Horizonte Minerals Plc, (AIM: HZM, TSX: HZM) (‘ Horizonte’ or ‘the Company’) the nickel company focused on Brazil, is pleased to provide a financing update for the Araguaia Nickel Project (‘Araguaia’ or ‘the Project’) as the Project moves towards construction.
· Credit approval process underway following completion of due diligence by the International Lenders. Credit approval anticipated to be received in Q3 2021.
· Senior Debt Facility expected to benefit from significant Export Credit Agency support.
· Cornerstone strategic investor and final offtake agreements well advanced and expected to be finalised shortly after credit approvals.
The Company has made excellent progress on all key project finance workstreams during the course of 2021 and is pleased to confirm that all five international banks (together the “International Lenders”), mandated for the US$325 million debt component of the project finance package (“Senior Debt Facility”), have each now commenced with their formal credit approval processes. This follows a comprehensive due diligence process, including technical and environmental and social due diligence undertaken by the International Lenders’ independent consultants Micon International Limited and Arcadis respectively, which has confirmed the robust nature of the Project and the best-in-class approach to Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) standards that have been employed by Horizonte to date and will continue to be employed during project implementation. Good progress also continues to be made on discussions with Brazilian financial institutions.
As previously announced, the Company has also been in discussions with a number of Export Credit Agencies (“ECA”) to provide credit support for a significant portion of the Senior Debt Facility. With the Company close to finalising the selection of key equipment and service providers for the Project, these discussions are now well progressed and a significant level of ECA credit support is now expected.
The receipt of credit approvals from the International Lenders is the catalyst for finalising all other components of the project finance package. Whilst the Company has continued to work towards a target date of the end of H1 2021, the credit approval process is not a timeline Horizonte has control over. The Company is targeting receipt of credit approvals in Q3 2021.
In anticipation of final credit approvals for the Senior Debt Facility, Horizonte has continued to progress all other components of the project finance package and is in detailed documentation with a major cornerstone strategic investor and, having received significant interest in the Araguaia product, is also in final negotiations on a long-term offtake agreement for the Project. These other aspects of the overall project finance package are well advanced, and the Company therefore expects to be in a position to finalise agreements shortly after receiving credit approvals.
Horizonte CEO, Jeremy Martin commented: “We are now finalising the project financing for Araguaia. A significant amount of work has been completed by the team in the past six months particularly in the comprehensive due diligence process required by the international lenders. I would like to thank everyone involved in this process to enable us to reach this critical point, particularly in their flexibility and dedication in overcoming the challenges the Covid-19 pandemic has caused.
The completion of this rigorous process further underpins Araguaia’s tier one status. In addition, the support from Export Credit Agencies as part of the package means we will be shortly finalising the major contracts for project execution enabling us to start construction on close of financing.”
For further information, visit www.horizonteminerals.com or contact:
Horizonte Minerals plc
Jeremy Martin (CEO)
Anna Legge (Corporate Communications)
+44 (0) 203 356 2901
About Horizonte Minerals:
Horizonte Minerals plc is an AIM and TSX-listed nickel development company focused in Brazil. The Company is developing the Araguaia project, as the next major ferronickel mine in Brazil, and the Vermelho nickel-cobalt project, with the aim of being able to supply nickel and cobalt to the EV battery market. Both projects are 100% owned.