- The downturn in the mining sector enabled Horizonte to make a game-changing and low cost acquisition of Glencore's Araguaia project, shareholders at the annual general meeting yesterday were told.

The Araguaia project (GAP) is next to Horizonte's 100%-owned Araguaia nickel project in Brazil and their combination creates a Tier 1 nickel saprolite project in terms of size and grade globally, chief executive Jeremy Martin said.

He told the meeting: "Prior to our acquisition of GAP and throughout 2015 we undertook a significant amount of work on the ground including the completion of an infill resource drilling programme. The collection of a 240 tonne bulk sample of representative ore which was treated in a full scale metallurgical pilot plant campaign confirming that Araguaia can produce high grade commercial ferronickel by the proven Rotary Kiln Electric Furnace (RKEF) process.

"All of this technical data is currently being combined into a new Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) to include the GAP project. This work will show the updated resources, capex and project economics which we are anticipating will demonstrate that the enlarged Araguaia project has the potential to be one of the lower cost projects in the market.

"Another significant upcoming milestone which we expect to run in parallel with the new PFS is the award of the Environmental Preliminary Licence (LP) for Araguaia which is a major de-risking step and the most important hurdle towards the grant of our full mining licence.

"Analysts from a number of top banks including Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Salman Partners have highlighted nickel as a good performer in 2016 into 2017 and we believe we are well aligned with Araguaia's development timeline to benefit from this position.

"The xompany has a strong group of cornerstone shareholders led by Teck and a Tier 1 nickel project in terms of size and grade. These factors combined with favourable nickel market fundamentals over the next three years provide a highly compelling backdrop for Horizonte and we are proud to provide our investors exposure to one of the world's next major nickel projects."

All resolutions proposed at the meeting were passed.

At 8:36am: [LON:HZM] Horizonte Minerals PLC share price was 0p at 2.63p

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