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Developing the next major nickel project in Brazil


The emergence of electric vehicles (EVs) is set to revolutionise the world of transportation and coincidentally, transform the nickel market.

The number of EVs is set to increase from 3 million today to approximately 30 million by 2030 (consensus forecast), which will require approximately 1.23 million tonnes of new nickel, and over a 50% increase on current global nickel consumption (~2.2Mt).

The lithium is two percent of the cell mass [in our batteries]. So it's like salt in the salad; it's a very small amount of the cell mass and a fairly small amount of the cost. But it sounds like it's big because it's called 'lithium ion,' but really, our battery should be called 'nickel graphite,' because it's mostly nickel and graphite."

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla.

Disrupting forces are imminent for the nickel market, with lithium-ion batteries production increasing and producers turning to the NCM 811 battery, which contains 80% nickel, 10% cobalt and 10% manganese.

According to Bloomberg, EV battery and carmakers, such as Tesla, are concerned about the nickel supply chain. The demand for high purity nickel is due to outstrip supply within the next five years. Horizonte believes this surge in demand for Class 1 nickel could lead to significant price rises in the nickel commodity over the next 5-10 years.

NCM 811 battery for electric vehicle EV market includes chemistry containing 80% nickel, 10% cobalt, 10% manganese

Reuters Beijing reported late April 2019 that China’s CATL had started mass production of high-nickel batteries (80% nickel).

Horizonte’s Vermelho nickel cobalt project is being developed to feed into the EV battery market. One of the largest nickel resources of its kind, Horizonte acquired the Vermelho project from Vale in 2017, and we estimate a historical spend of over $100M was made in the project by Vale. Horizonte’s own test-work undertaken on Vermelho confirmed the resources suitability to produce an end-product suitable for EV battery producers.

The Company has completed a Pre-Feasibility Study on Vermelho, which shows it to be economically robust and therefore an obvious source of future nickel sulphate supply as demand increases.

Reuters Beijing

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