Horizonte Minerals PLC (AIM: HZM, TSX: HZM) Araguaia Nickel Project Sustainability Update

18 July 2017 – Horizonte Minerals Plc, (AIM: HZM, TSX: HZM) (‘Horizonte’ or ‘the Company’) the nickel development company focussed in Brazil, is pleased to provide an update on the progress that the sustainability team have made as part of the licensing process for its 100% owned Araguaia Nickel Project (‘Araguaia’ or ‘the Project’), which is being developed as the next major nickel project in Brazil.

Highlights

·    The Araguaia environmental licensing strategy was presented to State Environmental Minister on 4 July 2017

·    A new flora inventory has been completed and a fauna field campaign is underway with 15 biology specialists on site, including four from the Pará State

·    Water and power line routes frozen with licence applications under preparation

·    Close to finalisation of environmental control plans for the RKEF process plant and mine site infrastructure

 Horizonte CEO, Jeremy Martin said, “Horizonte is committed to working with Federal, State and Local partners to ensure a robust large-scale nickel operation will be successfully implemented in the Pará State.  By conducting new fauna and flora campaigns, we have been able to further characterize the biology of this cerrado (bush) region. Our licensing strategy was presented to the State Environmental Minister, which was received positively and we now have a clearly defined way forwards to bring all construction-ready permits into alignment within the Araguaia Feasibility Study schedule. I look forward to providing an update on the further progressions towards the Installation Licence in due course.”

About the Project and Sustainability Activities

 The Araguaia Nickel Project, which is 100% owned by Horizonte, is located on the eastern margin of the State of Pará, north-eastern Brazil, to the north of the town of Conceição do Araguaia (population of 46,206), south of the main Carajás Mining District.  The Project has good regional infrastructure including a network of Federal highways and roads, with access to low tariff hydro-electric power.

 The Company is focussed on delivering a 14,500 tonnes per annum nickel operation and anticipates a life of mine of 28 years. With this in mind the objective of the sustainability programme is to lay the foundations for a robust, long-term nickel mine. 

 The Brazilian mine permitting process with environmental agencies has three key stages:

1. The preliminary licence (‘LP’), which confirms government approval for the viability of the project;

2. The installation licence (‘LI’), which permits the start of construction;

3. Finally the licence to operate (LO) awarded after construction is complete.

 The Preliminary Licence (‘LP’) for Araguaia was approved in May 2016 with consideration of the terms set out in the Company’s Social & Environmental Impact Assessment, and conditions outlined by the State Environmental Agency.  Once the LI is awarded in parallel with the mining concession, construction may start.

 Recent Activities

 The Company has hired new specialists in environmental and social disciplines.  Additionally, the team has been bolstered with regional experts from the Pará State, including flora and fauna specialists hired through the Emilio Goeldi Museum of Belém, a research institution linked to the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.  The institution also plays an important educational role in the country through the dissemination of knowledge and research of regional flora and fauna.

 An environmental team of 15 fauna specialists including 4 from Pará State are on site in July for a major work programme to complement fauna collections previously undertaken in the region. The fauna team are enriching the characterisations of terrestrial and aquatic groups (birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, ants, pollinating insects, insect vectors, phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthic invertebrates). An additional fauna campaign will commence in November 2017 to capture further data in the wet season.

 Work on the socio-economic and physical environmental chapters is also well advanced with 90% completion to date of these programmes required to submit the LI request to the State Environmental Agency (SEMAS).

* * ENDS * *

Araguaia, which will produce around 14,500 tonnes of nickel per year, is now a Tier 1 asset in terms of size and grade, sitting firmly in the upper end of the global grade curve. Araguaia is targeting nickel production by 2019 which aligns the project ideally with a predicted increase in nickel price over the mid-term, offering leveraged exposure to one of the world’s next major nickel mines. A Feasibility Study is now underway, due for completion in 2017, which will set the scene for future project funding and construction. This will involve infill drilling over the trial mining site, trial mining to convert Probable Reserve to Proven Reserve, and the advancement of off take discussions.

Asset Overview

Project Location:

Araguaia is located on the eastern margin of the State of Pará, north-eastern Brazil, to the north of the town of Conceição do Araguaia (population of 46,206), south of the main Carajás Mining District.

The Project has good regional infrastructure including a network of Federal highways and roads, with access to low tariff hydro-electric power. The Carajás Mining District, situated approximately 200km northwest of the Project, is host to a number of major iron and copper mines operated by mining major Vale SA.

Project Location

For further information visit www.horizonteminerals.com  


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