Base metals miner Horizonte Minerals has appointed global consultancy Ramboll to undertake the environmental- and social-impact assessment (Esia) for the Vermelho nickel/cobalt project, in Brazil.
With about 300 offices worldwide, Ramboll has the commercial understanding and technical rigour to deliver projects that are sustainable and impactful.
Horizonte previously worked with Ramboll on the hydrology for its flagship Araguaia ferronickel project.
The Esia is an essential part of the permitting process for Vermelho and will contribute to the company being awarded a preliminary licence to operate.
The former owner of the project, Vale, had conducted multiple environmental and social studies and reached an affirmative construction decision in 2015. This historical database now provides an excellent background and basis for new sustainability studies.
Horizonte is also optimising the engineering for Vermelho’s dry-stack residue storage facility option.
The Esia will reflect the current physical, biological and social settings and will include information on water quality, air and noise, soil, flora and fauna, socioeconomic considerations, community health and safety, resettlement and cultural heritage.
Horizonte says Vermelho is scheduled to start production at a critical point in the nickel market, where the supply deficit is projected to widen, particularly in the battery sector, which poises the company for realised value from its asset base.