Innovate or die

During an exceptionally bleak bear market for mining stocks, all-too-many asset-rich but cash-starved mining juniors are now faced with a dire choice: Innovate or die!

Yet there’s a catch. These days, innovation in mining has to be more than just about shoring-up a company’s bottom-line. It has to be environmentally-friendly, too. Which is a legal requirement in virtually every jurisdiction in the Western world.

However, Vancouver-based Equitorial Exploration Corp. believes it has co-developed a viable mechanized, enviro-tech solution to this complex challenge—one that may yet prove to be a savoir for many of North America’s legions of struggling mining juniors (Equitorial has positioned itself by way of a 45% interest in Mineworx Technologies, Inc., the company that initiated development of the technology. Equitorial also has an option to purchase a 100% outright ownership).

Significantly, the company’s ‘green’ ore processing/extraction technology has been conceived to align sustainable mining practices with pragmatic business solutions (think cost-cutting and cash-creation).

To put matters in a sharper perspective, hundreds of increasingly desperate mining juniors need to scale back projected—or ongoing—project developmental (Capex) costs and monetize their buried mineral assets in-a-hurry—all just for the sake of economic survival.

As previously mentioned, this all needs to be done without jeopardizing the environment. But Equitorial’s president Dean Pekeski says his company has painstakingly aligned themselves with the right technology to deftly juggle these sometimes-conflicting demands.

In fact, Equitorial has just taken the first big step towards validating a proprietary, modular ‘black box’ ore processing/extraction system. One that is best-suited for small-scale mining operations.

In partnership with Mineworx, which is a green mining R&D company, Equitorial is engaged in extensive proof-of-concept field testing at an undisclosed location in Arizona. This involved using the newly-devised ore processing/extraction system to recover gold from surface tailings (waste) material.

“The business efficacy of this portable and patent-pending metal extraction technology cannot be overstated,” says Pekeski, a veteran geologist who worked for many years for Rio Tinto Plc, one of the world’s largest mining companies.

Readers who are familiar with the mining investment sector may be interested to learn that Mineworx is presided over by Duane Nelson. His past accomplishments include the building of the La Guittara gold/silver mine in Mexico. His company, Silvermex Resources, was subsequently sold in 2012 to First Majestic Silver for $175 million in stock, which represented an enviable payout for Silvermex’s shareholders.  

The opportunity presents itself across North America in the early going. This is where there are numerous smaller mineralized ore bodies that aren’t destined to ever become mines. This is mostly due to prohibitive up-front Capex costs and the operational need for large amounts of water, which ends up in toxic tailings ponds. 

However, Equitorial believes it can address these issues. Its turnkey business model involves setting up its flatbed-transportable, self-contained, modular mineral processing/extraction technology on-site, where each small ore body is located.

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About the Author

Marc Davis is managing editor of