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Aguia’s phosphate project is located in the rich agricultural heartland of Rio Grande do Sul in southern most Brazil about 3 hours from the capital Port Alegre. Aguia will has a resource of 105Mt of phosphate of which the current project will only consume 5Mt.

The project already has a Construction Permit but construction will not commence until the Public Civil Action has been resolved. Settlement negotiations are currently underway.

The project has excellent economics as supported by the BFS that was released on 21 March 2023 (ASX Announcement)

Phosphate is a mineral essential for the production of food.

Aguia’s organic phosphate product, Pampafos has undergone agronomical testing for over 3 years on all major grain crops and has been demonstrated to be equal to or better than testing using chemical phosphate. It is far cheaper to produce than the imported chemical alternative and is competitively priced.The company is currently entering into purchase orders with farmers.

Pampafos will be produced using zero water, zero energy and zero carbon. Aguia is  producing an organic product essential for food production with zero environmental impact.

Aguia has the ability and the opportunity to build a substantial agricultural business with a potentially diverse range of products given its  geographic location, its phosphate JORC Resource of 105Mt, its extensive tenements and growing market demand.

LOCATION & INFRASTRUCTURE

The phosphate mine is to be located in the State of Rio Grande do Sul in Southern Brazil. The State which is about the size of New Zealand and has a population of approximately 12 million people.

We are located in an agricultural heartland, in a temperate climate with high rainfall considered to be some of Brazil’s best farming land. Aguia’s organic phosphate Pampafos will be collected from the mine gate and transported to the farm gate.

The mine location is about 320 km from the capital of Port Alegre and is close to a small town and 60km from a town of 34,000 people.

PROJECT ECONOMICS

A revised and final Banking Feasibility Statement was released to the market on 21 March 2023. To read the full announcement ‘click here‘.

RESOURCE STATEMENT

The Project has a JORC-compliant Measured and Indicated Resource of 83Mt grading at 4.11% P205 and another 21.8 Mt grading at 3.6% P205 of Inferred Resource.

This project will consume less than 5% of this Resource. See Future Development below.

In addition Aguia also has a phosphate resource known as the Joca Tavares Project (JT). It is located 41km to the south east from our current TEPP phosphate project and is the second phosphate project where Aguia conducted systematic exploration work and identified an audited Mineral Resource which was announced to the market on 13th July 2016.

The Project has a JORC-compliant Measured and Indicated Resource of 2.75Mt grading at 4.37% P205.

ORGANIC TESTING & CERTIFICATION OF PAMPAFOS

Between 2011 and 2017, Aguia drilled about 3,000 metres at our project (TEPP), where we plan to build the phosphate mine. Consequently, we have many core rock samples from the TEPP research and reserve certification process.

The core was sampled on average at 1-m-intervals and sent to the laboratory for chemical analysis to determine its composition. The assays were largely done by ALS, a global leader in laboratory geochemistry that applies the most modern analytical methods. ALS assayed the samples to identify the composition of the ore, including testing for the presence of major elements, those present in per cent concentrations, and trace elements, those with concentrations in parts per million or billion.

The assays were then certified by ALS and by Aguia in accordance with the international standard Quality Assurance and Quality Controls (QAQC) protocols.

The assays determined that the core rock samples did not contain any element in concentrations that would be toxic, e.g., cadmium, radiometric elements, and others. That is to say, the testing determined that there was no harmful composition present in the rock.

The assays also determined that the product Pampafos contains a number of ingredients that are beneficial to agriculture and, consequently human health, including:

  • Phosphate
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese

Aguia intends to apply for organic certification of the product Pampafos. This application, however, can only be made when the processing plant has been constructed, and the mine and the processing plant are in operation. The reason for this is that the authorities must be satisfied that no chemicals will be added to the product during processing.

Strictly speaking, Pampafós is inorganic because it comes from the weathering of a phosphate-bearing rock, and rock is inorganic. Aguia will mine the weathered material and then dry and crush it to achieve a commercial grain-size distribution. Nevertheless, Pampafos can and will be certified organic as no chemicals will be added to it, and it is be suitable for organic agriculture and home gardens.

THE AGRICULTURAL PHOSPHATE MARKET IN BRAZIL

The global demand for fertilisers is expected to grow by 60% over the next 30 years.

Brazil is an agricultural powerhouse providing food for about 217m people and is still able to export 49% of its agricultural produce.

We operate in the State of Rio Grande do Sul which is Brazil’s 3rd largest grain producing State.  Last year it produced AUD $50 billion worth of grain which represents 40% of the States GDP. The State has 90,000sq kilometres of land under grass fed beef production.

Aguia’s organic phosphate customers is expected to include both grain and cattle farmers. The product is suitable in both conventional and regenerative agriculture.

Aguia owns all of the known reserves of phosphate in this State.  Our phosphate mine will be the first in the State and to markets beyond. There is no phosphate being produced in our potential markets to the near south in Uruguay, Paraguay and Northern Argentina. 70% of all Brazil’s phosphate needs and 100% of the State’s phosphate needs are currently imported.

The company originally, and conservatively estimated sales of 10% of the market within a 300 km radius of the mine site- about 300,000 tonnes per annum. We believe that the market has subsequently expanded and now also encapsulates all of the State and countries to the south including Uruguay, Paraguay and Northern Argentina.

As the project has progressed, so has buyer interest. Aguia has engaged a sales team with 35 years experience in agricultural retail and distribution in the State of Rio Grande do Sul.

