Brazilian Critical Minerals Inks Massive Maiden Resource of 1B Tonnes For Ema Rare Earth Project

Brazilian Critical Minerals Limited (ASX: BCM) has reported an initial resource estimate of 1.02 billion tonnes of rare earth at its project in Brazil, ranking it one of the world’s largest ionic clay rare earth deposits.

The Ema and Ema East projects are part of the company´s wholly-owned REE projects in Apuí, southern Amazon, Brazil.

The JORC 2012 Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate is 1.02Bt at 793ppm TREO, including a higher-grade portion of 331Mt at 977ppm TREO.

The resulting resource is some effort as it was defined in less than 1 year.

With only 46% of the total area drilled, it appears highly likely that the tonnage will significantly increase with more drilling.

Opportunities exist also to increase the grade.

Clay v hard rock deposits

Rare earth elements (REEs) weren’t always found in clay deposits. Originally, they were locked away within hard rock formations.

Over millions of years, weathering by air and water broke down these rocks, transforming the granite into clay. This natural process also released the REEs, dispersing them throughout the clay.

Higher Grade vs. Easier Processing

While hard rock deposits boast a higher concentration of REEs, extracting them is a more complex and often environmentally harsh process. Clay-hosted REEs, though lower in grade, offer a potentially greener alternative.

Their loose association with the clay allows for less intensive processing methods, which are still under development.

Early signs suggest this approach could be more cost-effective and have a lower carbon footprint.

Other highlights of the resource estimate

  • Places Ema as one of the largest tonnage fully ionic clay, rare earth deposits in the world.
  • High magnetic REO (Nd, Pr, Dy, Tb) element proportion of 27 – 31% of basket positioning it as one of Brazil’s most enriched MREO deposits.
  • MRE developed from only 46% of the available area at Ema, with 107 km2 available for further exploration.
  • The mineralisation is close to the surface, amenable to low-cost open pit mining methods, and remains open at depth and to the east and west.

Promising test work results

Recoveries of magnetic rare earth oxides (MREO) moved up to 83%, from phase 2 metallurgical test work.

Metallurgical test work recovery results of the magnetic rare earth oxides (MREO) indicate it is amenable to a low-cost REE metal recovery process with a low reagent usage, and high impurity removal in the final product.

The company said that the results demonstrate mineralisation is suited to low-cost processing through conventional processing facilities commonly used in China.

Next steps

A drilling program will seek to convert MRE from Inferred to Indicated and Measured categories.

With 300 million tonnes at grades close to 1,000ppm, this should assist in generating positive financial cash flow models.

 

 

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