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Developing the next major nickel project in Brazil
13/08/2019 Download .pdf version

HORIZONTE ANNOUNCES SIGNIFICANT NEW NICKEL RESOURCE AT THE SERRA DO TAPA DEPOSIT

Horizonte Minerals Plc, (AIM: HZM, TSX: HZM) (‘Horizonte’ or ‘the Company’) the nickel development company focused in Brazil which is developing the Araguaia project as Brazil’s next ferro-nickel mine and the Vermelho nickel cobalt project for the electric vehicle (EV) battery market, is pleased to announce an initial NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate for the Serra do Tapa nickel deposit (Serra do Tapa or the project).

Highlights:

  • The Serra do Tapa Mineral Resources, in the Measured and Indicated category, are 70.3 million tonnes grading 1.22% nickel (at 0.9% nickel cut off);
  • The Company’s 100% owned aggregate Mineral Resource inventory shows a 30% increase in tonnage with the addition of the Serra do Tapa deposit;
  • A significant portion of high grade saprolite within the deposit is amenable to the Rotary Kiln Electric Furnace (RKEF) process route to produce ferro-nickel, potentially providing a further high-grade feed source for the Araguaia project;
  • The Company’s 100% owned Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources now total 280 million tonnes with 3.5 million tonnes (7.6 billion Ibs) of contained nickel and 155 thousand tonnes (3.4 million Ibs) of contained cobalt; and
  • Horizonte now owns one of the world’s largest inventory of undeveloped nickel and cobalt Resources globally, in a mining district with well-developed infrastructure.

Jeremy Martin, Chief Executive of Horizonte, commented, “The release of the new NI 43-101 Mineral Resource covering the Serra do Tapa deposit is another exciting development for the Company and increases our total aggregate nickel resource base by 30%.  The resource is high grade and scalable, using a 1.2% nickel cut-off grade it delivers over 41 million tonnes of Mineral Resource in the Measured and Indicated category grading 1.4% nickel.  The company now has 100% ownership of a nickel district, with over 280 million tonnes of resource (in the measured and indicated category), in one of the largest mining districts in Brazil, the Carajás district, which has good infrastructure, water, energy and skilled labour.  This generates the potential for Horizonte to develop two mining centres within trucking distance of each other, the first, in the south at Araguaia, where we are developing a ferronickel operation to produce around 14,500 tonnes of nickel with the Stage 1 plant expandable to 29,000 tonnes of nickel per year.  The second production centre in the north, at the Vermelho nickel cobalt project which has the capacity to produce 15,000 to 18,000 tonnes per year of nickel and associated cobalt.  Now we have additional high-grade material from the Serra do Tapa deposit which could serve either operation.

Work on Araguaia is focused around advancing the project finance and the recruitment and selection of the project development team as we move towards construction. 

The pre-feasibility study on the Vermelho nickel-cobalt project is at an advanced stage and is currently being finalised.  We aim to announce the PFS to the market later this quarter, providing investors with exposure to the fast-growing electric vehicle battery metals market.

We have seen increases in the nickel price over the last month with LME nickel trading at highs of around US$16,000.  The Base Case and the Stage 2 Expansion Case for the Araguaia Feasibility Study use US$14,000 nickel; however, based on the recent nickel price of $16,000, the project NPV on the Stage 2 Expansion Case is approximately $1 billion with an IRR of 30% generating free cash flow of US$3.5billion.  The demand picture for nickel is robust both from the traditional stainless-steel market and the evolving EV battery market.  Additionally, we are seeing continued draw down in global nickel inventories with the LME levels currently at 142,000 tonnes, the lowest levels for the last 6 years.  Consensus long term nickel price forecasts are currently around US$16,400, these fundamentals are positive for the development of Araguaia and Vermelho.  We look forward to updating the market on progress.”

Further Details

A total of 48,845 metres of diamond drilling (952 holes) were used in the evaluation of the Serra do Tapa deposit and for the development the Mineral Resource Estimates disclosed herein.

