Project

Aclara is a development-stage rare earth mineral resources company with mining concessions located in the Maule, Ñuble, Biobío and Araucanía regions of Chile. Aclara is initiating the development of its resources through the Penco Module, which covers a surface area of approximately 600 hectares, and which has ionic clays that are rich in heavy rare earths.Aclara is currently focused on the development and on the future construction and operation of the Penco Module, which will aim to produce a rare earth concentrate through a processing plant that will be fed by clays from nearby deposits. In addition to the Penco Module, Aclara will conduct exploration activities in order to determine if there are deposits within its other mining concessions that can be developed economically and with a minimal environmental footprint.SustainabilityIn our company sustainability is the primary goal.Our environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) strategy ideally positions Aclara to become the sustainable REE supplier of choice for the world’s leading clean-tech companies.Aclara’s vision is to become the foundation of a sustainable value chain for technologies that are integral to the world’s green energy transition. Our ESG-focused approach to our planned operations is based on the following:

  • Sustainable extraction process: no blasting, no crushing, no milling, no tailings dam and high levels of water recirculation.
  • Improvement of local ecosystems: impacted areas will be fully revegetated with native species and every native forests will be protected and expanded.
  • Traceable production: ensuring customer ́s knowledge of product origin.
  • We benefit from Hochschild Mining’s demonstrated track record of operational success, sustainability-focused culture, and high standards of corporate governance.

LocationThe Penco Module benefits from a prime location due to its close proximity to mission-critical infrastructure.

Ionic Clay DepositAclara offers a superior source of HREE outside of China.Ionic clay deposits, such as Aclara’s Penco Module, are rarely found outside of China. Ionic clay deposits are rich in HREE and are a primary source of China’s HREE production.Ionic clay deposits offer several advantages relative to the more commonly occurring hard rock REE deposits as they are typically located near-surface, are simple to excavate and have a straightforward processing method, thus resulting in the following operational benefits:

  • Minimal development expenditures: very low strip ratio, no blasting required, simple machinery, and conventional material handling methods.
  • Low processing costs: amenable to standard leaching techniques with a common fertilizer as a reagent, no grinding and milling required and low-value elements lanthanum, cerium, and samarium are easily separated as waste.
  • Negligible radioactivity: unlike the majority of hard rock REE projects, radioactivity is not an issue in the deposits and in the end product.
  • High-value end product: containing the high-priced HREE.

Graphic representation of an Ionic Clay deposit (China vs. Penco Module)

  • Same characterisation of geological units (Zone A, B, C, D).
  • Penco Zone B and Zone C (economic zones) deepen significantly resulting in higher production volumes.

Source: Chi and Tian (2008)

Process FlowsheetAclara has a simple and low impact process: non-contaminating reagents, high levels of water recirculation, no liquid residues, and low energy consumption.

Final ProductOur final product will be mixed rare earth carbonates and is expected to reach a purity of 92%. We expect that most of the value from the Penco Module will be derived primarily from Dy, Tb, Nd and Pr.

Element Y203 La203 Ce203 Pr6011 Nd203 Sm203 Eu203 Gd203 Tb407 Dy203 Ho203 Er203 Tm203 Yb203 Lu203 TOTAL
REO
% of
Total
REO
47.4% 11.6% 4.0% 2.9% 12.5% 2.6% 0.2% 3.1% 0.7% 5.5% 1.3% 4.0% 0.5% 3.1% 0.5% 100%

AclaraMineral Resources

  • Penco Module has 91% of Measured and Indicated Resources
Category Tonnage (t) Grade (REO) Y203 La203 Ce203 Pr6011 Nd203 Sm203 Eu203 Gd203 Tb407 Dy203 Ho203 Er203 Tm203 Yb203 Lu203 REO
total
content
(t)
ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm
Measured 15,357,416 2,467 456 406 816 91 380 62 3 60 11 72 15 44 6 40 6 37,887
Indicated 5,323,628 2,309 443 371 749 88 350 58 3 57 10 70 15 43 6 39 6 12,292
Measured + Indicated 20,681,044 2,426 452 397 798 90 372 61 3 59 10 71 15 44 6 40 6 50,178
Inferred 2,083,200 2,299 447 367 740 89 346 58 3 57 10 70 15 44 6 40 6 4,788