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Viridis Mining prepares to table Brazilian rare earths resource

Updated: Apr 17

Viridis Mining & Minerals has assays pending from diamond drilling at its Colossus rare earths project in Brazil. Credit: File

Viridis Mining & Minerals is a step closer to revealing a maiden mineral resource for its Colossus rare earths project in Brazil after signing a formal contract with BNA Mining Solutions to prepare the resource estimate.

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.

Management says BNA has extensive experience in mineral resources and reserves quantification in accordance with international standards, including the Australasian JORC code. BNA also has experience preparing reports in Brazilian national standards required by the country’s National Mining Agency.

Importantly, it also has substantial experience in modelling ionic clay rare earths deposits, particularly with projects located in Brazil.

The announcement comes as the company’s first two phases of drilling draw to a close at its highly prospective Cupim South prospect with only three reverse-circulation (RC) and three diamond drill holes still to be completed.

Recent drilling at Cupim South intersected 103m of highly weathered saprolitic clay in an area that previously delivered 24m at 4573 parts-per-million total rare earth oxides (TREO) from 3m including 14m at an outstanding 6177ppm.

While Viridis has already begun gearing up for development phases at Colossus, it says it will continue exploring aggressively with RC and diamond drilling. The deeper campaign aims to test beneath the highest-grade auger drill results from the project which will allow the company to gain a full understanding of the clay mineralisation in these areas.

Previous results from auger drilling at its Brazilian operation have been successful, with more than 95 per cent of the 47 holes drilled returning assays of greater than 1000ppm TREO. Notably, all 47 holes ended in mineralisation, with grades appearing to increase at depth.

Assay results from multiple thick diamond and RC clay intercepts are pending, which management says have already significantly extended mineralisation beyond the nearby auger depths.

We are pleased with the enormous amount of exploration work completed since acquisition of Colossus, and continue to be impressed with the exceptionally thick intercepts of highly weathered saprolite clays encountered throughout the Project. The appointment of BNA Mining Solutions signifies a major milestone in our journey from explorer to producer. The exceptional results we’ve seen as part of our Phase I & II drilling programs will support the definition of the Company’s maiden mineral resource estimate, and gives us confidence on being able to deliver a successful development strategy. Viridis Mining & Minerals chief executive officer Rafael Moreno.

The company says the recent impressive assays from auger and diamond drilling at its rare earths project in Brazil prove widespread ionic-adsorption clay (IAC) mineralisation – the type that is typical around the world for rare earths deposits.

Colossus sits alongside Meteoric Resources’ Caldeira rare earths project, which hosts a JORC-compliant mineral resource of a massive 409 million tonnes at 2626ppm TREO. Late last year, Viridis increased its previous 91sq-km holding in the emerging mineral district of Minas Gerais by a further 5388 hectares to bring its total concessions in the area to 144.57sq km.

Samples have been prepared and sent to Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) to commence optimised ionic desorption testwork as soon as the next batch of drilling assays are received this month.

With BNA signed on to create the resource and a number of results still pending from a drill campaign that has already delivered positive numbers, the market will no doubt be keen to see what Viridis can deliver when its maiden mineral resource at Colossus can be revealed. Meteoric’s presence in the neighbourhood will not be lost on punters that saw that company’s share price run from 5.5c to 31c between January last year and January this year on the back of its stellar clay based rare earths discovery.

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