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Viridis Mining land grab builds Brazilian rare earths corridor

Updated: Apr 17

A drill rig searching for valuable rare earths at Viridis Mining & Minerals’ Colossus project in the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil. Credit: File

Viridis Mining & Minerals (ASX: VMM) has stretched the land grab at its high-grade Colossus rare earths project in Brazil, extending its promising Cupim South prospect by a further 9.98 square kilometres.

The strategic acquisition links Cupim South with the company’s Centro Sul target to form a continuous 15.75 square kilometres within the central and southern part of the complex. Management says joining the two areas will create a corridor capable of hosting a high-grade, large-scale resource.

Viridis today revealed it had agreed to binding terms for the purchase of the additional land with vendor company Mineração São Domingos Minerdom. Upon the execution of a binding option agreement, it will make an initial exclusivity payment of about $52,000 for a six-month period to assess the potential of the new land.

An acquisition payment of about $270,000 will follow if it deems the land suitable for extraction of rare earths. The company says that due to the modest sums involved, it will acquire the land using its own funds and will not need to undertake a capital raising.

This strategic expansion is critical to ensure Cupim South has a significant land size to complement its exceptional grades. We were able to negotiate and secure this vital ground on favourable terms through our strategic partnership with the Vendors of the Colossus Project.
Viridis Mining & Minerals chief executive officer Rafael Moreno

Cupim South’s recent drilling results produced several eye-watering hits such as 24m at 4573 parts per million total rare earth oxides (TREO) from surface including 14m at 6177ppm TREO, with 40 per cent being made up of the higher-value magnetic rare earth oxides (MREO). A 46m intersection going 3285ppm TREO within a broader section of 65m at 2799ppm TREO was also hit from surface and contained 27 per cent MREO.

Other solid hits included 62.5m at 2218ppm TREO with a section of 27m at 2903ppm TREO with 27 per cent MREO, in addition to 4.5m going 6067ppm TREO from 5m and ending in mineralisation of 6034ppm TREO.

The company’s potential new areas consist of three mining licenses and one mining request and adjoins the Cupim Vermelho Norte deposit that contains 104 million tonnes at 2485ppm TREO. Historic augur drilling intercepted 16m at 3100ppm TREO about 180m from the new mining licenses.

Viridis’ land position at the Colossus project at Poços de Caldas in the southern Brazilian State of Minas Gerais now sits at a dominant 239sq km and includes significant exposure to the south of the Alkaline Complex, in addition to the northern and western potential. The new ground will provide a potential runway to making new ionic-adsorption clay rare earth discoveries at Cupim South, potentially leading to fast-tracking to production.

Viridis recently revealed it had taken a significant step towards producing a scoping study for its Colossus project after securing world-renowned contractor Hatch to deliver the work. Hatch is expected to start work on the study next month. It will involve an initial assessment of how best to deliver the Colossus project, with a keen focus on Viridis’ many prospective concession areas.

Ionic clay rare earths projects have many advantages over their hard-rock counterparts. Despite lower grades and lower recoveries, the extraction of ionic-adsorption clays is levels cheaper from an operational and capital perspective.

Benefits include mineralisation occurring at surface, minimal stripping, clay-hosted soft material requiring no blasting, no crushing and milling and a simple one-step leaching process.

Viridis Mining &Minerals has secured strong government support in Brazil. Credit: File

Viridis’ latest news comes just a day after it confirmed it had secured the crucial backing of Local and State Governments in Brazil to develop Colossus after signing dual memorandum of understanding agreements.

Colossus was selected by the State Economic Development body, Invest Minas, as a high-priority asset for the strategic interests 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.

So, with Colossus appearing to be getting bigger by the month and with an array of massive drill hits already documented at the project, it could all point to the company having a giant project on its hands – and the support where it needs it most.

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