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Serra Verde secures regulatory approval for first phase of rare earth mine in Brazil

Brazil rare earth elements (REE) developer Serra Verde has been awarded an environmental operating licence for the Phase I of its Pela Ema deposit located Minaçú, Goiás state, giving company all necessary regulatory approvals to complete its commissioning process.

Key commissioning milestones will include the start-up of the processing circuit and the dry stack tailings facility as well as connection of the site to the electricity grid, from which it will source 100% renewable electricity.

The plan, according to Serra Verde, is to bring the Phase I mine and processing plant into operation to support the commencement of commercial production by the end of this year.

Once operational, the Pela Ema mine will produce a unique concentrate containing a high value combination of both heavy and light magnetic REEs, including neodymium (Nd), praseodymium (Pr), terbium (Tb) and dysprosium (Dy), all of which are essential to the manufacturing of high-efficiency permanent magnets used in electric vehicle motors and wind turbine generators.

With its ionic clay deposit, Serra Verde said it will use “low operating risk open mining techniques and simple, established processing technologies with no hazardous chemicals, resulting in lower operating costs and superior environmental social and governance credentials.”

“We are thrilled to have received this final licence, which means Serra Verde is on track to become the first scale producer outside Asia to provide all four rare earths essential to the production of efficient permanent magnets, supporting the energy transition,” Serra Verde’s CEO Thras Moraitis commented, adding that its REE deposit “will be a strategic asset in the global permanent magnet value chain for many years to come.”

Phase I of the Pela Ema project is expected to produce at least 5,000 tonnes per year of rare earth oxide over a 25-year mine life, with offtakes already in place for a large proportion of planned production. There is also significant potential to increase capacity through plant optimization, Serra Verde said.

The large, defined resource could facilitate a potential Phase II expansion of the Pela Ema deposit, with the objective of doubling run-of-mine production before the end of this decade, it added.

Source: MINING.COM – Read More