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Si6, Foxfire JV kicks-off Brazilian rare earths sampling

Updated: Apr 18

The Si6 Metals-Foxfire Metals joint venture is hunting rare earths in Brazil. Credit: File.

Si6 Metals says it has mapped and sampled clay-rich saprolite outcrops prospective for ionic-adsorption clay rare earths up to 12m thick at its Caldera joint venture (JV) project it shares with Foxfire Metals in Brazil.

The company this morning confirmed that assays are now pending after the JV sent 16 soil, channel and auger samples to the SGS Geosol laboratory in the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais. It says any anomalous results will be followed-up by further auger drilling.

The samples were taken from clays within the Poços de Caldas Alkaline Intrusive Complex at the Caldera project area. Foxfire is the partner with the local expertise and will manage the on-ground work across the JV’s project areas.

Caldera poses an intriguing nearology play that could leverage off the success of neighbouring companies in the area and the significant ionic-adsorption clay rare earths resources in rocks within and surrounding the weathering profile of the massive Poços de Caldas Alkaline Intrusive.

The intrusive complex is one the biggest alkaline igneous bodies on the planet, with about 800 square kilometres of circular-like surface expression 30km in diameter. The area is believed to be homogeneously mineralised with rare earths hosted in clays.

Meteoric Resources is working-up its Caldiera project within the bounds of the intrusive complex and drilling completed by that company has returned results indicating rare earths hits from surface. Recent drilling at the project returned assays showing enrichment outside Meteoric’s existing 409-million-tonne inferred mineral resource envelope that is constrained by an average drill depth of just 6.9m.

Interestingly, 85 per cent of the holes used to define that resource ended in total rare earth oxides (TREO) grades greater than 1000 parts per million, suggesting there may be more grade at depth.

Meteoric chased that grade with deeper drillholes that returned assays last month going as high as 143m at 6406ppm, 200m at 3387ppm, 201m at 3451ppm, 67m at 2026ppm and 71m at 2514ppm. All of the sections contained higher-grade lenses, the best of which was 8m grading a huge 23,946ppm TREO from 85m.

The company says it plans to release a series of resource updates for Caldiera starting in the second half of this year.

Also neighbouring the JV’s Caldera project is Viridis Mining & Minerals’ Fazenda prospect that boasts a rare earths orebody between 10m and 20m thick and with an average grade of 2938ppm TREO. Viridis says the best grades and highest of the valuable niobium-praseodymium oxide concentrations occur near surface.

Drill hits at Fazenda have gone as high as 5.5m at 14,896ppm TREO within an 18.5m section grading 6253ppm from 1m depth – undoubtedly, impressive grade.

Viridis is also working up its Cupim South prospect nearby that has an average grade of 3460ppm TREO and is between 15m and 45m thick. Drill intercepts include 24m at 4573ppm TREO including 14m at 6177ppm and 65m at 2799ppm including 46m grading 3285ppm TREO.

Si6 and Foxfire will target Caldera before turning their collective attention to the north of Minas Gerais in the hunt for hard rock lithium deposits at its “Lithium Valley” project area.

The JV holds five tenements in the area where nearology again plays a role in the prospectivity assessment, with neighbouring companies hitting lithium paydirt and propping up the area’s reputation as one of the world’s leading hard rock lithium regions.

About 25km to the east of the JV’s ground is Sigma Lithium’s massive Grota do Cirilo lithium project that is reported to contain a mineral resource of 85.6 million tonnes grading 1.43 per cent lithium oxide. And just a stone’s throw from Grota do Cirilo, Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Lithium Ionic Corporation is sitting on its own resource of 17.7 million tonnes grading 1.41 per cent lithium oxide.

Further north within the lithium province, the Si6-Foxfire JV holds two tenements within about 30km of Latin Resources’ massive Salina project that boasts a 70.3-million-tonne resource grading 1.27 per cent lithium oxide.

As part of the JV agreement, Si6 – through its fully-owned subsidiary Brazilian Ventures – will be initially required to spend $1 million in the first year of the combined operation.

The market will soon see the first results from that spend in the form of assays from the rare earths-focussed fieldwork at Caldera – and it won’t have to wait too long for some lithium results either, with a steady news flow expected out of Brazil.

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