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Viridis Mining gets critical backing for Brazilian rare earths play

Updated: Apr 17


Viridis Mining & Minerals chief executive officer Rafael Moreno and executive chairman Agha Shahzad Pervez (centre) at the signing ceremony. Credit: File


Viridis Mining & Minerals (ASX: VMM) has secured the crucial backing of Local and State Governments to develop its Colossus rare earths project in Brazil after signing dual memorandum of understanding agreements.


Colossus has been selected by the State Economic Development body, Invest Minas, as a high-priority asset for the strategic interests of the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais. A cooperation agreement has also been signed with the Municipality of Poços De Caldas, which intends to provide the company with resources, infrastructure and logistical requirements to streamline the construction and development of the operation.


Viridis says the agreements will help fast-track it through regulatory and infrastructure hurdles.


Management says the dual agreement places Colossus among a select group of high-quality mining projects in Minas Gerais. A similar deal was previously signed between Invest Minas and Sigma Lithium Resources and it led to the rapid development, licensing and construction of the notable Grota Do Cirilo project to first production.


Colossus sits alongside Meteoric Resources’ Caldeira rare earths project that hosts a JORC-compliant mineral resource of a massive 409 million tonnes at 2626 parts per million total rare earth oxides (TREO).


Earlier this year, Viridis revealed plans to double the size of its Colossus clay-based rare earths project after signing option agreements to secure additional mining rights to tenements next to its current licence. The option covers more than 10,000ha and would take the company’s holdings in the Poços De Caldas alkaline complex out to an impressive 22,863ha.


The interaction and support from the Government of Minas Gerais and its economic development arm of Invest Minas, and the town of Poços De Caldas has been nothing less than extraordinary. Regulatory approvals are typically one of the biggest risks on any project, and to have the backing and support from State and local governments to prioritise the approvals and licensing process will go a long way in de-risking our development timeline.
Viridis Mining & Minerals chief executive officer Rafael Moreno

Moreno said the government backing was indicative of the company’s “incredible asset”.


Brazilian secretary of State for economic development Fernando Passalio said the possibility of an ore processing and treatment plant on the site added value to the project and also boosted the attraction of other companies that used the rare earths as raw materials for products. He said it would strengthen the production chain and generate more jobs and revenue.


Viridis says the signing ceremony outlined the project’s unique value proposition. It is aiming to add significant value through downstream processing and gain access to infrastructure, which is intended to allow the company to directly export finished products from Colossus out of Poços De Caldas.


In January, the company signed a formal contract with BNA Mining Solutions to prepare a maiden resource estimate for the Colossus operation after a slew impressive drill hits at the site.


The upcoming resource will cover four prospect areas including the Northern Concessions, Cupim South, Capao da Onca and Ribeirão das Antas targets and is expected to be completed next quarter.


Recent drilling at Cupim South intersected 103m of highly-weathered saprolitic clay in an area that previously delivered 24m at 4573ppm TREO from 3m including 14m at an outstanding 6177ppm.


Just last month, Viridis revealed it had recorded the highest surface-grade rare earths results reported by any explorer in the Poços de Caldas alkaline complex to date at its Colossus project in Brazil.


Reverse-circulation (RC) drilling from the company’s Fazenda prospect delivered a 1m hit grading an astounding 23,556ppm TREO from just 1m as part of a 5.5m intercept at 14,896ppm TREO from 1m. A second breakthrough discovery was also made from auger and diamond drilling at the company’s Ribeirão prospect, with assays showing results of up to 4868ppm TREO.


Now, with the critical backing of all levels of Brazilian government, it appears to be full steam ahead.


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