Agriculture

Brazilian Lula government gives Aguia Resources $570,000 for ‘green copper’ project

Fri 27 Jan 23, 1:34pm (AEDT)
The Brazilian flag caught in the wind
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • Brazilian Government hands $570,000 to Aguia to find environmentally friendly way to leach copper from ore
  • Leaching is the dominant method used in hard-rock mining to separate target metals from host waste rock
  • The company also operates an organic phosphate project which it says can outperform polluting chemical fertilisers

ASX-listed and Brazil-based copper explorer Aguia Resources (ASX:AGR) confirmed its receipt of $570,000 from the Brazilian Government for its two local projects on Friday. 

The company operates two plays in Brazil’s south:

Permitting advanced 

Across its Rio Grande copper assets, Aguia has permits for some 405sq.km, according to the company’s website. The company was busy drilling at ACP through 2022, turning over high-grade copper hits in August 2022.

Likewise, the TEPP won enhanced approvals back in November last year

While Aguia describes the funds as instrumental to the development of both projects, the company highlighted that the payment comes from Brazil’s Ministry of Science and Technology Research (MSTR) for downstream copper research.

For those playing at home, in Portuguese, that’s the Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia.

“This grant to help fund our Green Copper Project…demonstrates Aguia’s outstanding reputation in Brazil [and] the willingness of the Brazilian Government to support…sustainable mining projects,” Aguia chief Dr. Fernando Tallarico said.

Local partner for ESG copper R&D

Aguia will partner with Brazil’s Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) and local company Itatijuca Biotech to focus on two areas of its downstream copper development: “bio leaching” and ore sorting. 

Aguia describes its Andrade play as a ‘green copper’ project, with the company keenly focused on boosting the ESG profile of its exploration project. 

Itatijuca, Aguia, and the boffins at UFRGS will team up to develop a viable methodology for hard-rock ore leaching that minimises as much as possible the use of hard-to-dispose industrial acids. 

Acid leaching is the dominant methodology used in hard-rock mining to separate valuable target minerals from waste rock that hosts the metals in question.

EV inroads

One other thing worth noting: the company has also hit silver at Andrade more than once. 

Silver is one of the most conductive metals on earth and is emerging as a battery metal constituent. Over 55Moz of silver are used each year in EV battery supply chains.

Copper, too, is an often overlooked battery materials metal, but that reputation is slowly pivoting towards the electrification market. 

Aguia's one year chart
Aguia's one year chart

 

Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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