Ambassador Durand has participated in numerous electoral observer missions in Central and South America, and was appointed to lead the OAS observer mission to the 2006 elections in Costa Rica, as well as the OAS Mission to observe the referendum on free trade in Costa Rica in 2007. In Canada's diplomatic service, Ambassador Durand specialized in Latin America, but also served in East Africa and South Asia (India and Nepal). He worked for the Canadian International Development Agency and also as a foreign policy advisor in the office of the Canadian Prime Minister (Privy Council Office), before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
He was educated in Canada, obtaining a B.A. in Political Economy from the University of Toronto; he also pursued further studies in International Relations and Economics at Northwestern University in Chicago and Carleton University in Ottawa. He joined the Canadian government after working in international banking in Latin America (Colombia, El Salvador), the Caribbean (Bahamas) and the U.S.
Unlike the vast majority of junior mining companies that raise tens of millions of dollars to fund exploration and development on one or a few high-risk projects, BMIX has employed and expects to continue to employ a model requiring less capital. By acquiring and diversifying its base of producing and prospective assets at a significant discounted valuation and/or attractive conditions, and monetizing portions of those assets with judicious use of capital, BMIX intends to minimize its reliance on capital markets for growth. The ultimate goal of BMIX is to provide an attractive investment vehicle for global investors to participate in the natural resources sector in Brazil and to realize gains via stock price appreciation while being compensated with dividends.
BMIX believes that its focus on smaller, undervalued projects owned by private families located in prolific mining areas throughout Brazil provides a significant untapped opportunity that is not a prime target for most financial and strategic acquirers. The management team of BMIX literally has hundreds of connections to such smaller operators which many times have attractive assets with vast potential if properly explored. BMIX seeks to unleash value in such smaller situations as opposed to multi-million dollar acquisitions or risky-exploration projects that would be capital intensive.
BMIX's revenue-generating mining operation, Duas Barras, while it was owned by Vaaldiam Resources, produced in excess of 5,000 carats per month, with an estimated value per carat of approximately 200 dollars. While Vaaldiam had at its peak greater than one hundred employees at Duas Barras working three shifts, MDB, the operator of the concession, has ten employees who work one shift. The potential for expansion exists and given that labor is a relatively low cost component, BMIX believes that it could add productivity to the mine and increase throughput in the future. BMIX executives have spent the initial few months of 2013 in formal contact with the state-owned electric utility that serves the region of Montes Claros; we know have a formal proposal to bring electricity to Duas Barras which could dramatically cut the cost of production. It is anticipated that this could happen before the end of 2013. Even with current diesel generators, MDB is able to produce quality output and receive multiple offers for its current diamond and gold production from local buyers. BMIX executives are working on obtaining the necessary Brazilian license to be able to export the production of raw diamonds to the global market.
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