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.