Horizonte Minerals (AIM:HZM) Araguaia remains on Schedule and on Budget



· Strong safety performance with zero lost time injuries (“LTI’s”) after over 990,000 hours worked

· Construction is on-schedule with overall project progress approximately 28% complete

· Construction is on-budget with approximately 75% of capital expenditure, over US$415m, awarded to date

· Conditions related to the Senior Debt facility have been satisfied and first draw down has recently been completed

· Ten-year renewable power contract secured at globally competitive prices, providing a foundation for future production costs in the lowest quartile globally

Horizonte Minerals Plc (AIM/TSX: HZM) (“Horizonte” or the “Company”) reports that it is continuing to make good progress on the construction of its 100%-owned Araguaia Nickel Project (“Araguaia” or “the Project”) in Brazil which remains on-budget and on-schedule to commence production in Q1-2024.

As of 30 November 2022, approximately 28% of the total Project construction programme has been completed. Earthworks are significantly advanced and due to be concluded in January 2023. The detailed engineering works are 87% complete and due to be concluded during Q1 2023. Approximately 75% of capital expenditure has been awarded to date, amounting to over US$415 million, and the key long lead items are running to schedule with the furnace shell due on site in late December and the rotary kiln due to be delivered in early Q1 2023.

Horizonte’s Management will host a webinar on Thursday, 15 December 2022, at 10:00am GMT to discuss the construction progress. Investors and analysts are invited to access the webinar by registering in advance through the following link: https://www.investormeetcompany.com/horizonte-minerals/register-investor. Questions may be submitted at any time during the live presentation. A recording of the webinar will be available on the Company’s website.

Jeremy Martin, CEO of Horizonte, commented: “We are very pleased with the construction progress achieved to date which places us in a strong position to deliver the project on-budget and on-schedule, and most importantly with a strong safety track record. We are also very pleased to have drawn from the Senior Debt facility, a core part of the overall funding package of Araguaia.

“Araguaia is expected to bring significant social and economic benefits to our host communities and local stakeholders and we were pleased to see our efforts recognized at the Brazilian Association of Human Resources awards held, in early December, by winning the ESG category for our local professional training program – Transforming Horizons.

“Overall, it has been a transformational year for the Company and I would like to thank our employees, contractors and key stakeholders for their strong efforts thus far to progress Araguaia’s construction. I firmly believe that our collective efforts will enable us to quickly unlock significant value at Araguaia as we move closer to producing first nickel.”


 Health and Safety

The lost-time injury frequency rate (“LTIFR”) at Araguaia in October 31, 2022 was 0.00 and the total recordable injury frequency rate (“TRIFR”) was 1.45 based on a 12-month rolling average, which are calculated per million hours worked. We have continued our focus on embedding the critical risk controls with our growing workforce and reinforcement of the Horizonte Golden Rules. To complement these activities, we continued to implement tools to increase involvement and participation by our contracting partners in our safety systems and processes. Year to date over 1,600 internal safety audits have been conducted and over 1,550 safety plan observations have been completed.

 In the quarter, the Company conducted a campaign of occupational hygiene monitoring where worker exposure to particulates, gases, noise and vibration were monitored. These activities, combined with routine medical surveillance, ensure that our workforce remain fit and healthy.

 Construction activities

As seen in Figure 1, the reinforced primary crusher wall has now been completed, the next stage is to contour and hydroseed the pad sides and install the reinforced concrete base where the primary crusher will be mounted.

Figure 1: Reinforced primary crusher wall completed.

 As seen in Figure 2, civil works are making good progress, where the electric arc furnace foundations have been successfully completed and the furnace baseplate, which is already on site, is due to be mounted in the coming weeks, marking the beginning of the electro-mechanical instillation phase. A timelapse video of the furnace foundation concrete pour totalling 2,707m3 of concrete can be found here: https://horizonteminerals.com/uk/en/videos_and_audio/

Figure 2: Showing the complete furnace foundation with the calcine transfer system foundation to the left of the furnace with the form work being prepared ahead of main concrete pour

Uma imagem contendo edifício, tapete Descriço gerada automaticamente

 To date, 510 deep pile foundations, sunk to a depth of 18 meters, have been installed across the plant site, including for the rotary kiln support column foundations, calcination area, secondary crusher and homogenisation building, as seen in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Piling of the main steel supports for homogenisation building

Uma imagem contendo grama, velho, mesa, de madeira Descriço gerada automaticamente

 The construction of the main 125 kilometre, 230kV powerline to power the process plant, is advancing along four work fronts. Pre-assembly of the tower structures is ongoing with drilling and concreting of the tower foundations progressing to schedule. Construction of the main substations at the mine site and connection point has commenced.  

