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Horizonte's (LON:HZM) (TSE:HZM) in-fill drilling at its Araguaia nickel project in Brazil has shown more high grades with the contract for a pre-feasibility study now set to be awarded soon.
Best results from the latest holes at Villa Oito East and Villa Oito showed nickel grades ranging from 1.79% to 1.75% at widths of up to 12m.
Horizonte drilled 299 holes for a total of 8,688 metres in this latest program, which targeted the Jacutinga, Vila Oito West, Vila Oito, Vila Oito East and Pequizeiro West targets
The program will be fully completed by the end of April and the results will feed into the pre-feasibility study.
Jeremy Martin, Horizonte's chief executive , added: "The project continues to deliver high nickel grades with good vertical thickness, as demonstrated from these recent results from the Villa Oito East and Villa Oito targets.
"Once drilling is complete Snowden Mining Consultants will commence work on the updated mineral resource estimate.
"We are still reviewing the options for the consortium of consulting groups who will undertake the Pre-Feasibility study and aim to be in a position to award the contract imminently."
Martin added that the aim of the in-fill drilling was to convert sufficient resource material to the Indicated category to provide a minimum of 20 years mine life.
Horzionte's Social Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA), a key requirement in obtaining a mining licence, is also on track he said.
The aim is to have the SEIA report filed with SEMA, the Brazilian Environmental Agency, in the third quarter of this year.
Horizonte's Araguaia project is located to the south of the Carajas mineral district of northern Brazil and has an estimated mineral resource of 39.3Mt grading 1.39% Ni (Indicated) and 60.9Mt at 1.22% Ni (Inferred) at a 0.95% nickel cut-off.
The in-fill drilling program nickel used a cut-off of 1% with a minimum intercept length of 2.0 metres and a maximum length of internal waste of 2 metres.
House broker finnCap said the once the current drilling completes this month, the resource will then have been drilled off at 100 metre centres and that should convert sufficient resource to the Indicated category to cover the first 20 years of mining.
The broker has a target price of 50.8 pence, which was unchanged by today's news.
Shares rose to 7.55 pence today in London afternoon trade.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.