The results of the initial auger drilling campaign at Carina Module, which was comprised of 1,693 meters of drilling within 236 drill holes, demonstrate the discovery of a new HREE deposit hosted in ionic clays. While the initial auger drilling campaign was shallow, with an average depth of 7.2 meters, it has unveiled a potential for expansion, both laterally and at depth, accompanied by the prospect of enhancing HREE grades.
The distribution of the exchangeable REE fractions obtained from the auger drilling campaign are also plotted in the A-A´ and B-B´ cross-sections, indicating that the deposit is open to depth and laterally (some drill holes are pending analytical results). The drillholes shown in the A-A´ and B-B´ cross-sections have not intercepted the whole regolith profile. The exchangeable REE fractions show good values open to depth. A reverse circulation drilling campaign will be executed here to understand the full potential of the deposit at depth.
The dominant lithologies of the Project are pink porphyritic monzogranite composed of quartz, oligoclase, microcline, and annite as essential minerals. Leucosienogranite is the secondary lithology, characterized by quartz, albite, and microcline. Using the historical and present auger drilling results, a thick regolith development has been interpreted ranging from 45 to 60 meters in thickness. This hypothesis will be tested with the execution of the upcoming reverse circulation drill campaign.
The results from the initial auger campaign have provided Aclarawith a basis to further pursue the Project, which is expected to include thefollowing activities:
- The issuance of a maiden mineral resource estimate duringQ4 2023
- The issuance of a NI 43-101 Preliminary EconomicAssessment during Q1 2024
- The execution of a 1,500-meters reverse circulation drillcampaign to confirm the mineralized potential at depth. The campaign isexpected to start at the end of October 2023 and is the initial phase of areverse circulation campaign of 7,590 meters within 253 drillholes to convertthe full potential of the deposit to an inferred mineral resource category
- The execution of a pilot test campaign during Q1 2024 inour fully owned pilot plant in Chile, utilizing a 25-ton sample of clayextracted from the Project area. This campaign will aim to demonstrate on asemi industrial scale the feasibility of processing the ionic clays extractedfrom the Carina Module. Additionally, it will serve the purpose of producingcommercial samples and further enhancing the value chain development effortsthat were initiated with the Penco Module samples.
The Carina Module is located in the north-eastern part of the State of Goiás, in central Brazil. The site can be accessed via paved roads from Goiânia (the capital of the Goiás state) or Brasília (the national capital of Brazil). Both Goiânia and Brasília are major cities with modern infrastructure and services and offering commercial airports for domestic and international flights.
From a district perspective, access to the site is via a 50km gravel road and the supply of electricity, water, and sanitation is provided by the Brazilian government utilities. At the site, domestic water is obtained from wells, and electrical supply can be obtained from an electrical substation located 90km from the Project.
The State of Goiás is also the home of the ion-adsorption clay project managed by Mineração Serra Verde, which has successfully obtained the required environmental and operating permits needed to construct and operate their mine and processing facility and which recently commenced commercial production. This demonstrates that the Goiás State has a positive track record in evaluating projects of this nature and could play an important role in the potential development of the Carina Module.
(1) TREO: Considers all rare earths elements represented in oxide form (Lanthanum - La2O3, Cerium - Ce2O3, Praseodymium - Pr6O11, Neodymium - Nd2O3, Samarium - Sm2O3, Europium - Eu2O3, Gadolinium - Gd2O3, Terbium - Tb4O7, Dysprosium - Dy2O3, Holmium - Ho2O3, Erbium - Er2O3, Thulium - Tm2O3, Ytterbium - Yb2O3, Lutetium - Lu2O3).
(2) DREO: Desorbable Rare Earth Oxide is the recoverable fraction of the total contained rare earths ( TREO) using the Penco Module´s ammonium sulfate based metallurgical process.
(3) Exchangeable fraction: The exchangeable fraction refers to the percentage (%) of recoverable grade from TREO using the Penco Module´s ammonium sulfate based metallurgical process