Scientific testing has determined Aguia’s phosphate to be organic and we will apply for formal international organic certification on completion of construction.

Organic phosphate does not destroy the micro organisms which live in the soil which are vital to the life and health of the soil.

Pampafos has been scientifically proven to be also highly soluble which is one reason why it has been so effective in agronomic testing. The other reason is that it also contains a variety of key naturally occurring macro and micro nutrients.

This natural form of phosphate is known as phosrock which is the base ingredient for the production of synthetic phosphate. Chemicals are added to phosrock to manufacture products such as  the widely used ‘superphosphate’ which are essential for mass grain and food production.

Pampafos provides conventional farmers using chemical fertilisers with an opportunity to switch to organic farming over time without risking their financial security.

In order to compete with chemical fertilisers it was necessary for Aguia to prove the effectiveness of Pampafos against commonly used synthetic fertilisers. Independent agronomical testing has been undertaken for  over 3 years now by Dr Felipe Carmona a leading academic agronomist with a strong local client base. The testing is ongoing. All results are reported to the ASX.

Agronomical testing is now entering its 4th year and the product  has been demonstrated to be as effective or better than chemical fertilisers. It was tested against a range of the most widely used chemical fertilisers and on all major global grain crops.

There are 2 European companies who manufacture and sell chemical phosphate in the State. This involves importing phosrock from Morocco into the local Port near the capital and then undertaking costly chemical manufacture and distribution – at some distance from the market.

By comparison Aguia is producing its competitive product locally and comparatively cheaply in the centre of the market.

PHOSPHATE PROCESSING

The mining process is relatively simple and involves shallow open pot mining, followed by drying and crushing. At this point it is ready for sale either in bulk or in bags.

The processing plant was designed to meet international environmental standards and is “triple zero” –  zero water; zero carbon and zero energy. The plant is in the process of being certified as triple net zero by EDGE, a green building certification system issued by the International Finance Corporation, a division of the World Bank.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES & TARGETS

Aguia already has plans to expand phosphate production after the life of the current mine project ends in 2 ways:

  1. By continuing the production of organic Pampafos at our Santa Clara target which is located 4 km from the current mine. Santa Clara has the exact same geo-physical signature as the existing project and has returned ore grade samples from surface. This is an exploration target which requires drilling. See detailed information below.
  2. Once the 5Mt overhang of the current mine has been removed and the current TEPP project is completed the remaining JORC Resource of approximately 100Mt of hard rock lime/phosphate will be developed. This is a mineral combination highly sought after in agriculture which can be sold in its original form or mixed with other minerals to produce a range of agricultural products.
In addition Aguia also has a Phosphate Resource known as the Joca Tavares Project (JT). It is located 41 km to the south east from our current TEPP phosphate project and is the second phosphate project where Aguia conducted systematic exploration work and identified an audited Mineral Resource which was announced to the market on 13th July 2016.  The JT Project has a JORC-compliant Measured and Indicated Resource of 2.75Mt grading at 4.37% P205 using a minimum cut-off of 3% P2O5.

Aguia has 141 sq kilometres of phosphate tenements with similar geo-physical characteristics to the current project (TEPP) and 4 exploration targets all in close proximity.

Those exploration targets are:

1. Porteira Exploration Target

Porteira is an exploration target located 36km SE from TEPP and 6km WSW from Joca. As previously announced on 28 July 2015 the Company conducted a shallow auger drilling program at the Porteira Carbonatite and confirmed the presence of high-grade oxidised mineralisation near surface, including very promising results as 4.0m @ 16.34% P2O5, from surface and ending in mineralisation. The phosphate mineralization is hosted by a carbonatite rock with similarities to the Três Estradas and Joca Tavares deposits. The target outcrops with a strike-length of about 1 km and average width of about 30 metres.

2. Santa Clara Exploration Target

Santa Clara is an exploration target adjacent to TEPP, located 4km to the NW. The target area covers a 2km long airborne geophysical anomaly, that has the same signature of TEPP. Initial exploration work identified a NE-trending, 2.2 km long and 900 m wide outcropping carbonatite coincident with the geophysical anomaly. First grab samples returned up to 6.38% P2O5 as announced by the Company on 8 June 2016. Due to the proximity to TEPP, this target is considered as extremally strategic to Aguia, having the potential to add oxidized material to the TEPP operation with minimal transport cost.

3. Mato Grande Exploration Target

Mato Grande is a 1,000 m long by 300 m wide carbonatite target located 88km NE of Três Estradas and close to the city of Caçapava do Sul. Historical data indicated results up to 8.38% P2O5 in fresh carbonatite samples and previous auger drilling indicated grades of up to 11.71% P2O5 in weathered carbonatite. Aguia announced the auger results on 15 January 2018.

4. Passo Feio Exploration Target

The Passo Feio Target is located about 12 km south of Mato Grande, close to the city of Caçapava do Sul. The target is related to a phosphate occurrence hosted by carbonatite and alkaline rocks. First information about the occurrence was published in the Brazilian Symposium of Metallogeny in the year 2013. The target includes juxtaposed airborne radiometric and magnetometric anomalies covering an area of 1.8 km long by 0.8 km wide. The target has the potential to be fast developed and add phosphate resources to the Aguia portfolio.

See below for images taken from all of Aguia’s Phosphate Resources and 4 exploration targets.