Brazil

Maracas Menchen Mine

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Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Vanadium
  • Ilmenite
  • Titanium
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
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SnapshotThe Maracás Menchen Mine is one of the world’s highest-grade vanadium deposits. Maracás Menchen Mine is one of only three large-scale primary vanadium mines globally.

The Maracás Menchen Mine currently produces a vanadium/titanium ore from an open pit called Campbell Pit. The NAN and GAN deposits will also be open pit deposits mined for both vanadium and titanium once brought onstream in 2032 when the Campbell Pit is depleted.

Largo completed the construction of its ilmenite plant in Q3 2023 and is now focused on its commissioning and ramp-up, which is expected to be completed in Q1 2024.

On March 5, 2024, Largo announced that it has identified significant platinum group metals grades in its non-magnetic tailings ponds and ilmenite stockpile from ongoing exploration work at its Maracás Menchen Mine.
Related AssetMaracas Menchen Expansion Project

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Companhia Baiana de Pesquisa Mineral (“CBPM”) 0.06 % Indirect
Largo Inc. 99.94 % Indirect
Vanádio de Maracás S.A. (operator) 100 % Direct
Maracas Menchen operation is owned 100% by Largo Vanádio S.A., which is controlled 99.94% directly and indirectly by Largo. The remaining shares of Largo Vanádio S.A. are owned by Companhia Baiana de Pesquisa Mineral, an entity controlled by the Brazilian State of Bahia.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Intrusion related
  • Magmatic

Summary:

The Maracás Project is Vanadiferous Titano-Magnetite (VTM) deposit.

The NNE-striking, ~70° ESE-dipping Paleoproterozoic Rio Jacaré Intrusion occurs throughout the 40 km long Maracás Project exploration permits. Along the strike of the Rio Jacaré Intrusion within the property, several discrete deposits or areas containing vanadium-rich titanomagnetite bodies have been defined, namely the Gulçari A (Campbell) deposit, the Gulçari A North (GAN) deposit, Gulçari B deposit (currently part of GAN), the Sao Jose deposit (SJO), the Novo Amparo (NAO) deposit and the Novo Amparo North (NAN) deposit. Each of these deposits are located at various stratigraphic heights within the Rio Jacaré Intrusion, and thus occur within different cyclic units.

Within all deposits, mineralized bodies consist of magnetitite layers or magnetite pyroxenite layers formed as cyclic magmatic units associated with the surrounding gabbro. Typically, magnetiteenriched units have sharp magmatic contacts with units below and gradational contacts with the units above.

The Gulçari A deposit (also referred to Campbell Pit) is hosted in the lower parts of the Upper Zone of the Rio Jacaré Intrusion, between cyclic units C1 and C6, with magnetite mineralization hosted predominantly within the C3 unit. This C3 unit comprises medium to coarse-grained gabbro containing lenses of magnetitite, magnetite-pyroxenite and pyroxenite. These lenses are interpreted to pinch out along strike (i.e. in a N-S direction), and it is within this C3 unit that the largest concentrations of vanadium-rich magnetite known on the property are found (Brito, 1984). This magnetite deposit extends for approximately 350 m along strike, is up to 150 m wide and has been intersected in drilling to vertical depths of at least 300 m, and it likely extends below these depths. The deposit has been disrupted by northwest-southeast faulting (Figure 7.6).

The magnetite-pyroxenite body at the Campbell deposit was previously interpreted as a separate pipe-like intrusion cross-cutting the gabbro (Sá, 1992), but more recently has been understood as having formed within the feeder zone of the Rio Jacaré intrusion and representing one of the lower cyclic units (the C3 unit) of this intrusion.

Elements of interest at the Maracás Mine are vanadium and titanium. Vanadium is hosted within titaniferous magnetite, which is the major oxide phase found within the deposit. Ilmenite forms a second oxide phase which is commonly present, and which hosts titanium mineralization. Magnetite occurs as primary magmatic crystal grains that may be partly to martitized. These occur as anhedral grains, with grain sizes of between 0.3 mm and 2.0 mm, that form a polygonal mosaic together with ilmenite, which generally occurs as discrete anhedral magmatic crystals but may also occurs as inclusions within in the titaniferous magnetite, commonly displaying exsolution textures. Magnetite from the lower cyclic units (particularly the C3 unit at the Campbell deposit) has higher V2O5 concentrations than magnetite from the upper cyclic units – this is consistent across all deposits and is typical of layered magmatic magnetite deposits.

Massive magnetitite bodies are formed by ilmenite-magnetite heteradcumulates that form 2 cm to 3 m thick layers containing variable amounts of clinopyroxene. They occur together with layered mafic and ultramafic cumulates, which consist of olivine-magnetite cumulates and clinopyroxenemagnetite heteradcumulates, and together form rhythmically micro-layered gabbro, magnetite, and magnetite-pyroxenite bands.

