Construction of the second world’s largest zinc mine in Brazil is set to commence soon. The Aripuana project, being developed by Brazil’s Nexa Resources, is expected to commence production in 2021.
With an estimated budget of US $354m, the Greenfield project will involve the extraction and beneficiation of zinc, copper, silver, gold, and lead ores. The project will host three mineralized zones namely Arex, Link, and Ambrex, along with additional mineralized bodies such as Massaranduba, Boroca, Mocoto, Arpa, and Babaçú.
The ore reserves at Aripuana project are estimated to be 26.2 million tonnes (Mt) grading 3.7% zinc, 1.4% lead, and 0.2% copper. The mine is expected to contain 2.1 billion pounds of zinc, 357 million kilogramas of lead, 65 kilograms of copper, 250 kilograms of gold, and 0.8 kilograms of silver.
Upon completion, the project is expected to create approximately 1,600 construction and 750 operational jobs. It is also expected to produce an average of 120,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of zinc-equivalent over its mine life of 13 years while the annual production is estimated to contain an average of 3,700t of copper, 66,700t of zinc, 23,000t of lead, and respectively.
Subsidiaries of the project
Nexa Recursos Minerais, a subsidiary of Nexa Resources, will hold 62.3% interest in the project and will also be the operator of the project. Nexa Resources Perú, a subsidiary of Nexa Resources, will hold 7.7% interest, while Mineração Rio Aripuana, a subsidiary of Karmin Exploration is expected to hold 30% carried interest in the project.
Karmin is currently undertaking strategic alternatives review to evaluate the options to participate in the project and engaged CIBC World Markets as its exclusive financial advisor for the review.