Commercial production of mixed rare earth concentrate (MREC) has commenced from Phase 1 of the Pela Ema deposit at the Serra Verde complex in Minaçu, Goiás State, Brazil.
Once ramped up to full production, Serra Verde is expected to produce at least 5,000 tonnes per year of rare earth oxide. MREC samples have already been accepted by major customers, and offtakes for a large proportion of planned production are in place with established processing companies.
Work to increase Phase I capacity at Pela Ema is ongoing via plant optimization; officials are assessing the potential for a Phase II expansion, which could double run-of-mine production before 2030.
Serra Verde uses low operating risk open mining techniques and simple, established processing technologies with no hazardous chemicals resulting in lower operating costs and reduced environmental impacts. Serra Verde’s electricity supply is entirely sourced from renewable energy sources and the operation is in an established mining district with access to technical skills and developed road and port infrastructure.
“The start of commercial production is a critical milestone in our development and means we are now the only company outside Asia to produce at scale all four critical rare earths used in the production of permanent magnets,” said CEO Thras Moraitis.
Ricardo Grossi, President of Serra Verde Pesquisa e Mineração and COO of the Serra Verde Group, added: “We are proud to become Brazil’s first large scale rare earths producer, starting a new phase in the country’s proud mining history.”
The large long-life ionic clay deposit at Pela Ema contains an elevated proportion of high value heavy and light REEs, primarily neodymium (Nd), praseodymium (Pr), terbium (Tb) and dysprosium (Dy).
Source: Serra Verde