Australian company Brazilian Rare Earths (BRE) has secured firm commitments to raise A$80m ($52.87m) through a share placement, aimed at expediting exploration and development activities at its key projects.

The placement involves the issuance of 24.24 million new fully paid ordinary shares at A$3.30 each, marking a 9.6% discount to the last closing price of A$3.65.

Highbury Partnership provided corporate advisory services to BRE, while Canaccord Genuity (Australia) and Petra Capital were joint lead managers to this placement.

BRE, backed by Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart, will use the funds to advance the Monte Alto, Sulista and Pelé rare earth projects, with a focus on exploration drilling, feasibility studies and permitting processes.

The company will also use the financing to meet general working capital and corporate needs.

Earlier this month, BRE announced that exploration drilling is under way at the Pelé project.

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It stated that the project’s exploration has revealed a number of high-priority drill targets at Pelé Targets 1 and 2, as well as the primary pathfinders of intense anomalies with high-grade monazite sand mineralisation spanning wide areas.

The company added that three sizeable outcropping zones of weathered REE-Nb-Sc-U mineralisation, with outcrop widths of more than 20m, have been found at Pelé Target 1 by ground reconnaissance that includes more than 18 line-kilometres of gamma surveys.

These zones are located along a very prospective 1km trendline strike.

BRE managing director and CEO Bernardo da Veiga explained that the latest ground-based exploration at Pelé Target 1 has rapidly delineated the largest strike of weathered REE-Nb-Sc-U outcrops since exploration commenced at the Rocha da Rocha province.