2008 SRK took on the role o Independent Engineer (IE) or the project inancing orMirabela Nickel’s Santa Rita project located in Bahia state, Brazil.
Santa Rita project nancing
The Santa Rita project is an open pit mine with aconventional nickel sulde concentrator. Initially,it was based on a proven and probable reserveo 84Mt with a grade o 0.61% Ni, mining4.6Mt o ore a year and producing 17,000t o Niconcentrate, with a Ni grade o 13% plus Cu andCo by-products.SRK’s initial IE report supported the projectbut fagged a number o risk issues andrecommended subsequent ollow-up work. Thereport was submitted to prospective lenders andin September 2008, SRK made presentations toselected syndicate members in New York andLondon. Letters o Commitment were due romlenders when the nancial crisis hit, as the rmo Lehman Brothers ailed. Needless to say, theproject nancing did not proceed.Despite negative sentiment surrounding thenancial crisis and rapidly declining metalsprices, Mirabela took the bold step o continuingwith project construction, albeit at a slowerpace. Using equity unding, they initiated anexpansion study to 6.4Mt a year, based on anincreased reserve o 120Mt. In January 2009,SRK was engaged again to audit the new reserveand expansion plan. Mirabela successully raisedadditional equity unding and procured bridging,otake and trade nance to support continuedconstruction activities.SRK signed o on the new scope and cashfowmodel or the project in April 2009; unding orUS$190M was successully concluded with therst loan drawdown shortly thereater.
Initial ore mining at Santa Rita