TORONTO, May 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Horizonte Minerals Plc, (AIM: HZM,TSX: HZM) ('Horizonte' or 'the Company') the nickel development company focused in Brazil, announces that it has today published its unaudited financial results for the three month period to 31 March 2014 and the Management Discussion and Analysis for the same period.
- Completed NI 43-101 compliant Pre-Feasibility Study, as announced on March 25th 2014, proving robust economics of its 100% owned Araguaia Nickel Project in Brazil as a leading high grade nickel development project based on a proven and low risk pyro-metallurgical process using Rotary Kiln Electric Furnace technology ('RKEF')
- Post tax NPV8 of US$519 million and 20% IRR based on 900ktpa single line, 15,000tpa nickel ('Ni') in ferronickel ('Fe-Ni') product over 25 year life of mine ('LOM') (Base Case - preferred route)
- Post tax NPV8 of US$1,204 billion and 21% IRR based on 2.7Mtpa twin line plant ('Option')
- Low cost operation - C1 cash costs of US$4.16/Ib (US$9,166/t) over LOM (first quartile of cost curve)
- Significant free cash flow generation - projected generation of US$1,766 billion post tax over the 25 year LOM
- High Grade - 1.76% Ni average feed grade for the first 10 years of production (Base Case)
- Flexibility to ramp up production - substantial NI 43-101 Resource base consisting of 71.98Mt grading 1.33% Ni (Indicated) and 25.35Mt at 1.21% Ni (Inferred) allows operational flexibility
- Araguaia is ideally located in an established mining district, which offers good road and rail networks with accessible transportation routes to port, access to low cost hydroelectric power and support from regional authorities
The Company's near term focus at Araguaia is to:
- Advance and secure regulatory approval for the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment ('SEIA')
- Undertake large scale continuous pilot plant tests on Araguaia ore with the aim of further de-risking the project and optimising the RKEF process flow sheet
- Advance the project into the Feasibility Stage in H2 2014
- Highly positive nickel market fundamentals, with the implementation of the Indonesian nickel ore ban the nickel price has increased c.33% in 2014 from US$13,200/t in January to current levels around US$18,000/t – making it the best performing metal year to date
Commenting Jeremy Martin CEO "With the recent Indonesian ban on untreated ore exports, the current market fundamentals underpinning nickel are exceptionally strong. As such the nickel price has increased by c.33% since the beginning of the year and indeed it is the best performing metal of the year to date. Importantly nickel forecasts also look favourable as a number of market commentators predict higher nickel prices for late 2014 and beyond in order to force demand in line with supply. Notably Macquarie state that the nickel price could reach US$20,000/t by the end of 2014 and BoA Merrill Lynch forecast the nickel price reaching US$25,000/t by early 2015.
"The rise in the nickel price towards the 10 year historic average supports the excellent economics of our Araguaia project as demonstrated by the recently completed Pre-Feasibility Study. Araguaia is one of the few advanced nickel projects suitable to use the proven RKEF process technology to produce ferronickel in the market place today placing it in a strong position. We look forward to continuing to advance Araguaia towards the Feasibility Study stage as we further de-risk and add confidence to the project economics in line with the increasing nickel price, resulting in added value for shareholders."
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 potential 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 NPV of US$519m at a 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 is well funded and 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; 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