A rare earths Colossus: One of 2023’s top exploration stocks is stepping on the accelerator in 2024
Special Report: Viridis Mining and Minerals raised $4.5m via popular placement to expand exploration, conduct comprehensive met work, and finalise a maiden resource at the aptly-named Colossus rare earths project in Brazil.
Viridis Mining and Minerals (ASX:VMM) finished 2023 with a 560% gain, making it one of the year’s top performing ASX stocks.
The catalyst was the August acquisition of Colossus, an Ionic Adsorption Clay (IAC) rare earths (REE) project within Brazil’s pro-mining state of Minas Gerais, directly adjacent to Meteoric Resources’ (ASX:MEI) Caldeira project.
IAC projects are ostensibly easier to explore, mine and process, which offsets their low grades compared to their hard rock counterparts.
But the good ones are hard to find. VMM and MEI have now sewn up the available ground in the area prospective for IAC-hosted REE that isn’t held by the big players.
Caldeira itself is world class, hosting an existing resource of 409Mt grading 2,626 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth oxides (TREO) – the highest grade for any Ionic Adsorption Clay (IAC) resource.
VMM is hoping to replicate MEI’s success with aggressive work programs in 2024.
Exceptional drill results received to date from Colossus from new and existing discoveries have set the foundation for an accelerated work program in 2024, the company says.
Highlights from phase 1 and 2 drill programs include grades up to 23,556ppm TREO, the highest surface grade intercept reported by any company in the Poços de Caldas Alkaline Complex.
Funds from the heavily oversubscribed $4.5m placement – supported by board and management, including $1m from exec chairman Agha Shahzad Pervez — will be used to expanding exploration, conducting comprehensive metallurgical studies, and complete the maiden resource.
“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,” CEO Rafael Moreno says.
“Our strengthened cash position will support Viridis in delivering on our aggressive development timeline.
“The exceptional drilling results received to date have set the foundations to allow the company to fast-track its planned work program, which includes an extensive deep drill program in existing and greenfield sites, widespread metallurgical testing, and the release of the Colossus maiden mineral resource estimate.”
Over 100 drill holes are still pending assays, with aggressive exploration ongoing.
VMM continues transitioning from auger to deep RC/diamond drilling, which is expected to produce thicker intercepts.
Auger drilling will continue for greenfield exploration work to scout new areas of interest and has already commenced in new areas comprising the recent strategic expansion of Colossus.
This article was developed in collaboration with Viridis, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.