Serra Verde kicks off Pela Ema commissioning

Brazilian mining company Serra Verde has started the commissioning of its first phase of operations at its Pela Ema rare earth element deposit in Minaçú, Goiás state, Brazil.

This initial phase, the miner said, is expected to produce at least 5,000 tonnes per year of rare earth oxide over a 25-year mine life with significant potential to increase capacity through plant optimization. It remains on track to begin commercial production by the end of 2023.

Once active, the mine will produce a unique mineral concentrate containing a high value combination of both heavy and light magnetic REEs, including neodymium (Nd), praseodymium (Pr), terbium (Tb) and dysprosium (Dy). It will be the first scale operation outside Asia to produce all four critical magnetic REEs essential to the manufacture of permanent magnets used in electric vehicle motors and wind turbine generators.

“This makes Pela Ema a strategic asset within the emergent global magnet-producing value chains. The four magnetic REEs, for which demand is growing prolifically, are expected to constitute the vast majority of the value of the Serra Verde concentrate,” Serra Verde said. It added that concentrate samples from the deposit have already been widely tested and accepted by major customers with off-take agreements and make up a large proportion of initial planned production.

The miner also noted that its ionic clay deposits are particularly attractive as they can be mined with low-risk open pit mining techniques and processed using simple, established technologies with no hazardous chemicals, resulting in lower operating costs and superior ESG credentials.

Serra Verde also benefits from access to supplies of renewable electricity to meet over 90% of its expected Phase I requirements. Furthermore, its Pela Ema deposit is in an established mining district with access to technical skills and developed road and port infrastructure, it said.

It is anticipated that there will be a Phase II expansion of the Pela Ema deposit. Its objective is for the property to double run-of- mine production before the end of this decade. 

Source: Serra Verde

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