Horizonte Minerals has awarded the industrial civil works contract for the construction of its 100%-owned Araguaia nickel project, in Brazil, to Companhia Paranaense de Construção S.A. (Copa).
Copa is a leading Brazilian construction company with extensive experience in mining projects and civil infrastructure, according to Horizonte. It was also awarded the earthworks services contract at the project earlier this year, demonstrating a safe and reliable operating performance at the project to date, with a track record of creating employment opportunities for local community members, Horizonte said. All its contracted services have been delivered ahead of schedule.
Copa’s track record is complemented by its extensive experience in delivering civil construction projects for several large mining and industrial clients across Brazil. These projects range from roads, viaducts, hydroelectric power plants, ports, dams and industrial plants. In total the company has installed a portfolio of more than 2.5 billion cu.m of concrete throughout Brazil and all with the requisite quality management certification, Horizonte says.
The award of the industrial civil works contract is another important step in the construction of Araguaia. The scope of the contract incorporates the supply and installation of the process plant foundations and related civil works for the supporting infrastructure.
The contract scope has been designed to leverage Copa’s reduced mobilisation requirements and familiarity with the project. This will assist to accelerate the installation of the foundations for the furnace allowing commencement of furnace shell installation during the December quarter, Horizonte says.
The civils package will also see Copa undertaking the installation of all engineered and concrete structures for the processing facility, including piling, structural foundations, concrete slabs and bolted connections to enable process equipment to be directly installed.
Jeremy Martin, CEO of Horizonte, said: “The extension of our relationship with Copa, as a partner in the development of Araguaia, is another key milestone in the project’s construction schedule. With Copa’s strong track record of successfully delivering infrastructure and mining projects across Brazil, as well as the safe and effective delivery of our earthworks contract at Araguaia, the award of this contract enables us to continue Araguaia’s progress with confidence.”
The Araguaia project comprises an open-pit nickel laterite mining operation that delivers ore from a number of pits to a central rotary kiln electric furnace (RKEF) metallurgical processing facility. The metallurgical process comprises a single line RKEF to extract FeNi from the ore. After an initial ramp-up period, the plant will reach a full capacity of approximately 900,000 t/y of dry ore feed to produce 52,000 t of ferronickel, in turn containing 14,500 t/y of nickel. The FeNi product will be transported by road to the port of Vila do Conde in the north of the State for sale to overseas customers.