Horizonte Minerals reports new mineral resource estimate for Araguaia Project, Brazil

Jan 10, 2012, 07:00 ET from Horizonte Minerals plc

TORONTO, Jan. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Horizonte Minerals (TSX:HZM, AIM:HZM) ("Horizonte" or "the Company") the AIM and TSX quoted exploration and development company focused on Brazil, is pleased to announce the completion of a new National Instrument 43-101 ('NI 43-101')/JORC compliant Mineral Resource Estimate for its 100% owned Araguaia Nickel Project in Brazil ('Araguaia').


  • Indicated Resource of 39.3 million tonnes grading 1.39% nickel ('Ni') using 0.95% Ni cut-off;
  • Inferred Resource of 60.9 million tonnes averaging 1.22% Ni using 0.95% Ni cut-off;
  • High grade zones defined in the Indicated category at a 1.20% Ni cut-off grade total 24.2 million tonnes averaging 1.6% Ni - important for the economics of early mine production;
  • Work on the Preliminary Economic Assessment ('PEA') on target for delivery mid-H1 2012;
  • Initial metallurgical test work results due Q1 2012 to determine ore characteristics;
  • Asset located in recognised producing Ni region with established infrastructure.

Jeremy Martin C.E.O. of Horizonte said, "This is excellent news for the Company and we are delighted that our target tonnage has been achieved with this new resource estimate at Araguaia.  We have converted 39% of the resource to the Indicated category and demonstrated the existence of higher grade zones which are vital for early mine life economics, as shown by the current Indicated Resource of 24.2Mt grading 1.6% Ni using a 1.2% cut-off.

"We believe that the updated resource places Araguaia in the upper quartile of developing global nickel assets in terms of size and grade.  Further drilling is planned to convert additional material into the Measured and Indicated Resource categories once the Company has completed the PEA, its next milestone, which will give a range of project economics.  We have a strong cash position and project development team, as well as support from a major mining partner which will enable us to drive the Araguaia project forward, significantly adding to the value of the Company. This is, therefore, a great start to 2012 for the Horizonte."

Further Details

The mineral resource estimate is effective January 10, 2012 and is based on 1,087 boreholes for a total of 25,773 metres and includes targets within the North, Centre, Pequizeiro, Baião and Lontra sectors of the greater Araguaia project.  Marc-Antoine Audet Géologue Consultant Inc. carried out the resource modelling.  Significant portions of the Mineral Resource, in particular from the Pequizeiro and Baião targets, have been raised to the Indicated category. The Mineral Resources include estimates from the Vila Oito West and Lontra zones not included in the previous resource estimate, dated March 2010.  The model integrates the concept of geological horizons (limonite, transition and saprolite) to create a 3D block model. Estimation was conducted in unwrinkled space using Gemcom software with Ordinary Kriging as the interpolation method where drilling coverage allowed (generally 100 metre x 100 metre hole spacing or closer on the Pequizeiro, Pequizeiro West and Baião targets) otherwise using Inverse Distance at the Power of 2 (ID2).  Mineral Resources are reported using a range of Ni cut-off grades (Table 1) and detailed by geological host at a 0.95% Ni cut-off (Table 2).

Category Cut-off Tonnage Contained Ni Co Fe MgO SiO2 Al2O3 Cr2O3
  (% Ni) (Mt) Ni (Kt) % % % % % % %
Indicated 0.70% 60.9 725 1.19 0.061 19.49 15.91 35.87 6.06 0.55
  0.80% 51.8 656 1.27 0.060 19.35 15.70 36.29 5.91 0.57
  0.90% 43.3 584 1.35 0.061 19.22 15.39 36.77 5.81 0.60
  0.95% 39.3 548 1.39 0.061 19.10 15.28 37.07 5.74 0.61
  1.00% 36.0 515 1.43 0.061 19.01 15.14 37.32 5.70 0.63
  1.10% 29.7 450 1.51 0.061 18.73 14.90 37.90 5.63 0.66
  1.20% 24.2 386 1.60 0.061 18.34 14.72 38.57 5.57 0.71
Inferred 0.70% 114.1 1179 1.03 0.057 19.68 15.98 38.33 5.44 0.53
  0.80% 84.6 935 1.11 0.057 19.09 16.04 37.90 5.19 0.48
  0.90% 70.4 832 1.18 0.057 19.80 15.43 37.17 5.28 0.50
  0.95% 60.9 743 1.22 0.058 19.83 15.26 37.27 5.25 0.50
  1.00% 53.0 667 1.26 0.058 19.71 15.21 37.51 5.19 0.49
  1.10% 38.2 512 1.34 0.058 19.50 15.16 37.90 5.07 0.48
  1.20% 26.0 373 1.43 0.059 19.21 14.96 38.59 4.93 0.44
Inferred 1.30% 37.1 596 1.60 0.061 18.43 14.62 39.20 5.22 0.60
  1.40% 27.2 457 1.68 0.067 19.40 13.29 38.35 5.80 0.71
  1.50% 19.7 353 1.80 0.064 17.97 13.96 40.01 5.39 0.71
  2.00% 3.7 85 2.27 0.069 16.90 14.16 39.57 6.08 0.85

