Tag Archives: ferronickel

Horizonte Minerals appoints MIP/Milpan as electro-mechanical contractor for Araguaia

Horizonte Minerals Plc has selected MIP Engenharia & Milplan Engenharia to provide the electro-mechanical installation services at its 100%-owned Araguaia nickel project in Brazil.

Following a competitive tender process that involved the leading industrial construction companies active in the mining sector, MIP/Milpan was selected as the preferred provider, Horizonte said.

“MIP/Milpan has a strong track record and importantly, prior rotary kiln-electric furnace (RKEF) experience from Vale’s Onça Puma mine, a ferronickel mine with a similar processing flowsheet to Araguaia, and a number of other major mining projects in the Carajas region,” Horizonte said. “MIP/Milpan is well placed to be able to provide access to a skilled workforce, which can be redeployed from projects that are being completed elsewhere in Pará, Brazil, further de-risking Araguaia’s development schedule.”

Horizonte says mobilisation of the MIP/Milpan workforce is already underway to begin furnace assembly activities on site at Araguaia, with the contract award taking the level of committed spend to over $400 million as part of the project’s development.

Jeremy Martin, CEO of Horizonte Minerals, said: “MIP/Milplan have a proven track record of successfully delivering large projects in Brazil and across the mining sector, in particular a wealth of experience at a similar ferronickel project, having worked on Vale’s Onça Puma ferronickel mine.

“This is another important step forward in the construction of Araguaia, further de-risking the project’s timeline, which remains on schedule for first nickel in Q1 (March quarter) 2024. With the award of every new contract, we take a step closer to our objective of becoming a global leader in primary nickel production.”

The Araguaia project comprises an open-pit nickel laterite mining operation that delivers ore from a number of pits to a central 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.

Copa receives second major contract at Horizonte’s Araguaia nickel project

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.

FLSmidth, Metso Outotec, UHT and Inteco awarded Horizonte Araguaia nickel work

Horizonte Minerals says it has awarded all major and long-lead-time process plant equipment contracts for its flagship Araguaia nickel project in Brazil, with FLSmidth, Metso Outotec, Uvån Hagfors Teknologi AB (UHT) and Inteco Melting and Casting Technologies GMBH named as recipients.

Following completion of the competitive tender processes and detailed negotiations, the company has now secured equipment supply and technical support services for the balance of the Araguaia process flowsheet from these leading suppliers, it said. This is in line with the strategy employed for the award of the furnace contract to Hatch Ltd earlier this year.

“The successful completion of these contract awards is a significant de-risking event for the project,” it said. “Importantly it provides more certainty on costs for a material portion of the overall capital expenditure and builds confidence in the project schedule by gaining commitments for the delivery of key equipment on site in the timeframe required.”

To date, the company has awarded contracts totalling $293 million (including the $135 million of process equipment noted above) on budget and on time, according to CEO Jeremy Martin.

The rotary kiln, rotary dryer and associated dust handling equipment supply contract has been awarded to FLSmidth. FLSmidth, Horizonte says, is a market-leading supplier of engineering, equipment, and service solutions, particularly to the ferronickel industry, notably to Anglo American’s Barro Alto and Vale’s Onca Puma nickel operations in Brazil. FLSmidth has a strong track record of providing equipment and technical support services, with extensive experience in processing ore with characteristics similar to Araguaia, it said.

The ore preparation equipment contract involves the provision of primary, secondary and tertiary crushing, as well as the apron feeder that feeds the dryer. A primary dust control system for the reduction and refinery furnace, in addition to the secondary dust removal system, will also be supplied. This contract has been awarded to Metso Outotec, a leader in end-to-end solutions and services for the minerals processing and metals refining industries. Metso Outotec, Horizonte says, has extensive experience in providing equipment for the mining industry, including for operations worldwide with similar processing plants. It has a substantial presence in Brazil to provide ongoing technical support.

Horizonte has also awarded a contract for the supply of metal granulation equipment to UHT and a contract for the supply of the refinery equipment package to Inteco, which will transform the crude ferronickel produced by the electric arc furnace to high grade ferronickel for sale to customers.

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.

South32’s Cerro Matoso ferronickel operation welcomes electric buses

South32’s Cerro Matoso ferronickel operation in northern Colombia says it is leading the way in eco-friendly transport with the introduction of an electric bus fleet.

Twelve new buses are being used to transport workers between the town of Montelíbano and the operation, with Cerro Matoso working with its bus contractor, Amtur, to phase out its diesel-powered fleet. The electric buses are expected to reduce emissions and noise levels.

The new buses were launched at an event attended by dignitaries including the Colombian Minister of Mines and Energy, Diego Mesa, Vice Minister of Mines, Sandra Sandoval, and the Governor of Córdoba, Orlando Benítez.

Horizonte granted construction permit for Araguaia nickel project in Brazil

Horizonte Minerals has been awarded the construction licence for the development of its 100%-owned Araguaia ferronickel project in Brazil.

The award of the licence, called Licença de Instalação (LI) in Portuguese, was granted by SEMAS, the Brazilian Pará State Environmental Agency. It allows the London- and Toronto-listed company to construct the rotary kiln electric furnace (RKEF), processing plant and associated infrastructure, the company said.

Receipt of the permit follows release of the feasibility study (FS) in October 2018. This study envisaged a $443 million project able to produce an average of 14,500 t/y of contained nickel, within some 52,000 t of ferronickel. It also showed the potential for a doubling of production capacity to 29,000 t/y.

Jeremy Martin, CEO of Horizonte, said: “I am very pleased to announce the award of the LI for Araguaia as this is a major milestone for the company. Subject to funding, the company is now in a position to commence construction with the necessary environmental permits approved, including water abstraction permits issued in 2018 together with the newly issued LI.

“The LI award follows on closely from the completion of the FS, demonstrating that Araguaia is a Tier 1 asset with the potential to be a low-cost supplier of nickel in the form of high-grade ferronickel to the stainless-steel industry. Over the initial 28-year mine life, Araguaia is expected to generate cash flows after taxation of $1.6 billion and sits on the lower half of the global cost curve.”

Araguaia is in the southeast of the Brazilian state of Pará, some 760 km south of the state capital Belém. The project comprises an open-pit nickel laterite mining operation that mines 27.5 Mt of reserves over the mine life. The metallurgical process comprises a single line RKEF to extract ferronickel from the laterite ore.

The RKEF plant and project infrastructure will be constructed over a 31-month period. After an initial ramp-up period, the plant is expected to reach full capacity of approximately 900,000 t/y of dry ore feed.