Viridis Mining and Minerals Forms Transformational JV for Rare Earth Production

Viridis Mining and Minerals Ltd (ASX: VMM) has struck a game-changing joint venture (JV) with Ionic Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: IXR) to revolutionise the downstream processing of rare earth elements (REEs).

The 50:50 JV positions Viridis as a frontrunner among non-Chinese rare earth companies.

This strategic partnership leverages Viridis’s Brazilian Colossus Project, rich in rare earth oxides (REOs), with IXR’s advanced downstream processing technologies.

Disruptive Downstream Technology

The JV boasts exclusive global rights (excluding Asia and Uganda) to commercialize Selective Separation Technology (SST).

This innovative technology separates all 17 rare earths directly into their oxide forms. Unlike traditional methods limited to separating a small set, this allows for unmatched flexibility and customization in meeting specific customer needs.

Furthermore, the JV holds exclusive rights to commercialize IXR’s Rare Earth Recycling Technology (RRT) in Brazil.

This presents a unique opportunity to introduce this technology while simultaneously developing and commercializing SST.

Joint Venture Company and Partnering Potential

A new company, JV Co., will be formed to manage the Brazilian operations. JV Co. will exclusively control the development and commercialisation of IXR’s RRT and SST within Brazil.

Initially, the focus will be on Brazilian rare earth projects, with plans for global expansion.

The Powerhouse: Colossus Project

Viridis’s high-potential Colossus Project in Brazil boasts impressive drilling results, including intercepts of 46 metres at 3,285ppm TREO (27% MREO) and 24 metres at 4,573ppm TREO (38% MREO).

Additionally, strong initial metallurgical extraction results indicate recoveries of around 80% NdPr and 66% DyTb.

Located in the Poços De Caldas Alkaline Complex, known for hosting some of the world’s highest-grade ionic adsorption clay (IAC) deposits, Colossus has the hallmarks to become a leading global supplier of REOs.

Viridis holds 100% ownership of the REE rights at Colossus, positioning it for aggressive development.

First Mover Advantage

Viridis CEO Rafael Moreno highlights the significance of the JV:

“This JV places Viridis at the forefront of the non-Chinese rare earth industry.”

Moreno said the first-mover advantage with mature downstream technology would support the burgeoning Brazilian supply chain. This was evidenced by recent commitments from major automakers like Toyota and General Motors.

Additionally, the JV provides an accelerated path to developing valuable intellectual property around SST, which can be licensed globally.”

In February 2024, Viridis raised $4.5 million in a heavily oversubscribed placement at $1.15 per share to institutional and sophisticated investors.

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