Table 1 Combined Classified Mineral Resource Report for Serra do Tapa by Nickel cut-off



Cut-off Ni%

Tonnage

(Mt)

Ni %

Contained Ni (kt)

Co %

Fe%

MgO%

SiO2%

Al2O3%

Measured

0.8

16.5

1.25

206.9

0.05

16.6

18.4

40.9

3.6

0.9

14.3

1.31

187.9

0.05

16.4

18.1

41.3

3.6

1.0

12.1

1.38

167.0

0.05

16.5

17.7

41.6

3.6

1.2

10.0

1.45

144.7

0.05

16.6

17.1

41.9

3.6

Indicated

0.8

71.1

1.12

798.3

0.05

17.0

18.5

40.2

3.8

0.9

56.0

1.2

669.5

0.05

17.0

17.9

40.6

3.8

1.0

43.0

1.27

546.1

0.05

17.1

17.1

41.1

3.9

1.2

31.7

1.35

427.7

0.05

17.3

16.2

41.4

4.0

Measured + Indicated

0.8

87.7

1.15

1,005.1

0.05

16.9

18.5

40.3

3.8

0.9

70.3

1.22

857.4

0.05

16.9

17.9

40.8

3.8

1.0

55.1

1.3

713.1

0.05

17.0

17.3

41.2

3.8

1.2

41.7

1.37

572.5

0.05

17.2

16.4

41.5

3.9

Inferred

0.8

4.0

1.04

41.7

0.06

21.9

13.5

35.6

5.9

0.9

2.7

1.14

30.5

0.06

22.3

12.3

35.9

6.0

1.0

1.9

1.22

22.8

0.06

22.0

11.7

37.0

5.9

1.2

1.3

1.31

16.7

0.06

21.6

11.3

38.0

5.8

Note: Totals in tables may not add due to rounding. Mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of mineral resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, sociopolitical, marketing, or other relevant issues. The quantity and grade of reported Inferred resources in this estimation are uncertain in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to define these Inferred resources as an Indicated or Measured mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in upgrading them to the Indicated or Measured mineral resource category.

Disclosure of the Serra do Tapa Mineral Resource brings the Company’s total disclosed Measured and Indicated nickel laterite Mineral Resources in Brazil to 280 million tonnes (at a 0.9% nickel cut-off) including 3.5 million tonnes of contained nickel, see table 2, below for details:

Table 2 Combined Classified Mineral Resources for Horizonte Minerals at a 0.9% Ni Cut-off

Project

Resource Classification

Material type

Tonnage (MT)

Ni(%)

Contained Ni metal (kt)

Co (%)

Contained Co Metal (kt)

Araguaia

Measured

All

18.2

1.44

261

0.05

9.9

Indicated

All

101.2

1.25

1264

0.06

60.9

Measured+Indicated

All

119.3

1.27

1525

0.06

70.7

Inferred

All

12.9

1.19

154

0.06

7.9

Serra Do Tapa

Measured

All

14.3

1.31

188

0.05

7.1

Indicated

All

56.0

1.20

670

0.05

28.0

Measured+Indicated

All

70.3

1.22

857

0.05

35.1

Inferred

All

2.7

1.14

31

0.06

1.5

Vermelho

Measured

All

87.6

1.23

1,073

0.06

47.5

Indicated

All

2.8

1.18

33

0.06

1.7

Measured+Indicated

All

90.4

1.22

1,107

0.06

49.2

Inferred

All

1.3

1.14

15

0.05

0.6

Totals

Measured

All

120.0

1.27

1,522.4

0.05

64.5

Indicated

All

160.0

1.23

1,964.1

0.06

90.6

Measured+Indicated

All

280.0

1.25

3,486

0.06

155.1

Inferred

All

16.9

1.18

200

0.06

10.1

Note: Totals in tables may not add due to rounding. Mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of mineral resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, sociopolitical, marketing, or other relevant issues. The quantity and grade of reported Inferred resources in this estimation are uncertain in nature and there has been insufficient exploration to define these Inferred resources as an Indicated or Measured mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in upgrading them to the Indicated or Measured mineral resource category.

Horizonte’s 100% owned Serra do Tapa nickel deposit, acquired from Glencore/Xstrata in October 2015, is near the Carajás mining district and approximately 90 kilometres North of the Company’s Araguaia ferro-nickel project.

