The Espigão Project is Meridian’s flagship manganese project in Rondônia. It is already producing and selling high-quality manganese oxide from surface colluvium while geological work is underway to identify veins of high-grade manganese to support longer-term production.
Early-stage opportunity in metal-rich but underexplored region of Brazil
Large land package with multi-commodity exploration upside
Growing pilot production of high-grade manganese oxide with direct sales to domestic customer base
Experienced management and technical team with significant regional expertise
Established CSR program generating widespread community acceptance in mining-friendly jurisdiction
Land Position and Geology
The Espaigão Project spans 140,000 ha in the state of Rondônia, located in Northwestern Brazil. The Espaigão Project is located in a Proterozoic terrane on the southwest margin of the Amazon Craton. The Project area hosts hydrothermal manganese oxide mineralization which occurs in two main forms: 1) structurally controlled high-angle primary hydrothermal veins; 2) near-surface colluvium where manganese oxide has been deposited through weathering and disaggregation of the underlying primary veins.
Production – Premium Product
The Espaigão project has supplied the domestic market in Brazil with more than 100,000 tonnes of high-quality product since 2007. Meridian has an established and growing customer base purchasing high-grade manganese (> 50%) for use in ferroalloy production and specialty applications. Annual production capacity is expected to rise from 30,000 to 50,000 tonnes per annum in 2017 upon commissioning of the pilot production plant currently under construction. Ongoing production and sales have substantially de-risked the project.
Company Sales VS CIF China (US$/dmtu)
Meridian’s geological team is focused on defining vein and colluvial mineralization to support ongoing production of the Company’s premium manganese oxide product. New manganese oxide occurrences continue to be located through prospecting along structural corridors, which extend for over 200 strike kilometres within the project area.
In parallel, the exploration programs are evaluating the broader polymetallic potential. The manganese oxide veins have notably elevated contents of copper and lead in some target areas. Zinc and other pathfinder elements (La, W, Mo) likewise show patterns pointing to a zoned pattern in metal distribution. Wide ferruginous breccia zones have been identified.
Targets are being developed where various metals might be segregated vertically or laterally within the system. Separate bedrock tin and gold occurrences have already been defined along the structural extensions of the vein systems. Geophysical modelling has identified underpinning gradients in the magnetic response, representing deeper targets for intrusive-related polymetallic mineralization.
CSR – A Strong Partner for Local Stakeholders
Meridian’s operations team has extensive local and regional expertise and the Company believes in being a strong, contributing member of any community in which it operates. From the earliest stages of a project, Meridian seeks to build consensus among all stakeholders including employees, landowners, government and residents. Meridian strives to be an equal partner, investing alongside the community so that all parties have a stake in a project’s long-term success. Over the last two years, Meridian has undertaken specific initiatives including internal workshops on ethics and corruption, community and school information programs, working with local council to assist in road and infrastructure maintenance, investing in health and social programs and assisting the police force to implement road safety programs. These initiatives provide tangible proof of Meridian’s commitment to the local community and help further de-risk the project. Meridian employees wear the words “Respect, Connect and Prosper” on their uniforms. It’s a constant reminder of shared responsibilities to the project and each other, and what can be achieved when all stakeholders work together.