In addition to primary magnetite, fine-grained magnetite also occurs locally as inclusions within silicate grains, and is the result of alteration of iron-rich silicates (e.g. uralitization of pyroxene and serpentinization of olivine).

Silicate phases associated with the magnetite include augite, plagioclase, hornblende, and rare grains of clinopyroxene, olivine and spinel. Rare olivine and pyroxene grains are observed within the magnetitite, but most are altered to serpentine or chlorite. The Rio Jacaré Intrusion has been intensely metamorphosed, so the pyroxene compositions observed probably reflect metamorphic re-equilibration rather than original magmatic compositions.

Sulphides (chalcopyrite and pentlandite with rare pyrite and pyrrhotite) are minor, and only account for up to 1% of the rock within the magnetitite units. Chalcopyrite is more abundant than the other sulphides and is most common in the rock types containing 50% magnetite or less. It commonly occurs in association with magnetite or ilmenite enclosed by amphibole and plagioclase. Pentlandite is much less abundant and occurs within in the magnetitite. Minor sphalerite and galena grains are found together in the silicates, associated with the other sulphides especially in the magnetite-poor rock types. However, the dominant trace minerals are nickel and cobalt sulphides and arsenides and cobalt-rich pentlandite. In many cases the arsenides are associated with the sulphides and appear to be alteration products of the sulphides.

In addition to the vanadium and titanium that form the focus of exploration and mining at the Maracás Mine, elevated platinum and palladium values have been found associated with magnetite-rich zones in the Rio Jacaré Intrusion. They are much richer in platinum-group metals than the surrounding silicate rocks, and there are significant correlations among all the PGMs and between PGM and copper.

In the magnetite zones, palladium-rich minerals, especially bismuthides and antimonides, are the most abundant PGM minerals. In most cases, these occur with interstitial silicates or within silicate inclusions in magnetite and ilmenite grains, and are associated with pentlandite and, in a few cases, with arsenides. Sperrylite is the most abundant platinum mineral and is associated with silicates interstitial to magnetite and ilmenite grains. At sites where the igneous mafic minerals have been altered to amphiboles, sperrylite may be altered to platinum-iron alloys.

Oxidation
In the Maracás area the water table generally lies 30 m below surface. The rocks are generally fresh below this water table and over it they weather and oxidize to varying degrees, with deeper oxidation in the proximity of faults, that may provide a conduit for fluid ingress. In weathered zones, silicate minerals generally weather (to clay minerals) more rapidly than oxides weather (Figure 7.14). Oxide minerals such as magnetite and ilmenite oxidize to other minerals such as maghemite, hematite, goethite and other iron oxides. The main effect of weathering/oxidation is a potential reduction in vanadium recovery to the magnetite concentrates – since the oxidized products of magnetite (e.g., hematite) are not magnetic, increased weathering may result in a lowering of vanadium recoveries.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

CommodityProductUnits2024202320222021202020192018201720162015
Ilmenite Concentrate kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
V2O5Eq Flake & Powder t  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
V2O5 Flake & Powder t  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe10,5779,8309,297
^ Guidance / Forecast.

Operational metrics

Metrics202320222021202020192018201720162015
Plant annual capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe960,000 t
Annual production capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe12,000 t of v2o5 flake & powder9,634 t of v2o5 flake & powder9,634 t of v2o5 flake & powder
Ore tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe1,156,016 t822,795 t1,165,950 t1,044,767 t1,025,984 t
Total tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Tonnes milled  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe784,470 t771,804 t768,763 t718,133 t
Waste  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe7.01 Mt5,919,961 t
Daily production capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe26.4 t of v2o5 flake & powder26.4 t of v2o5 flake & powder

Production Costs

CommodityUnits20242023202220212020201920182017
Cash costs (sold) V2O5 USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Cash costs V2O5 USD 2.95 / lb   4.19 / lb   3.6 / lb  
Total cash costs (sold) V2O5 USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
^ Guidance / Forecast.

Financials

Units20242023202220212020201920182017
Capital expenditures (planned) M USD  ....  Subscribe
Capital expenditures M  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 55.5  CAD 20.5  CAD 18.6  CAD
Revenue M  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 140  CAD 521.4  CAD 167.7  CAD
Pre-tax Income M  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe -31.3  CAD 322.7  CAD -9  CAD
After-tax Income M  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe -36.2  CAD 316  CAD -10.4  CAD
EBITDA M  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Operating Cash Flow M  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 139.3  CAD 352.1  CAD 58.6  CAD

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 29, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 29, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 29, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Mar 29, 2024

EmployeesYear
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Aerial view:

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