Nickel cut-off grades and corresponding estimated Mineral Resources at Serra do Tapa are presented in Table 1.  The Mineral Resource is reported by a series of nickel cut-offs. The Mineral Resource was estimated in 2016 by Snowden Mining Industry Consultants using Datamine Studio 3 mining software. 

In accordance with the AIM Note for Mining and Oil and Gas Companies, Horizonte discloses that Mr. Andrew F. Ross, an employee of Snowden, is the qualified person that has reviewed the technical information contained in this announcement. Mr. Ross MSc, is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr. Ross consents to the inclusion of the information in this announcement in the form and context in which it appears.

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.

For further information, visit www.horizonteminerals.com or contact:

Horizonte Minerals plc

Jeremy Martin (CEO) +44 (0) 203 356 2901

Numis Securities Ltd (NOMAD & Joint Broker)

John Prior +44 (0) 207 260 1000

Paul Gillam

Shard Capital (Joint Broker)

Damon Heath +44 (0) 20 186 9952

Erik Woolgar

About Horizonte Minerals:

Horizonte Minerals plc is an AIM and TSX-listed nickel development company focused in Brazil. The Company is developing the Araguaia project, as the next major ferronickel mine in Brazil, and the Vermelho nickel-cobalt project, with the aim of being able to supply nickel and cobalt to the EV battery market. Both projects are 100% owned.

Glossary of technical terms

Mineral Reserves

Mineral Reserves are sub-divided into 2 categories. The highest level of Reserves or the level with the most confidence is the `Proven' category and the lower level of confidence of the Reserves is the `Probable' category. Reserves are distinguished from resources as all of the technical and economic parameters have been applied and the estimated grade and tonnage of the resources should closely approximate the actual results of mining. The guidelines state "Mineral Reserves are inclusive of the diluting material that will be mined in conjunction with the Mineral Reserve and delivered to the treatment plant or equivalent facility." The guidelines also state that, "The term `Mineral Reserve' need not necessarily signify that extraction facilities are in place or operative or that all government approvals have been received. It does signify that there are reasonable expectations of such approvals.

Proven Mineral Reserves

A `Proven Mineral Reserve' is the economically mineable part of a Measured Mineral Resource demonstrated by at least a Preliminary Feasibility Study. This study must include adequate information on mining, processing, metallurgical, economic, and other relevant factors that demonstrate, at the time of reporting, that economic extraction is justified.

Probable Mineral Reserves

A `Probable Mineral Reserve' is the economically mineable part of an Indicated and in some circumstances a Measured Mineral Resource demonstrated by a least a Preliminary Feasibility Study. This study must include adequate information on mining, processing, metallurgical, economic, and other relevant factors that demonstrate, at the time of reporting, that economic extraction can be justified.

Mineral Resources

Mineral Resources are sub-divided into 3 categories depending on the geological confidence. The highest level with the most confidence is the `Measured' category. The next level of confidence is the `Indicated' category and the lowest level, or the resource with the least confidence, is the `Inferred' category.

Indicated Mineral Resource

An `Indicated Mineral Resource' is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity, grade or quality, densities, shape and physical characteristics, can be estimated with a level of confidence sufficient to allow the appropriate application of technical and economic parameters, to support mine planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. The estimate is based on detailed and reliable exploration and testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes that are spaced closely enough for geological and grade continuity to be reasonably assumed.

Measured Mineral Resource

A `Measured Mineral Resource' is that part of a Mineral resource for which quantity, grade or quality, densities, shape and physical characteristics are so well established that they can be estimated with confidence sufficient to allow the appropriate application of technical and economic parameters, to support production planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. The estimate is based on detailed and reliable exploration, sampling and testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes that are spaced closely enough to confirm both geological and grade continuity.

Inferred Mineral Resource

An `Inferred Mineral Resource' is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity and grade or quality can be estimated on the basis of geological evidence and limited sampling and reasonably assumed, but not verified, geological and grade continuity. The estimate is based on limited information and sampling, gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes.

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, the ability of the Company to complete the Acquisition as described herein, 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; the ability of the Company to complete the Placing as described herein, 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: the inability of the Company to complete the Acquisition as described herein, 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, the inability of the Company to complete the Placing on the terms as described herein, 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.








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