Base and precious metals explorer Alvo Minerals (ASX:ALV) has begun a maiden drill program at its recently acquired Bluebush Rare Earth Element (REE) Project in Brazil.
The company reports the maiden drilling program will initially start at the Fazendinha and Ferradura prospects in the north, which intercepted REE mineralisation from surface to end-of-hole (EOH).
Previous exploration results include auger hole ERRO072AGR (Fazendinha) with 5m @ 1,139 parts per million (ppm) Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) (36% MREO) from 1m to EOH; ERRO017AGR (Ferradura) with 13m @ 928ppm TREO (33% MREO) from surface to EOH; and ERRO273AGR (Boa Vista 01) with 6m @ 1,188ppm TREO (37% MREO) from 1m.
Alvo reports the owners of Bluebush drilled a total of 258 auger holes for about 930m to an average depth of 3.6m. This auger drilling would often stop once the saprolite clay horizon was intercepted, as the primary targets were the alluvials, and as a result, the routine sampling of these horizons often ended in mineralisation.
The company reports it will utilise its in-house auger drilling expertise that has seen it drill 666 auger holes for 6,044m since mid-January 2023 at the Palma Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) Project to progress Bluebush.
Commenting on the maiden drill program, Alvo Minerals Managing Director Rob Smakman says: “When we listed on the ASX in October 2021, we commenced our maiden diamond drill program at the Palma VMS Project within 3 days; now, we are commencing our maiden auger drill program at the Bluebush REE Project within a week of the acquisition. We haven’t slowed down since IPO and aren’t planning on it.
“We haven’t slowed down since IPO and aren’t planning on it”
The auger drill program is the first phase of due diligence as we test the depth profile of the REE mineralisation hosted in the saprolite and send samples to the laboratory to confirm Bluebush is a true ionic clay deposit.
We are confident in the likelihood of results as Serra Verde to the south is on the same granite formation and exhibits similar characteristics of REE mineralisation identified by the previous owners of Bluebush.”
Alvo signed a binding agreement to acquire Bluebush on 7 June 2023. Under the agreement, Alvo will acquire the project after paying a signing fee of BRL$100,000 to conduct due diligence, which will be followed by initial exploration, a Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE), Scoping Study, and a Prefeasibility Study (PFS) to be funded by Alvo.
At the completion of the MRE and a payment of US$800,000, Alvo will hold a 51% interest in Mineraçāo Mata Azul, which holds the exploration permits for Bluebush. This will be increased to 70% after the Scoping Study is complete and a further $800,000 is paid.
Once the PFS is complete, Alvo will hold 80% of Mata Azul in exchange for a payment of $1 million. Alvo will then be able to purchase the remaining 20% interest in Mata Azul for 20% of the discounted net present value (NPV) outlined in the PFS, capped at a maximum of US$20 million
The Bluebush REE Project covers 12,034 hectares adjacent to the Palma VMS Project and Cana Brava Nickel-Copper-Platinum Group Element (PGE) Project in Central Brazil. The project is considered prospective for REEs hosted in surficial saprolites, which the company believes could be the ‘highly valued’ ionic clay type.
Alvo Minerals is an ASX-listed base and precious metals explorer focused on its Palma VMS Project in the Palmeiropolis region of Central Brazil. The Palma Project hosts an inferred MRE of 4.6 million tonnes @ 1% Cu, 3.9% Zn, 0.4% Pb, and 20g/t Ag.
Write to Harry Mulholland at Mining.com.au
Images: Alvo Minerals Ltd