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Horizonte Minerals Reports Drill Results from Araguaia Nickel Project, Brazil

Horizonte Minerals Plc has announce continuing positive results from the infill resource drilling programme at its 100% owned Araguaia nickel project ('Araguaia') in Para Sate, north central Brazil.

Highlights

  • New high grade intersections on the Baião target include:
    • 11.1 metres grading 2.01% Ni
    • 15.0 metres grading 1.88% Ni
    • 16.9 metres grading 1.85% Ni
  • High grade intersection on the Vila Oito East target of 12.7 metres grading 1.87% Ni
  • 539 drill holes totalling 13,204 metres completed to date as part of the infill resource drilling programme
  • Preliminary Economic Assessment ('PEA') commenced September 2011
  • Environmental Baseline Study commenced in October 2011
  • Pyrometallurgical test work including Thermal Characterisation and Batch Smelting Tests are being undertaken at Xstrata's Process Support in Sudbury, Canada
  • Hydrometallurgical test work including Bottle Roll Leaching and Atmospheric Tank Leaching tests are being undertaken at the Wardell-Armstrong laboratory in the UK

Horizonte CEO Jeremy Martin said, "The Company is fast tracking work on the Araguaia nickel project and with the current phase of resource drilling now complete, this will allow us to expand our maiden resource of 76.6Mt grading 1.35% nickel that was released in March of this year.  The delineation of additional high grade zones of mineralisation at the Baião target will allow us to look at options for the initial pit design.  All drill results are now being integrated into the new resource model and we aim to deliver the updated mineral resource estimate by the end of the year which is in line with our projections. 

"In tandem with the resource upgrade programme, we have two parallel sets of metallurgical test work currently underway: Xstrata Process Support is undertaking initial Pyrometallurgical testing to determine  the ore characteristics for the production of ferronickel; and Hydrometallurgical test work, including Bottle Roll Leaching and Atmospheric Tank Leaching tests are being undertaken at the Wardell-Armstrong laboratory in the UK.  The initial results of the test work will be received at the end of the year and into Q1 2012. 

These various parameters, resource plus metallurgical treatment routes will flow into the PEA which we plan to complete by the end of Q1 2012.  Araguaia is developing into a well-defined nickel deposit in terms of size and grade when compared with its global nickel peer group and we are well funded to advance the project through a number of key milestones."

Further Details

The data from the 25 metre x 25 metre drilling will be used to measure short-range variability in the mineralisation for the construction of semi-variograms for future resource estimation.

The results include several thick, high-grade intersections.  The results from the Baião target included 11.1 metres grading 2.01% nickel (Hole PCA-DD-0817); 15.0 metres grading 1.88% nickel (Hole PCA-DD-1053V) and 16.9 metres grading 1.85% nickel (Hole PCA-DD-1044V).  The results from the Vila Oito East target included an intersection of 12.7 metres grading 1.87% nickel (Hole PCA-DD-0869).

On the Vila Oito East target 141 metres x 141 metres infill drilling has been completed totalling 42 holes (1,289 metres).

On the Lontra targets (Raimundo, Northern and Southern) infill drilling has been completed totalling 85 holes (1,545 metres).

The current phase of resource drilling is now complete to allow the publication of the planned resource upgrade.  Drilling will commence on the next phase of Araguaia's development drilling in 2012.

The compositing of the nickel grades in the individual holes was completed across geological boundaries using a nickel cut-off of 1% with a minimum intercept length of 2.0 metres and a maximum length of internal waste of 2 metres.  Weighted averages were calculated using double weighting, i.e. individual samples were weighted against both length and bulk density.  As the nickel laterite deposits are essentially flat-lying, all widths given are true thicknesses.

SOURCE Horizonte Minerals plc

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