Serra Verde said that it has started commercial production of mixed rare earth concentrate (MREC) from the first phase of its Pela Ema deposit located in Minaçu, in the Brazilian state of Goiás.

The commissioning process was launched in June 2023.

Upon reaching full production capacity, Serra Verde anticipates an annual output of at least 5,000 tonnes of rare earth oxide. This oxide is crucial in the production of high-efficiency permanent magnets, essential components for electric vehicle motors and wind turbine generators.

According to the Brazilian rare earth elements (REE) developer, Pela Ema is a substantial and enduring ionic clay deposit characterised by a notable concentration of valuable heavy and light REEs. These particularly include neodymium (Nd), praseodymium (Pr), terbium (Tb), and dysprosium (Dy), which are crucial components for facilitating the energy transition.

Serra Verde has reported the acceptance of its MREC samples by significant clients, with confirmed offtakes securing a substantial portion of the planned production through agreements with established processing companies.

The company has initiated efforts to enhance the capacity of Phase I at Pela Ema through plant optimisation. Simultaneously, it is evaluating the feasibility of a Phase II expansion, which could potentially double the run-of-mine production before the year 2030.

Serra Verde indicated its aspirations to become the world’s most sustainable supplier of rare earth materials. This goal is pursued by harnessing the superior sustainability credentials of its operations and adhering to world-class operating standards, claimed the company.

Serra Verde CEO Thras Moraitis said: “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.

“Our product can play a critical role in supporting the growth in production of electric vehicles and wind turbines that are vital to the energy transition.

“As we ramp up to achieve nameplate capacity, Serra Verde is also working to build downstream partnerships to support the development of long-term, sustainable supply chains.”