The Brazilian Pará state environmental agency, Semas, has awarded the Araguaia ferronickel project its final permit needed before construction could get under way, dual-listed Horizonte Minerals announced on Monday.
The construction licence provides the permits required for the rotary kiln electric furnace processing plant and associated infrastructure, which will be constructed over a 31-month period.
Subject to funding, the $443-million development is now construction-ready, having previously received the necessary environmental permits.
Aim- and TSX-listed Horizonte said in October that it would aim to have a funding plan for Araguaia in place by mid-2019. The project comprises an openpit nickel laterite mining operation that mines a 27.5-million tonnes mineral reserve of 119-milllion tonnes to produce 52 000 t/y of ferronickel, containing 14 500 t of nickel.
The company aims to start production in late 2021 or early 2022.