Brazil

Santa Rita Operation

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
Commodities
  • Nickel
  • Copper
  • Cobalt
  • Palladium
  • Platinum
  • Gold
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
ShapshotUnderground expansion: Atlantic Nickel is targeting the delivery of a Prefeasibility Study in H1 2024 remaining well on track for the commencement of underground development.

Santa Rita is one of the very few long-life nickel sulphide mines in operation globally, boasting 35 years of mine life producing between 20-35 ktpa NiEq contained in concentrate. Based on an NI 43-101 technical report completed in 2021, the operation mines an 8-year open pit with an NPV8 of US$570m, then transitions to 27-years of underground sublevel caving operations with an NPV8 of US$812m. Capital expenditure over the first 5 years of the underground is US$332m and expected to be fully funded out of operating cash flow.
Related AssetSanta Rita Expansion Project

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Appian Capital Advisory LLP 100 % Indirect
Atlantic Nickel Mineração Ltda. (operator) 100 % Direct
The Santa Rita nickel mine is owned and operated by Atlantic Nickel Mineração Ltda. (Atlantic Nickel), a subsidiary owned by Appian Capital Advisory LLP (Appian Capital).

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Magmatic
  • Intrusion related
  • Laterite

Summary:

Mineralisation within the Fazenda Mirabela intrusion is considered to be an example of a magmatic nickel–copper sulphide deposit.

The Fazenda Mirabela intrusion, which hosts mineralisation at Santa Rita, is located within the Archean–Paleoproterozoic Itabuna–Salvador–Curaça orogenic (ISC) belt. It consists of a lowpotassium calc-alkaline plutonic suite of rocks that includes intercalated metasedimentary rocks, gabbro, and basalt. The Fazenda Mirabela mafic–ultramafic body intruded granulite of the ISC. The lower zone of the intrusion consists of olivine-rich cumulates, primarily dunite to harzburgite, and is capped by pyroxenite; the upper zone consists primarily of gabbroic cumulates, consisting of gabbronorites to norites.

The intrusion is oval-shaped in plan view, with outcrop dimensions of approximately 4.0 km by 2.5 km and original stratigraphic thickness of at least three kilometres. In cross-section, the intrusion extends to a vertical depth of approximately 1,400 m.

Three generations of deformation phases are recognised, including thrust duplexes, quartz–feldspar pegmatite dikes intruded into basement lithologies, and folding. The major alteration type is fracture or structurally controlled serpentinisation.

A significant laterite profile, typically 25 m thick, developed over the dunite–harzburgite lithologies, but is absent or poorly developed over other lithologies.

The Santa Rita deposit is characterised by the lateral continuity of the mineralisation (approximately 2 km along strike and 1.3 km down dip). Nickel and copper sulphides form stratiform bodies that are generally parallel to the lithostratigraphic contacts. The primary lithological host rocks are orthopyroxenite, olivine orthopyroxenite, harzburgite, and dunite.

The mineralisation that supports the Mineral Resource estimate is primarily hosted in disseminated sulphides, 2% to 5% sulphide by volume. Some evidence of vein-like semi-massive sulphides is also noted, but this mineralisation type is not economic. On average, sulphide mineralisation comprises 52% pentlandite, 7% violarite ((Ni,Fe)3S4), 18% chalcopyrite, 14% pyrite, and 9% pyrrhotite as granular intercumulus aggregates. Traces of PGMs also occur, however, these elements appear to be included within the structure of the principal sulphides.

The Fazenda Palestina mafic–ultramafic intrusion is located 25 km to the south-southwest of the Santa Rita Mine. The intrusion cluster measures approximately 5 km east-west by 3 km north-south and, similar to the Fazenda Mirabela intrusion, has intruded granulite facies country rocks. The two dominant lithologies within the intrusion are orthopyroxenites and, to a lesser extent, gabbronorites. The deposit is approximately 1,350 m long, 50 m wide, and extends to a depth of at least 350 m. Pentlandite and chalcopyrite are the dominant nickel and copper minerals, respectively.

Three deformation phases are currently recognised in the Santa Rita open pit area:
• The oldest phase forms thrust duplexes on the scale of tens to hundreds of metres in the open pit. The deformation strain is oriented northeast–southwest and forms west–northwest to east–southeast trending structures that converge to the southwest.
• The second deformation comprises a suite of quartz–feldspar pegmatite dikes developed in basement lithologies.
• Folds with a north–south axis form the third phase of deformation.
A dolerite (diabase) dike was observed in the Santa Rita open pit cross-cutting the Santa Rita intrusion at a 120° azimuth. The dike is approximately 20 m thick and follows previously existing fracture planes that were reactivated during dike intrusion.

There are two styles of sulphide mineralisation:
• Disseminated sulphides, 2% to 5% sulphide by volume, hosting the mineralisation that supports the Mineral Resource estimate;
• Vein-like semi-massive sulphides that have no economic interest.

On average, sulphide mineralisation comprises 52% pentlandite, 7% violarite ((Ni,Fe)3S4), 18% chalcopyrite, 14% pyrite, and 9% pyrrhotite as granular intercumulus aggregates. Minor sulphide phases identified in thin sections include mackinawite ((Fe,Ni)9S8), millerite (NiS), poorly defined lowtemperature iron sulphides, cubanite, bornite and chalcocite, along with traces of native copper. Individual sulphide aggregates are commonly not more than 0.5 mm to 1.0 mm in size; however, larger cumulates up to 30 mm are observed locally. Finer and more widely disseminated sulphide grains include abundant chalcopyrite.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

CommodityProductUnits2023202220212020
Nickel Concentrate kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Nickel Equivalent Payable metal kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
^ Guidance / Forecast.

Operational metrics

Metrics2023202220212020
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Daily mining rate  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Daily processing capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Annual ore mining rate  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Annual mining rate  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
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^ Guidance / Forecast.

Production Costs

CommodityUnits202220212020
All-in sustaining costs (AISC) Nickel USD  ....  Subscribe
C1 cash costs Nickel USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
** Net of By-Product.

Financials

Units202220212020
Capital expenditures M USD  ....  Subscribe
Revenue M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
EBITDA M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Oct 5, 2023
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EmployeesContractorsTotal WorkforceYear
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Aerial view:

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