Horizonte Minerals, a nickel development company focused in Brazil, has awarded the earthworks contract for the construction of its 100%-owned Araguaia ferronickel project to Copa Construção SA.
Copa is a leading Brazilian company with extensive experience in mining projects and civil infrastructure, ranging from roads, viaducts, hydroelectric power plants, ports, airports and transmission lines, Horizonte explained. Copa has a portfolio of more than 2,500 cu.m of concrete installed throughout the country and has a quality management certification.
Awarding the earthworks contract is an important step in the construction of Araguaia. The scope of the contract incorporates the process plant and supporting infrastructure components of the bulk earthworks for the ferronickel plant. The contract scope is designed to ensure the site is ready for the civil construction works on completion, and will see Copa levelling the main plant area, creating a series of stepped plateaus that will support the key process equipment packages and buildings, installing initial drainage facilities, as well as the main ramp and crusher platform.
CEO of Horizonte, Jeremy Martin, said: “We are delighted to welcome Copa as a key partner for the construction of our Araguaia Project. With Copa’s strong track record of successfully delivering infrastructure projects across the country, signing this contract enables us to commence construction at the beginning of the dry season this quarter as planned.
“This is another important milestone in our 24-month project construction timeline, with next steps being the award of the civil works, 230 kV powerline and electromechanical construction contracts. We look forward to keeping the market updated on developments at site.”
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.