Horizonte Minerals Plc, the nickel development company focussed in Brazil, is pleased to announce that it has submitted its Mine Plan to Brazil's National Mining Agency ('Agência Nacional de Mineração' ou 'ANM'), for its Araguaia nickel project, Brazil's next ferronickel project.
- Formal ANM approval received for Horizonte's final exploration reports, covering the Mineral Reserves for the planned 28 year mine life at Araguaia;
- Submission of the Mine Plan containing Araguaia's Economic Development Plan (Plano de Aproveitamento Econômico - PAE) to ANM; and,
- ANM approval of Mine Plan together with approval of the Mine Construction Licence from the State Environmental Authority (SEMAS) will grant Horizonte the principal mining and environmental permits to commence construction of Araguaia.
Horizonte CEO, Jeremy Martin, commented:
"In addition to the Mine Construction Permit filed last month, the submission of the Mine Plan marks another important permitting milestone for the Araguaia Project as both advance us towards receipt of the principal permits necessary to commence mine construction. We are pleased that ANM has approved the final exploration reports for all of the Mineral Reserves to cover Araguaia's initial 28 year mine life, a strong endorsement by Brazil's National Mining Agency. The permitting steps for developing a new mine in Brazil follow a stage gate process and the approval of the final exploration reports have now allowed us to progress to the Mine Plan stage."
"The Mine Plan submission, as part of Araguaia's ongoing Feasibility Study, marks an important shift taking the Project from the exploration stage into the mining development phase and therefore further de-risking the Project."
"The past three months has seen an increase in nickel prices amid a backdrop of strengthening fundamentals and increasing investor interest in the metal, driven in part by a robust stainless-steel market and the new demand anticipated from the developing electric vehicle market. This positive market sentiment aligned with our upcoming project milestones for the next 6 to 12 months should allow us to build value for our shareholders going forwards."
Mining Permit Stage Gate Process
Upon completion of exploration activities, companies must prepare and submit a final exploration report to ANM. Horizonte's final exploration reports submitted earlier in 2017 to ANM have been formally approved and published in the Brazilian journal (Diário Oficial da União). The approved reports cover the Mineral Reserves for the planned 28 year life of mine.
The next key step in the mine licence process is the submission of a Mine Plan (Plano de Aproveitamento Econômico - PAE). Horizonte has filed the Mine Plan for Araguaia to ANM, which validates the mine feed, plant processes, metal refining, production schedule, ferronickel market fundamentals and the Project's economic model.
Approval of the Mine Plan from ANM, together with the approval of the Mine Construction Licence from SEMAS, will provide Horizonte with the principal permits necessary to commence construction at Araguaia.
Brazil's National Mining Agency (Agência Nacional de Mineração or 'ANM') was formally known as the National Department for Mineral Production (Departamento Nacional de Produção Mineral or 'DNPM').
The Araguaia Nickel Project
Araguaia, which is 100% owned by Horizonte, is located on the eastern margin of the State of Pará, north-eastern Brazil, in the Municipal of Conceição do Araguaia (population of 46,206), south of the main Carajás Mining District.
The Project has good infrastructure in place including rail, road, water and power.
Araguaia plans to produce around 14,500 tonnes of contained nickel in approximately 50,000 tonnes of ferronickel per year from processing 0.9 million tonnes of ore via the proven and widely utilized Rotary Kiln Electric Furnace (RKEF) process route.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.