Meteoric Resources employs ANSTO to aid in exploration at Caldeira Project, Brazil 

Meteoric Resources (ASX:MEI) has engaged the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) to assist with metallurgical testwork at its Caldeira REE Project in Minas Gerais, Brazil. 

The company says ‘world-renowned’ ANSTO will help with process flowsheet development and build on historical testwork that produced ‘outstanding’ results utilising representative ore samples from the Capao de Mel deposit. 

Meteoric reports the metallurgical testwork currently underway is aimed at optimising previous leach recoveries, impurity removal, and REE precipitation tests in order to determine the most feasible approach for rare earth extraction. Additionally, historical work also highlighted optimal rare earth element (REE) recovery in less than 10 minutes using ammonium sulphate solution.

These historical results, generated from work undertaken by JOGMEC through the SGS/Geosol Laboratory in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on samples from Capao do Mel, ‘strongly’ support that the REE mineralisation at the project is an ionic clay deposit. 

With the metallurgical testwork underway, Meteoric Resources announces that its ongoing diamond drilling program has been ‘significantly’ expanded and is underway to test the depth of REE mineralisation as well as assess the metallurgical variability spatially across the resource. 

Drilling will also seek to assess the vertical zonation in element distribution of the light REE and heavy REE components.     

Speaking on the start of metallurgical testwork, Meteoric Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nick Holthouse says: “We are very pleased to see this important work underway. We know that the historical work completed at the Caldeira Project prior to its acquisition by Meteoric showed outstanding results and clearly demonstrated that the REE mineralisation is an Ionic Clay with its superb response to ammonium sulphate leaching at pH 4. 

… work continues to further optimise recoveries and advance the development of the process flowsheet”

Those initial results achieved by JOGMEC have given us a solid start, and now the work continues to further optimise recoveries and advance the development of the process flowsheet. We are delighted to have ANSTO onboard as a Technical Partner as we take the Caldeira Project forward.”  

Meteoric Resources is an ASX-listed rare earth exploration company with a portfolio of projects considered prospective for REEs. These projects include the Caldeira Project in Brazil and the Palm Springs Gold Project in Western Australia. 

The company’s Caldeira Project is located in the state of Minas Gerais and hosts a JORC-compliant Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 409 million tonnes (Mt) @ 2,626ppm total rare earth oxide (TREO) at a 1,000ppm cut off.   

As per the company’s latest investor presentation in May 2023, the company had a ‘strong’ cash balance of $18.5 million as of 31 March 2023.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Meteoric Resources NL
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.