Horizonte Minerals Plc, (AIM: HZM, TSX: HZM) (“Horizonte” or “the Company’) the nickel company focused on Brazil, is pleased to provide an operational update for the Araguaia Nickel Project (“Araguaia” or “the Project”).
· Significant progress on key project execution preparation activities, including competitive tendering for supply of key processing equipment, electric furnace and project management (EPCM) services
· Operational Readiness Plan well advanced with all key permits in place for commencement of construction
· Financing discussions remain on track. Credit committee approval for the senior debt facility expected in Q3 2021 as previously announced
· Key environmental and social programmes continuing in preparation for construction phase
· Mobilisation of Head of Projects to Brazil and appointment of Engineering, Community, Health and Safety Managers continues the build out of the project execution team
Horizonte’s CEO, Jeremy Martin, commented: ” In the six months since the completion of the value engineering work, significant progress has been made on plans to implement the project. Tenders have been completed for approximately US$230M of key equipment and services to be supplied under contract with industry-leading vendors. This progress has enabled the project execution plan to be further advanced and to better reflect the current context in Brazil, allowing us to successfully deliver a tier-one nickel project. We have made progress with the senior debt facility following completion of due diligence by the lending syndicate, with credit committee approval on track for Q3 2021.
Mike Drake, our newly appointed Head of Projects has arrived in Brazil safely, successfully reopened the office in Belo Horizonte and is rapidly building out our project execution team.Together with the excellent progress being made on our financing initiatives and the recent strength in the nickel price, it is exciting to see an increase of activity on the ground in Brazil as our preparation to start construction in the coming months intensifies.”
Project Execution Readiness
Based on the optimised scope and execution plan that was generated by the Value Engineering work (see announcement 4 December 2020), the past six months have focused on final preparations for project execution.
The objectives of this project readiness process has been to:
· Define the final process equipment specification and suppliers that will be used by the Project, particularly the electric furnace and rotary kiln;
· Identify and partner with the best-placed Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) contractor to deliver the Project;
· Update and detail the Project Execution Plan to reflect these inputs; and
· Optimise the Operational Readiness Plan.
Key outcomes of the work include:
· Prioritising procurement of linked process equipment as ‘process island packages’ where possible, to reduce interface risk;
· Contract negotiations being well advanced with all key vendors following the completion of a detailed and rigorous assessment process of all technical and commercial proposals received and subsequent proposal optimisation process;
· Competitive tenders completed and significant progress made on the following key packages:
o Process equipment including crushers, conveyors, electrical, dryer, kiln, dust collection and refinery;
o Electric furnace and calcine transfer system;
o Overland powerline and main electrical infrastructure EPC; and
o Construction contracts, including bulk earthworks, temporary construction infrastructure and services, and civil works;
· Updated market proposals for key opex inputs; and
· Capital expenditure and operational expenditure remain in line with the Value Engineering work.
Environmental and Social
Horizonte’s environmental and social workstreams are critical to our social licence to operate. As part of the financing due diligence phase and in preparation for the construction of the Project, the sustainability team has further de-risked Araguaia by completing a number of management plans to ensure Araguaia remains compliant with Equator Principles (IV) and IFC Performance Standards with input by consulting groups ERM and Kienbaum.
The Company has permitted all infrastructure components of Araguaia, including the award of construction licences for the transmission line and the water pipeline in early 2021.
A full suite of social and environmental control plans were developed as part of Araguaia’s Brazilian environmental construction licences, and a number of programmes have commenced prior to construction. Some examples of work commenced include the resettlement action plan, social communication programme, safety improvements for school communities located along the PA-449 highway, and the Local Development Agenda programme.
The Company’s newly appointed Head of Projects, Michael Drake, (see announcement 1 March 2021) has mobilised in Brazil and is working from Horizonte’s Belo Horizonte office. Mike is building out the execution team. Roles including project controls, contracts and procurement, human resources, industrial relations, and construction managers planned to mobilise in July 2021, supplementing Horizonte’s existing strong technical, environmental and permitting team.
The Company’s offices in Belo Horizonte and London are now fully open, operating with strict Covid compliant health and safety measures.
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.
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