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Viridis Mining rakes in $4.5m to keep Brazilian drill bit spinning

Updated: Apr 17

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

Viridis Mining & Minerals’ share price has gone on a solid run today after the company completed what it says is a “heavily oversubscribed” $4.5 million placement to institutional and sophisticated investors to help supercharge a hunt for rare earths at its Colossus project in Brazil.

The placement, which includes a $1 million cornerstone investment by Viridis executive chairman Agha Shahzad Pervez, triggered the share price hike that saw the company’s stock jump from Friday’s close of $1.14 to a high of $1.28 this morning – a leap of more than 12 per cent and on solid volumes.

Funds from the placement will be used to accelerate the Colossus work program at the project located in the Poços de Caldas Alkaline complex. The priority scope will include expanding the exploration program, conducting comprehensive metallurgical studies and flowsheet development.

The company also plans to use funds to assist with completing its maiden mineral resource estimate.

The overwhelming support from the investment community is a true testament to the quality of the Colossus Ionic Adsorption Clay REE Project and pace with which the Viridis team is progressing. Our strengthened cash position will support Viridis in delivering on our aggressive development timeline. Viridis Mining & Minerals chief executive officer Rafael Moreno

The project is adjacent to existing Alcoa mining and processing operations, enabling Viridis to potentially leverage the nearby mining labour force, existing infrastructure and permitting. An added benefit is that legislation will allow immediate conversion to a rare earths mining license once exploration is completed.

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. There is also no requirement for a tailings dam, low levels of uranium and thorium and no radioactive tailings.

Viridis’ project contains many exciting prospects, with recent drilling results highlighting several zones with tremendous potential.

The company recorded its best total rare earth oxides (TREO) result to date from drilling at the Capão da Onça prospect, with high-grade assays from its maiden auger and diamond drilling, representing a “breakthrough” discovery in the unexplored western area of the alkaline complex where it holds about 14 square kilometres of ground.

Auger drilling highlights show a 7m intercept going 8227 parts per million TREO from just 1m including a 4m hit at 9447ppm TREO from 3m and ending in mineralisation at a grade of 8275ppm TREO. The 4m section also included 35 per cent magnetic rare earth oxides (MREO) of the total TREO grade.

Diamond drilling at the target also yielded positive results with a 10m section grading 3551ppm within a wider 15m intercept at 2712ppm TREO from surface.

Further diamond drilling at Viridis’ Fazenda prospect shows mineralisation extends beyond previous auger results with a 48.5m hit at 2662ppm TREO from surface including 33.5m going 3091ppm TREO – the deposit’s best result to date. Previous diamond drilling returned a 33.5m hit going 3559ppm TREO from surface, including 15m at 3559ppm with 33 per cent of the grade hosting MREO.

Maiden diamond drilling at Viridis’ Central prospect also returned positive assays with 40m grading 2352ppm TREO from 7m including 16m at 3401ppm, while first-pass diamond results at its Caminho Das Padras target delivered 26m at 2295ppm from surface including 9.5m going 3079ppm.

The company also conducted more auger drilling across three other licenses, returning outstanding results such as an 11m hit at 5081ppm TREO from surface including 5m at 7622ppm from 6m and ending in mineralisation grading 7790ppm TREO.

Management says its first six months of exploration has produced a chunk of world-class intercepts. If that trend continues, the Colossus project may well turn out to be a giant.

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