Table 1: Mineral Resources at a Range of Nickel Cut-off Grades

Category Material
Tonnage Nickel Ni Co Fe MgO SiO2 Al2O3 Cr2O3
  (Mt) (Kt) % % % % % % %
Indicated Limonite 7.8 96 1.22 0.118 35.54 4.11 19.04 9.88 0.49
  Transition 13.3 205 1.54 0.062 18.83 12.39 40.72 5.53 0.66
  Saprolite 18.1 246 1.36 0.035 12.19 22.24 42.18 4.11 0.63
  Sub-Total 39.3 548 1.39 0.061 19.10 15.28 37.07 5.74 0.61
Inferred Limonite 13.5 154 1.23 0.130 35.67 3.41 20.7 9.5 2.55
  Transition 21.3 279 1.47 0.060 18.75 13.34 41.04 5.18 1.32
  Saprolite 26.2 312 1.28 0.040 12.09 23.42 42.24 3.82 0.85
  Sub-Total 60.9 744 1.22 0.058 19.81 15.27 37.30 5.25 0.50

Table 2:  Mineral Resources at 0.95% Nickel Cut-off Detailed by Geological Host

Details of Mineral Resource estimation methods, parameters and assumptions used for this update will be described in a NI 43-101 technical report, which will be released and filed on SEDAR.  A summary is provided below:

  • Mineral Resources which are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
  • The estimate of Mineral Resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing, or other relevant issues.
  • Reported Mineral Resources have been rounded and this may result in minor discrepancies.
  • The most likely cut-off grade for this deposit is not known and will need to be confirmed by the appropriate economic studies.
  • The majority of the samples were crushed and pulverised at the SGS laboratory in Goiania and the resultant pulps analysed at SGS laboratory in Belo Horizonte using tetraborate fusion X-Ray Fluorescence ('XRF').
  • Full quality assurance and quality control ("QA/QC') procedures were implemented, including insertion of standards, duplicates and blanks.
  • Check (umpire) samples representing approximately 5% of the mineralised samples were analysed by ACME laboratories in Vancouver using XRF.
  • Bulk density factors ('BDF') were measured from core samples and in excess of 7,600 determinations were used in the Resource estimation.
  • A mineral resource confidence classification scheme has been applied for reporting the estimates that reflects the requirements of NI 43-101, and the CIM Definition Standards.

The data was validated and the Mineral Resource Estimates were prepared by Marc-Antoine Audet P. Geo., Ph.D, an independent Qualified Person as defined in NI 43-101.

About Horizonte

Horizonte Minerals Plc is an AIM quoted exploration and development company with a portfolio of nickel and gold projects in the Carajas District of Brazil.  The Company is focused on creating value by generating and rapidly advancing exploration projects in tandem with joint ventures with major mining companies, providing mid-term cash flow which is then used to develop the business and pipeline projects.

Horizonte has two committed major mining partners: Teck Resources Limited, a major strategic shareholder in the Company, and AngloGold Ashanti Limited, a JV partner on the gold portfolio.

Horizonte owns 100 per cent of the advanced Araguaia nickel project located to the south of the Carajas mineral district of northern Brazil; the project has the potential to deliver a resource with size and grades comparable to other world-class projects in northern Brazil

Horizonte is well funded to accelerate the development of its core projects.

Except for statements of historical fact relating to the Company, certain information contained in this press release constitutes "forward-looking information" under Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the potential of the Company's current or future mineral projects; the success of exploration and mining activities; and cost and timing of future exploration, production and development.. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". In addition, statements relating to "mineral reserves" or "mineral resources" are deemed to be forward-looking statements, as they involve the implied assessment, based on certain estimates and assumptions, that the mineral resources and mineral reserves described can be profitably mined in the future. Forward-looking information is based on the reasonable assumptions, estimates, analysis and opinions of management made in light of its experience and its perception of trends, current conditions and expected developments, as well as other factors that management believes to be relevant and reasonable in the circumstances at the date that such statements are made, and are inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to risks related to: exploration and mining risks, competition from competitors with greater capital; the Company's lack of experience with respect to development-stage mining operations; fluctuations in metal prices; uninsured risks; environmental and other regulatory requirements; exploration, mining and other licences; the Company's future payment obligations; potential disputes with respect to the Company's title to, and the area of, its mining concessions; the Company's dependence on its ability to obtain sufficient financing in the future; the Company's dependence on its relationships with third parties; the Company's joint ventures; the potential of currency fluctuations and political or economic instability  in countries in which the Company operates; currency exchange fluctuations; the Company's ability to manage its growth effectively; the trading market for the ordinary shares of the Company; uncertainty with respect to the Company's plans to continue to develop its operations and new projects; the Company's dependence on key personnel; possible conflicts of interest of directors and officers of the Company, and various risks associated with the legal and regulatory framework within which the Company operates.

Although management of the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

SOURCE Horizonte Minerals plc