TORONTO, June 19, 2014 /CNW/ - Horizonte Minerals Plc, (AIM: HZM, TSX: HZM) ('Horizonte' or 'the Company') the nickel development company focused in Brazil, announces that it has filed the Social Environmental Impact Assessment ('SEIA') with the Pará State Environmental Agency in Brazil for its 100%-owned Araguaia Nickel Project ('Araguaia' or 'the Project') located south of the Carajas mining district in Pará State, northern Brazil. Horizonte is currently developing Araguaia towards the Feasibility Stage in H2 2014 and hopes to receive the full SEIA approval in Q4 2014/ Q1 2015.
The Pará State Environmental Agency (SEMA) in Brazil will now analyse the SEIA and host a public hearing in Q3 2014 where Araguaia will be presented to local communities, rural landowners and authorities in the municipality of Conceição do Araguaia. Following the public hearing the State Environmental Council will approve the issue of the Preliminary Licence ('LP'). The LP, valid for three years in Pará, authorises the next stages of work for the development of the Project and obtaining approval for location, design, and environmental sustainability for Araguaia's implementation. By granting the LP, the Pará State Environmental Agency approves that the Project is environmentally and socially acceptable. The granting of the LP is the first stage in a three-stage environmental licencing process to develop a mine in Brazil.
Horizonte Minerals' CEO Jeremy Martin said, "The completion and filing of the SEIA for Araguaia marks a significant de-risking step for the Project, as we work with local stakeholders, communities and government agencies towards the development of the next major nickel mine in Brazil. The SEIA has been an important phase of work covering the environmental and social base line data collection over the last two years. The report is currently being reviewed by the Pará State Environmental Agency, and post the public hearing, should receive full approval in Q4 2014/Q1 2015 which will be an additional milestone following the completion of the 43-101 Pre-Feasibility Study. I look forward to updating shareholders on future project progress in due course."
The SEIA, which complies with the Brazilian Environmental laws, includes information on: climate; particulate matter; groundwater composition and depth; soils; surface water composition; fauna and flora; regional demographics; stakeholders; community infrastructure and land rights. Horizonte, through its subsidiary Araguaia Niquel, completed the collection and analysis of the baseline social and environmental data specified by the state environmental agency, SEMA. This data and analysis, together with the recently completed NI 43-101 compliant Pre-Feasibility Study ('PFS') prepared by Snowden Mining Industry Consultants Limited ('Snowden'), along with additional groups, provided the base on which the SEIA was prepared. The SEIA was prepared and led by Walm Engenharia e Tecnologia Ambiental (Brazil).
Araguaia Nickel Project
Horizonte Minerals recently announced the results of a Pre-Feasibility study ('PFS') at its flagship Araguaia Nickel Project in Brazil (see press release 25 March 2014), which demonstrates the robust economics of the project which is being advanced towards the Feasibility Stage in H2 2014
Production, which is targeted for 2017, is initially targeting 15,000tpa nickel with a 20% Ferro Nickel product over a 25 year mine life utilising the proven pyrometallurgical process of Rotary Kiln Electric Furnace ('RKEF') technology. At these production rates, the project has a Net Present Value of US$519 million and an Internal Rate of Return of 20%, with a capital cost of US$582 million, which puts this project in the lowest quartile of the cost curve.
The strong project economics of Araguaia are also supported by the high nickel grades, with an average feed grade for the first 10 years of 1.76% Ni, placing the deposit in the upper quartile for grade globally. Furthermore Araguaia is located in the world class mining region with pre-existing infrastructure in place including rail, road, water and power.
About Horizonte Minerals:
Horizonte Minerals plc is an AIM and TSX-listed nickel development company focused in Brazil, which wholly owns the advanced Araguaia nickel laterite project located to the south of the Carajas mineral district of northern Brazil.
The Company is developing Araguaia as the next major nickel mine in Brazil, with targeted production by 2017.
The Project, which has excellent infrastructure in place including rail, road, water and power, has a current NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource of 71.98Mt grading 1.33% Ni (Indicated) and 25.4Mt at 1.21% Ni (Inferred); included in Resources is a Probable Reserve base of 21.2Mt at 1.66%Ni at a 0.95% nickel cut-off.
A Pre-Feasibility Study has been completed which underpins the robust economics of developing a mine with a targeted 15,000tpa nickel in ferro-nickel output with a 20% Fe-Ni product over a 25 year mine life utilising the proven pyrometallurgical process of Rotary Kiln Electric Furnace technology. At these production rates, the project has a post-tax NPV of US$519m at a discount rate of 8% and an IRR of 20%, with a capital cost of US$582m which puts this project in the lowest quartile of the cost curve.
Horizonte has a strong shareholder structure including Teck Resources Limited 42.5%, Henderson Global Investors 15.1%, Anglo Pacific Group 9.2%.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING INFORMATION
Except for statements of historical fact relating to the Company, certain information contained in this press release constitutes "forward-looking information" under Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the potential of the Company's current or future property mineral projects; the success of exploration and mining activities; cost and timing of future exploration, production and development; the estimation of mineral resources and reserves and the ability of the Company to achieve its goals in respect of growing its mineral resources; and the realization of mineral resource and reserve estimates. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking information is based on the reasonable assumptions, estimates, analysis and opinions of management made in light of its experience and its perception of trends, current conditions and expected developments, as well as other factors that management believes to be relevant and reasonable in the circumstances at the date that such statements are made, and are inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to risks related to: exploration and mining risks, competition from competitors with greater capital; the Company's lack of experience with respect to development-stage mining operations; fluctuations in metal prices; uninsured risks; environmental and other regulatory requirements; exploration, mining and other licences; the Company's future payment obligations; potential disputes with respect to the Company's title to, and the area of, its mining concessions; the Company's dependence on its ability to obtain sufficient financing in the future; the Company's dependence on its relationships with third parties; the Company's joint ventures; the potential of currency fluctuations and political or economic instability in countries in which the Company operates; currency exchange fluctuations; the Company's ability to manage its growth effectively; the trading market for the ordinary shares of the Company; uncertainty with respect to the Company's plans to continue to develop its operations and new projects; the Company's dependence on key personnel; possible conflicts of interest of directors and officers of the Company, and various risks associated with the legal and regulatory framework within which the Company operates.
Although management of the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.
SOURCE: Horizonte Minerals plc
For further information: Visit www.horizonteminerals.com or contact: Jeremy Martin, Horizonte Minerals plc, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7763 7157; David Hall, Horizonte Minerals plc, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7763 7157; Joanna Weaving, finnCap Ltd (Corporate Broking), Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 0500; Matthew Robinson, finnCap Ltd (Corporate Finance), Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 0500; Ben Thompson, finnCap Ltd (Corporate Finance), Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 0500; Felicity Edwards, St Brides Media & Finance Ltd (PR), Tel: +44 (0) 20 7236 1177; Lottie Brocklehurst, St Brides Media & Finance Ltd, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7236 1177