JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Nickel explorer and developer Horizonte Minerals has marked another permitting milestone for its Araguaia project with the submission of a mine plan to Brazil’s National Mining Agency (ANM).
ANM approval of the mine plan, together with approval of the mine construction licence, the permit of which was submitted last month, would grant the Aim- and TSX-listed company the main mining and environmental approvals to start construction of Brazil’s next ferronickel project.
The mine plan validates the mine feed, plant processes, metal refining, production schedule, ferronickel market fundamentals and the project’s economic model.
“The submission of a mine plan, 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 derisking the project,” commented CEO Jeremy Martin.
He pointed out in a statement that the nickel market had strengthened in recent months, driven by a robust stainless steel market and new demand anticipated from the developing electric vehicle market. Higher nickel prices have also increased investor interest in the metal.
The Araguaia project is based on a 28-year life-of-mine, producing about 14 500 t/y of nickel in ferronickel from a single-line rotary kiln electric furnace plant.