities of contaminant elements, I would not be surprised if small mining projects would show good profit.

9 – In order to achieve success in the mining activities, it will be absolutely necessary that a small highly professional team composed of a manger, administrator, geologist, mining engineer, thechnicians and general workers develop a regional research project studying the total potential as well as the parallel development of a small block mines the one the one near the Prospex camping site.

10 – In the context of item 9, it is necessary that some augers are bought in Belo Horizonte so that the minimal exploratory knowledge is acquired over the region.

11 – Before any exploratory activities with the auger, it is necessary to understand the geomorphological control through many technologies which are available and that blocks/targets are selected. This kind of activity can be very rewarding.

12 – I suggest that any doubts or any request for clarification about this report are forwarded to me so that I can contribute with new information. It will be my pleasure to do so.

Guilherme M. Gonzaga
Geologist – CREA 2089/D-DF
061-8185 8757
Brasília-DF, 25th of May, 2011



Fig. 1 Acoita Cavalo Mine – DNPM under the number 870756/2005


Fig. 3 – Location of the mines in the subdistrict of Cartité-Licínio de Almeida.
See 4 – Basic Geologic Aspects


Fig. 4 – Acoita Cavalo Mine – Magenta points – up to 120 Kg
Black points – from 121 to 800 Kg
Green points – sterile
See photographic report from Tercon



Photo 1 – Açoita Cavalo Mine – 14° 21’ 17.9” – 42° 29’ 00” – alt 880m


Photo 2 – Iron Formation 14º 21’ 37.1” – 42º 28’ 53.7” – alt 805m


Photo 3 –. Calcosilicate rock – 14° 21’ 19.1” – 42 º 29’ 18.1” – alt 877m


Photo 4 –. Quartzite – 14º 21’ 15,1” – 42° 29’ 20. 3” – alt 895m


Photo 5 – Volcanic rocks – near Açoita Cavalo Mine
14º 21’ 06.4” – 42º 29’ 12.1” – alt 931m


Photo 6 – Area of red soil where the wells were dug