08 Nov Brazilian Nickel PLC – Q3 2021 Update
Brazilian Nickel PLC – Q3 2021 Update
Q3 2021 Update
Brazilian Nickel PLC (“BRN” or the “Company”), the privately held UK company developing its nickel laterite heap leach project in Brazil, is pleased to provide an update on its operations at the Piauí Nickel Project (“PNP” or the “Project”), for the quarter ended 30th September 2021 (the “Quarter”).
- In the Quarter, the Company successfully completed a financing of US$24.8 million with TechMet Limited and Resource Capital Fund VII (“RCF”). The funds will be used to complete construction and ramp-up to full operation at PNP1000, as well as for the business development and other corporate plans.
- Following the completion of the funding, Calum Semple was welcomed as RCF’s nominated Investor Director and BRN board member.
- The position of President of Piauí Niquel Metais, BRN’s local subsidiary, has been filled by Mr Guilherme Jácome. Mr Jácome’s responsibilities will be managing the Piauí Nickel Project in Brazil and all in-country support services and local business developments
PNP (Full Scale)
- The bankable feasibility study (“BFS”), being carried out by SNC-Lavalin (“SNCL”), is approximately 75% complete.
- At the start of the Quarter, there was a delay in activities as a result of slow responses from the electrical authorities and certain equipment vendors. However, the time lost in the delay has been regained, and SNCL remain on track to complete their initial work at the end of this year. The final BFS will be issued at the end of Q1 2022.
- The main activities completed during the Quarter include architectural, mechanical, electrical and piping designs, along with procurement enquires and evaluation of received bids and completion of the 3D model.
- An update to the Environmental, Social, Health and Safety & Security (“ESHS”) system is under final review.
- Off-take discussions continue to progress with various parties with preparations for product marketing ramping up.
- Substantial progress has been made with regards to the construction of the PNP1000, which was almost 60% complete at the quarter end, and remains on target for first nickel towards the end of Q2 next year.
- Significant progress includes the completion of earthworks at the leach pad where the geomembrane has also been laid.
- All imported equipment for the precipitation plant has either arrived at site or is enroute.
- The earthworks for the environmental controls in the mine area started in September and the support infrastructure is being defined and will begin to be installed in Q4.
- The crushers and conveyors are under fabrication, maintenance and refurbishment, they are expected to be installed by the end of 2021
- Progress at the production plant continues, including designs of the new structures and the completion of the foundations and concrete works for the reactor tanks and thickeners.
- The civil works for the filters’ structure is nearing completion as BRN awaits the arrival of the filters at site.
- In the Quarter, work commenced on the power supply system upgrade and continues as planned.
Environment, Social and Governance
- At the end of the Quarter, employees and contractors who had previously received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, received their second dose. There were no active Covid-19 cases recorded at the end of September.
- Waste management programmes continued with the donation of just under four tonnes of food waste provided to the local community for livestock feed. Additionally, 1.62 tonnes of plastic and paper and 5.08 tonnes of metal scrap were sent to be recycled.
- In the Quarter, independent air and noise quality monitoring campaigns began which will be undertaken quarterly with satisfactory results in compliance with the Brazilian norms’ limits.
- BRN finalised the improvement and installation of the road safety signs on the access road and increased water sprinkling to minimise dust generation.
- Over the Quarter, 17 new employees were hired with the number of full-time employees standing at 101 by Quarter end. This included senior operations personnel, the operations manager, a process coordinator, a process engineer, a mine supervisor, a maintenance supervisor and organizational development manager.
- BRN continues to strengthen its partnerships with the local community and authorities, carrying out meetings and field assessment talks.
Mike Oxley, Chief Executive Officer, said: “It has been another progressive quarter for the development and construction of the PNP1000 and for the BFS for the full-scale PNP project. We have completed over two thirds of the construction of the PNP1000, with first nickel expected in the second quarter of next year. As we move closer to this milestone, our focus on organisational development and operational readiness increases.”
“Significant achievements during the Quarter included the completion of the PNP 1000 leach pad earthworks, the installation of the geomembrane, and the successful equity financing of US$24.8 million from TechMet and RCF.”
“Additionally, in the Quarter, the Company continued its Covid-19 vaccination programme, vaccinating all employees, and continued to strengthen its community relationships through various social programmes.”
“With nickel and cobalt being vital metals required for the clean energy transition, currently being highlighted by the COP26 conference in the UK, demand for these metals is increasing, with end customers looking to secure supply. This is evident with the commitments from Toyota to spend US$13.5 billion by 2030 to develop batteries and its supply system, Ford and SK investing US$11 billion in three battery factories, and the construction of Hyundai and LG’s electric vehicle battery cell plant in Indonesia. This creates an attractive market for our metals as we look to commence production later next year.”
“Lastly, I would like to give a warm welcome to Guilherme, the newly appointed President of Piauí Niquel Metais and Calum, our new non-executive BRN board member. Myself and the Team look forward to working alongside Calum and Guilherme and know that the progress at the PNP will benefit from their extensive experience in developing mining projects.”
About Brazilian Nickel PLC
BRN is a privately held UK company established in May 2013 to develop nickel laterite heap leach projects worldwide, beginning with its flagship Project in Brazil. The BRN team are all highly experienced mining industry professionals with extensive experience in Latin America and worldwide. The team has been developing and commercialising the heap leaching of nickel laterites for over 20 years with a view to building a world class nickel and cobalt producing company.
BRN aims to provide long-term benefits through continuous improvements in health, safety and environmental performance, sharing the benefits of our activities with the communities within which we operate. BRN will achieve this by targeting zero harm to our employees, leaving a positive legacy in the community, conserving and where possible enhancing the natural environment, respecting and protecting the rights of employees and host communities, while doing business responsibly and transparently.
About the Piauí Nickel Project
The Piauí Nickel Project is an advanced-staged Battery Metals project with a JORC resource of 72 million tonnes at 1.0% Ni and 0.05% Co, with 73% of the resource in the JORC Measured category. All metallurgical test work in support of a BFS is complete and the key environmental permits (Licenças Previas) have been awarded. The project envisages near-term production of nickel hydroxide product and a cobalt hydroxide product to supply the surge in demand for these metals in, among others, electric vehicle batteries. The small scale PNP 1000 project will quick-start operations by expanding the existing demonstration plant at the site, and will allow BRN to benefit from today’s increasingly strong nickel prices.
For more information please visit the company website at www.braziliannickel.com, as well as following the company on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Contact: [email protected]
Blytheweigh – Tim Blythe / Megan Ray – Tel: +44 (0) 20 7138 3205