Horizonte Minerals Plc, (AIM:HZM)(TSX:HZM) the nickel development company focused in Brazil, announces its final results for the year ended 31 December 2021 ('FY21' or the 'Period
Highlights for the Period
- Completion of US$633 million funding package for the development of the Araguaia ferronickel project ("Araguaia").
- US$25 million royalty agreement signed with Orion Resources Partners to progress development of the Vermelho nickel-cobalt project ("Vermelho") through feasibility study and permitting.
- 100%, 10-year Araguaia offtake agreement based on LME pricing signed with Glencore.
- Strengthened cash balance of £156 million following equity fundraises in February and December 2021.
- Appointment of Michael Drake as Head of Projects and Leo Vianna as Araguaia Project Director.
- Mobilisation of Araguaia Lead Team in Brazil and successful recruitment of 85 person, predominantly Brazilian, Araguaia project team.
- Completion of Operational Readiness plan with key permits secured ahead of commencement of construction.
- Award of power line licence to cover the full power requirement of the Araguaia project at nameplate capacity.
- Extensive competitive tendering process undertaken across the key Araguaia equipment packages with tier one vendors in preparation for contract awards in H1 2022.
- Key environmental and social programmes undertaken in preparation for construction phase of Araguaia including resettlement action plan, social communication programme, safety improvements for school communities located along the PA-449 highway, and the Local Development Agenda programme.
- Acquisition of new and unused ferronickel processing equipment from Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio that is expected to provide meaningful synergies in relation to the development of Araguaia, including the potential to fast-track and lower the cost of development of a second RKEF line.
- Continued progress at Vermelho with Ramboll awarded Environmental and Social Impact Assessment contract.
- Support provided to Conceição do Araguaia's ongoing Covid-19 vaccination effort through the donation 10,000 medical items to the regional hospital.
Post Period End Operational Update
Following completion of the funding package and a positive construction decision for Araguaia, activity in Q1 2022 has been to advance engineering, place orders for long lead equipment and Engineering Procurement and Construction Management ("EPCM") services and to commence early works at the project site.
Engineering progress completed to date includes basic engineering consolidation, geotechnical surveys, support for bidding processes and detailed engineering with a focus on finalising the plant arrangement, earthworks design, overland powerline and access roads.
The furnace supply contract was awarded to Hatch Ltd. in February 2022 (see announcement dated 25 February 2022), which encompasses the supply of a circular electric arc furnace rated at 60 megawatt, a calcine transfer system to feed the furnace with 835,000 tonnes per annum of calcine and additional services on installation and commissioning. The EPCM contract was awarded to Pöyry Tecnologia Ltda ("Pöyry"), the Brazilian subsidiary of global engineering services firm AFRY earlier this week (see announcement dated 22 March 2022). Contracts were also awarded to contractors for access road upgrades, aggregate supply, and construction of temporary facilities such as offices, as well as initial site infrastructure such as telecommunications and fencing. Water wells are also being installed in accordance with construction permits and licenses.
Contractors are being mobilised in accordance with Horizonte's health and safety standards, which have achieved 500,000 manhours without a Lost Time Injury ("LTI)" to date. This was achieved through the deployment of the Company's new health and safety training programme, comprehensive induction programme and the increase in health and safety reporting overseen by the Company's newly appointed Health and Safety Manger, Eduardo Paiva.
New environmental programmes are being implemented in accordance with the construction phase of Araguaia including installation of automatic monitoring systems and implementation of the biodiversity action plan.
Horizonte CEO, Jeremy Martin commented: "The extensive technical and financial work that concluded in the successful completion of the US$633 million project funding package for Araguaia was transformational for Horizonte. It was a culmination of two years of dedication and hard work by the Horizonte team and all our advisors. During this time, we have established the foundations to build a significant low-cost, sustainable nickel business which is now fully funded to take our first tier one nickel project into production.
The preparatory work undertaken alongside the project financing process has enabled us to make good progress during Q1 in the 24-month construction phase of Araguaia. Our focus during this quarter has been on detailed engineering, procurement, and early works ahead of earthworks commencing in Q2. We have already awarded equipment and services contracts valued at approximately US$150 million including the furnace and EPCM contracts. Our owner's team is split across the engineering office in Belo Horizonte and the site office in Conceição do Araguaia, and are managing key contractors working on access road upgrades, essential site facilities and environmental programmes. We were also very pleased to reach an important milestone of 500,000-man hours without a lost time injury during the quarter. Our focus on health and safety continues as activity on site increases.
Whilst the nickel market currently faces unprecedented volatility with pricing, the consensus remains for continued exponential growth in demand, both from the established stainless steel market and the accelerating battery market. With very few new nickel projects in the global pipeline able to reach production in the short-to-mid-term, Horizonte is uniquely placed to supply into this deficit with Araguaia scheduled to start ramp up in early 2024."
For further information, visit www.horizonteminerals.com or contact:
Horizonte Minerals plc
Peel Hunt LLP (Nominated Adviser & Joint Broker)
+44 (0)20 7418 8900
BMO (Joint Broker)
+44 (0) 20 7236 1010
About Horizonte Minerals:
Horizonte Minerals plc (AIM & TSX: HZM) is developing two 100% owned, tier one projects in Parà state, Brazil - the Araguaia Nickel Project and the Vermelho Nickel-Cobalt Project. Both projects are large scale, high-grade, low-cost, low-carbon and scalable. Araguaia is fully funded and in construction. The project will produce 29,000 tonnes of nickel per year to supply the stainless steel market. Vermelho is at feasibility study stage and will produce 25,000 tonnes of nickel and 1,250 tonnes of cobalt to supply the EV battery market. Horizonte's combined near-term production profile of over 50,000 tonnes of nickel per year positions the Company as a globally significant nickel producer. Horizonte is developing a new nickel district in Brazil that will benefit from established infrastructure, including hydroelectric power available in the Carajás Mining District.
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SOURCE: Horizonte Minerals PLC
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