• Hatch to deliver scoping study for Colossus, beginning in March
  • $4.5m raised for development
  • Maiden resource due in Q2 this year


Special Report: Viridis Mining Minerals has awarded Hatch a scoping study and engineering support contract for the Colossus ionic adsorption clay (IAC) REE project in Brazil with preparations under way for a maiden resource estimate (MRE) which will underpin its development.

Viridis Mining Minerals’ (ASX:VMM) recent focus at Colossus is on the ‘Alkaline Complex’ within the project area, where Phase I and II drilling has produced grades of up to 23,556ppm total rare earth oxides (TREO) – the highest surface grade intercept reported by any company at the tenure.

The same complex hosts Meteoric Resources’ (ASX:MEI) adjacent world-class 409Mt @ 2,626ppm TREO Caldeira IAC project.

IAC projects are often easier to mine, process, and capable of producing the more valuable magnetic rare earths such as neodymium, praseodymium, terbium and dysprosium at lower costs than hard rock REE projects.


Scoping study to Hatch

The Colossus scoping study with Hatch will initially focus on the highly prospective Northern concessions, where VMM is currently putting together a maiden resource estimate.

This work will then expand to the remaining concessions at the project.

Key deliverables from the assessment will include:

  • Processing and production methods, flow rates and associated life-of-mine options
  • Logistics and facility infrastructure, including production plant locations
  • Key facility designs
  • Mine extraction, backfilling, and rehabilitation options
  • CAPEX: Pre-production capital costs and life-of-mine sustaining capital
  • OPEX: Mining, processing, and operating costs
  • Project development timeline, risks and opportunities
  • Economic analysis: NPV, IRR, cashflow, payback period

Hatch will also provide general engineering support.

A further output from the study, VMM says, is to enable it to execute other key scopes that support financial modelling, project financing and offtake discussions. 

“We are thrilled to have secured a strategic world-class professional services contractor such as Hatch, with specialist rare earth processing experience to work with our teams here in Perth and Belo Horizonte, Brazil,” VMM chief executive Rafael Moreno says.

“Having spent most of my career delivering major capital projects, you quickly learn that the calibre of your engineering contractor, early in your development journey, plays a crucial part in de-risking the execution phase of the project including the environmental approvals process.

“Discussions held with Hatch management have given Viridis confidence that the team understands the value drivers of delivering a scoping study which reduces the complexity of the flow sheet design and technology selection, sets a global benchmark in environmental standards whilst keeping the facility opex at the low end of the cost curve.”


Maiden resource

Earlier this month, VMM raised $4.5m through a share placement to continue the development of Colossus and finalise a maiden resource estimate for the project. 

The maiden resource estimate will encompass four project areas – the Northern Concessions, Cupim South, Capao da Onca (Western area) and Ribeirão prospects – with an anticipated completion date in Q2 this year.

VMM has engaged BNA Mining Solutions to prepare the Colossus MRE using results from successful Phase I and II drilling campaigns.

Viridis Mining (ASX:VMM)
Phase I and II drilling highlights at the Colossus IAC REE project. Pic: Supplied (VMM)

While gearing up for the development phases of the Colossus, VMM says it will continue exploration with aggressive RC and diamond drilling to depth, aimed at unlocking further value within the Alkaline Complex. 

This deeper drilling, the company says, aims to test beneath the highest-grade auger portions of the project, which will allow the company to gain a full understanding of the clay mineralisation in these areas.



This article was developed in collaboration with Viridis Mining and 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.