The areas within the Project are located 100% within the Pará State, therefore the Project will continue to be permitted by the State Environmental Agency. The Brazilian mine permitting process with environmental agencies has three key stages:
The granting of the LP is often regarded as the most important licence as it outlines the parameters of the Project as agreed upon by all stakeholders and is the only environmental licensing process that requires approval of the State Government Environmental Council. The LP was awarded to Horizonte Minerals for HZMA earlier in 2016.
The Company will now focus on obtaining the LI, which once awarded, in parallel with the mining concession, allows construction to start. The Company will also work in partnership with the State Government of Pará to undertake studies identifying possibilities for use of the slag product from Araguaia and potential local industries, which could benefit from the final ferronickel product.
The objective of the Company’s Sustainability Department in 2016 and 2017 will be to collect new baseline data, particularly for the recently acquired GAP project area, and integrate the environmental and social data for the project, to provide one holistic analysis of combined social and environmental impacts. The Feasibility Study will be conducted to international standards, such as the International Finance Corporations Environmental and Social Performance Standards.