Cerro Grande Mining Corporation, formerly South American Gold and Copper Company Limited, was founded IN 1990 by Stephen W. Houghton, formerly Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Houghton and Company Inc., a Private Investment Banking Firm located in New York, N.Y., and John D. Duncan, formerly Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of St. Joe Minerals Company, and later Chairman of Cyprus Minerals Company in association with Dr. David R.S. Thomson and Mario Hernandez. From 1990 to 1994 the Company operated privately but during that time Frederick Seeley, formerly with Schroder Bank & Trust Co., and more recently, Chairman of Givens Hall Bank & Trust Co., Plato Malozemoff, formerly Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Newmont Mining Corporation and Paul Douglas, formerly Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Freeport Minerals Company, now a part of Freeport McMoRan, all became Directors and Investors in South American Gold and Copper Company Limited.
In 1994 the Company undertook a reverse take-over of Osborne & Chappell, a shell company and formerly a gold dredging enterprise with prior operations in Brazil and Ecuador to become a publicly traded Company on the Toronto Stock Exchange, at which time a fund managed by Societe General, Paris, France, invested approximately US $3,000,000 into the Company.
In 1996, the Company raised Cdn $22,000,000 through an underwriting led by BMO Nesbitt Burns just prior to which David R. S. Thomson and Merwin Bernstein optioned to the Company the remaining 44% interest in Pimenton not owned by the Company, and David Thomson and Mario Hernandez vended into the Company their partial interests in other exploration properties owned by them for Common Stock in the Company. At the same time, Dr. David R.S. Thomson and Mario Hernandez were elected Executive Vice Presidents and Directors of the Company.
During the period just following the Company’s underwriting by NBO Nesbitt Burns, the Bre-X gold scandal broke, gold prices fell and the ability to raise any expansion capital in the gold mining business came to an abrupt halt. As a result, the Pimenton mine was put on care and maintenance.
During the period from 1997 to 1999, the Company shifted its efforts and meager financing to the potentially cement and lime producing limestone deposits at Catedral/Rino until the Asian Financial crisis late 1997 through 1998 adversely affected the Chilean cement and limestone markets through to 2004.
With the death of John Duncan in October, 2004 Paul J. Des Lauriers was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company.
In 2004 with the increase in gold prices, the Company obtained a US $2,800,000 financing from Overseas Private Investment Corporation, an Agency of the United States Government, to restart the Pimenton mine. The mine was declared in commercial production in July, 2004 and was just becoming profitable when in June, 2005 the Pimenton mine site was shut down due to avalanches caused by a unique set of El Nino winter conditions.
In 2007 the Company was able to raise US $4,000,000 to restart the Pimenton mine. Operations commenced in October 2008 and the mine has remained in commercial production since that time.
In the past fiscal year ended September 30, 2011 several other important events have taken place. The Pimenton mine has become profitable; the Company has initiated drilling on its porphyry copper gold deposit at Pimenton and in July, 2011 the Company signed an option agreement to acquire not less than 65.6% of the Santa Cecilia Project located in the prolific Maricunga gold/copper district of Chile on which diamond drilling has been completed on 2 deep holes, the second of which encountered very strong but uneconomic mineralization over a distance of 1,000 meters. After the completion of a detailed Orion 3D geophysical program by Quantec, the Company will decide on its next move on the Santa Cecilia project.
In the years since the Company’s initial public offering in 1996, Messrs David Thomson, Mario Hernandez and Stephen Houghton have made additional and often substantial contributions to the Company’s capital structure, when required.
Directors and insiders of the Company control nearly 40% of the Company today.