10 Feb Brazilian Nickel PLC – Q4 2021 Update
Brazilian Nickel PLC – Q4 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 31st December 2021 (the “Quarter”).
PNP (Full Scale)
- The bankable feasibility study (“BFS”), being carried out by SNC-Lavalin (“SNCL”), is nearing completion with value engineering now underway which will be completed in the first quarter of 2022.
- The study remains on track to be completed as planned.
- Early off-take discussions continue to progress with various major groups with the aim of securing significant contributions towards funding BRN’s full-scale project.
- Substantial progress has been made with the construction of the PNP1000, which was almost 81% complete at the Quarter end and remains on target for first nickel towards the end of Q2 2022.
- The Company’s Brazilian subsidiary was awarded the Operating Licence for the PNP1000 in the Quarter which represents another significant milestone.
- Additional milestones achieved include completion of all geomembrane installation, substantial completion of earthworks across all areas, the installation of the primary and secondary crushers and the delivery of all the conveyors with installation of these now commencing.
- At the production plant, the thickeners’ tanks installation continues as planned and a detailed plan to complete the concrete works of the new plant containment area will commence next month.
- Construction activities were significantly reduced to allow a 10 day break for the end of the year to all personnel from outside the project area. Construction is now focussed on equipment installation and connection of the upgraded power supply, and well drilling for the water supply, to re-commence in January 2022.
- The open-pit mine area was handed over to the new operations team, with mining to commence in early 2022.
Environment, Social and Governance
- At the end of the Quarter, 100% of BRN employees had received both of their doses of the Covid-19 vaccination.
- Over the Quarter, eight new employees were hired with the number of full-time employees standing at 105 by 2021 year-end. These numbers remained above target in terms of local employment.
- Waste management programmes continued with the donation of 1.6 tonnes of food waste provided to the local community for livestock feed. Additionally, 5.7 tonnes of plastic and paper and 7.0 tonnes of metal scrap were sent to be recycled.
- Meetings were held with key local stakeholders and leaders to instigate a training course enrolment scheme to be offered to 120 local participants, of which up to 80 will be hired for PNP1000 operations.
- Over the Quarter, there was one Lost Time Injury. The employee involved in the accident is making a good recovery and BRN is supporting the individual and their family.
- 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: “As we enter the final stages of the completion of both the bankable feasibility study for the Full Scale PNP, and construction at the PNP1000, we are starting what is set to be a pivotal year for BRN, during which we expect to successfully achieve multiple significant milestones, including first nickel production.
The final quarter of 2021 has set us up nicely, having made considerable progress in all of our business areas, and most notably on our BFS, which is expected to be completed on time by the start of the second quarter of 2022. The awarding of the Operating Licence for the PNP1000 in the Quarter represented another milestone and allows us to move forward with the PNP1000 with even more confidence.
The Company’s Covid-19 vaccination programme also continued into the Quarter, with 100% of the Brazilian Nickel workforce at the Project now double vaccinated. We kept up our community engagement responsibilities in the Quarter with a number of meetings, and the strengthening of relationships through various social programmes, including the training scheme for local residents, from which the Company intends hiring for the PNP1000 operations.
Elsewhere, the start of 2022 has seen nickel enjoy an encouraging run to its highest price in 10 years, buoyed by both reported and predicted electric vehicle production and sales, depleted LME and Shanghai stocks of nickel metal and sustained demand by manufacturers of stainless steel. The research agency Fitch Solutions expects nickel output to likely reach 3.8 million tonnes in 2030, up from 2.6 million tonnes in 2020, in order to meet the electrification driven demand. Cobalt also continues on an upward trajectory this year, having doubled in price from 2021 lows, due to its common market fundamentals with nickel, and growing appetite for these metals which is pivotal to the “green” revolution.
As always, thank you to all of our stakeholders for their continued support, and we look forward to keeping everyone updated in what promises to be an exciting year for everyone at Brazilian Nickel.”
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]
Tim Blythe / Megan Ray
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7138 3205