As shown in Figure 4 the furnace baseplate sections arrived on site with welding now complete, and the furnace shell is due to be delivered to site by the end of the year.  

Figure 4: Store yard showing the furnace base plates and the steel beams (in blue) for the main furnace building structure

 Environmental activities

In the Company’s second quarter of active construction, environmental programs remained focussed on avoidance and mitigation of impacts. Fauna protection programs included active relocation of animals ahead of clearing for construction activity. To date over 140 individuals of 55 species have been rescued through this program. The Company’s teams also continued collecting plant propagules (seeds, seedlings and similar) to ensure species and genetic diversity is maintained in the nursery plant generation programs. The biodiversity conservation centre construction and plant nursery expansion are now largely complete.  The nursery is expected to deliver 50,000-60,000 native tree seedlings per year for rehabilitation and the generation of new green corridors.

As part of the Company’s activities towards net positive impact on biodiversity, Horizonte commenced afforestation of pasture affected creek lines that had been impacted by long term agriculture and over-grazing. Associated with the Company’s biodiversity objectives, a study of invasive plant species was completed, forming part of the ongoing update of Horizonte’s Biodiversity Action Plan.

Social activities

In December 2022, Horizonte was proud to be recognised at the Brazilian Association of Human Resources awards as the winner in the ESG category for our local professional training program – Transforming Horizons. The program, conducted in partnership with Brazil’s leading national industrial training provider, Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Industrial (SENAI) has delivered over 20 accredited training courses (12 completed to date), with over 200 graduates, 32% of whom are female and 14% are youth. In just seven months since inception, the Company has already employed 28 graduates at Araguaia.


In November, binding power purchase agreements were executed covering the first 10 years of Araguaia’s production, locking in globally competitive prices, 30% below the Feasibility Power cost assumption. Representing approximately a third of Araguaia’s operational cost, these competitive electricity prices will help establish the Company in the lowest cost quartile globally. Further, in line with the Company’s target of operating in the lowest quartile of CO2 emissions, Horizonte will leverage the abundant hydropower available in Brazil. Through this, Horizonte is able to not only differentiate itself against global peers from a cost perspective, but also from an environmental standpoint.


As announced on 8 December 2022, Horizonte satisfied all conditions precedent for the first utilization under the previously announced senior secured project finance debt facilities of US$346.2 million (the “Senior Debt Facilities”) and is now in receipt of the first tranche of funds from the Senior Lenders.

This milestone demonstrated that the Company has made significant progress on the Project development schedule and that is has been able to satisfy to the Senior Lenders that the Company has:

· made significant progress with construction, and in line with the schedule;

· awarded all of the key material contracts, including equipment supply, Engineering Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM), port access and power supply;

· have a long-term offtake in place for 100% of Araguaia’s production from line 1 with a high quality counterparty in Glencore; and

· have built out a high-quality team to deliver the Project.

Following the Company’s announcement on 4 October 2022 regarding a proposed equity fundraise of approximately £61.7 million, Horizonte was pleased to announce an oversubscribed and upsized fundraise of approximately 70.5 million on 5 October 2022, which was finalised on 8 November 2022 following admission to AIM and the TSX of the newly issued shares.

 For further information, visit www.horizonteminerals.com or contact:

Horizonte Minerals plc

Jeremy Martin (CEO)

Simon Retter (CFO)

Patrick Chambers (Head of IR)


[email protected]

+44 (0) 203 356 2901

Linking Shareholders and Executives :Share Talk

If anyone reads this article found it useful, helpful? Then please subscribe www.share-talk.com or follow SHARE TALK on our Twitter page for future updates. Terms of Website Use All information is provided on an as-is basis. Where we allow Bloggers to publish articles on our platform please note these are not our opinions or views and we have no affiliation with the companies mentioned

Weekly Newsletter

Sign up to receive exclusive stock market content in your inbox, once a week.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.