The Brazilian project, when ramped up fully with Line 1 and Line 2, is estimated to produce 29,000 tonnes of nickel per annum

Araguaia Line 1 construction

Construction in progress at the Araguaia nickel project in Brazil. (Credit: Horizonte Minerals)

Horizonte Minerals said that the construction of Line 1 of its fully-owned Araguaia nickel project in Brazil continues to be on budget and on schedule to enable the start of production in the first quarter of 2024.

Construction on the project located in the Pará State began in May 2022.

Horizonte Minerals has completed around half of the Araguaia Line 1 construction programme, as of 30 March 2023. Nearly 90% of capital expenditure had been awarded, which comes to around $485m, said the company.

According to the UK-based nickel development company, earthworks have been wrapped up and electro-mechanical installations are progressing, while detailed engineering works are at 95% maturity.

The key long lead items continue to be on schedule for delivery to the site, with the rotary kiln and dryer in Brazil presently en route to the site, said the company.

Additionally, Horizonte Minerals has completed the grade control drilling campaign with the data used for the short-term mining planning and the start of pre-stripping activities on the main Pequizeiro pit. Ore stockpiling is expected to commence in the third quarter of this year.

The nickel development firm also said that the feasibility study for Araguaia Line 2 is anticipated to be published in the second half of 2023.

The Araguaia project, when ramped up fully with Line 1 and Line 2, is estimated to produce 29,000 tonnes of nickel per annum.

Horizonte Minerals CEO Jeremy Martin said: “We are pleased to confirm we remain on-schedule for first metal at Araguaia targeting Q1 2024, most importantly with a strong safety culture installed across the project. There is currently a key focus on operational readiness as we build out the operational team and establish the systems, processes and training required for the start-up phase.

“Alongside the construction progress at Araguaia Line 1, with the award of the Line 2 Feasibility Study contracts, we are one step closer to delivering on this low capex project that will double nickel production.”