• Ema resource estimate 1.02Bt @ 793ppm TREO
  • Places it as one of the largest ionic REE projects in the world
  • Opportunities to increase grade and tonnage high
  • Drill planning to convert MRE from inferred to indicated and measured categories


Special Report: Brazilian Critical Minerals has revealed a +1 billion tonne rare earths resource at its Ema project in Brazil, making it one of the largest wholly ionic REE projects on the planet.

The 189km2 Ema project in the Brazilian state of Amazonas has been fast-tracked since Brazilian Critical Minerals (ASX:BCM) announced the discovery in May last year.

Ema is unique amongst Brazilian REE projects in that it shares almost identical characteristics with the ionic deposits developed over felsic volcanic rocks in southwest China, the world´s largest known ionic clay region.

Ionic clay-hosted (IAC) deposits are known for being low-cost, low-grade and high-margin developments due to the simple mining and extraction methods compared to other types of REE projects.


Ema: one of the largest of its kind

In just under a year, exploration drilling and metallurgical test work by BCM has culminated in Ema’s maiden mineral resource estimate (MRE), confirming its credentials as one of the largest IAC rare earths projects on the planet.

The MRE comes in at a monster 1.02Bt @ 793ppm total rare earths oxide (TREO), including a higher-grade portion of 331Mt @ 977ppm TREO after the drilling of 194 augur drill holes for 2,749m across just 46% of the landholding.

Within the 82km2 MRE area there’s a 12km2 high-grade kaolinised zone containing 1,048ppm TREO with NdPr >100ppm.

Brazilian Critical Minerals (ASX:BCM)
The Ema REE project with auger holes drill collars included in the maiden MRE, including the blue-outlined high-grade 12km2 zone. Pic supplied: (BCM)

Mineralisation is close to surface, amenable to low-cost open pit mining methods and remains open at depth and to the east and west. BCM says there’s an extra 107km2 still available for further exploration.

Also confirmed is a high-grade 27-31% basket of high-value magnetic rare earth oxides (MREO), including neodymium (Nd), praseodymium (Pr), dysprosium (Dy) and terbium (Tb).

Recent metallurgical testwork boosted those numbers using a first-pass leach program with recovery intercepts of up to 87%.

A drilling program is now being designed to convert MRE from inferred to high confidence indicated and measured categories.

“Today’s announcement is very important for the company and our shareholders as it now sets us on a path towards development of Ema,” BCM MD Andrew Reid says.

“The team has done a tremendous job in getting such a large MRE defined in less than one year, which now confirms the immense potential of the Ema project in Brazil.

“Not only do we have a massive mineral resource of >1 billion tonnes but also significantly we have >300 million tonnes at grades close to 1,000ppm which will assist in generating positive financial cash flow models.

“Opportunities to increase both grade and tonnage remain high due to the extremely conservative global specific gravity (SG) of 1.34 which was applied to the estimated volumes.

“Additional deeper, less weathered samples from the higher-grade horizon is expected to result in significantly higher SGs.

“With only 46% of the total area drilled, the team is confident of increasing not only tonnages but believes the opportunities to also increase the grade are well founded and will be tested through the next round of drilling commencing over the coming months.

“BCM is now well on its way to establishing the company as a global rare earths leader.”


Next steps

BCM is currently conducting further infill drilling to identify higher TREO grades, with deeper drilling to incorporate high grade zones in the MRE and closer spaced drilling to improve its classification and quality.

It will also get on with further measuring of SG in the mineralised horizons and additional metallurgical leaching tests in Brazil and Australia.



This article was developed in collaboration with Brazilian Critical Minerals, 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.