Horizonte Minerals PLC (AIM:HZM, TSX:HZM, OTC:HZMMF) said it awarded the earthworks contract for the construction of its large-scale Araguaia ferronickel project in Brazil to Copa Construção SA. Copa is a leading Brazilian company with extensive experience in mining projects and civil infrastructure, ranging from roads, viaducts, hydroelectric power plants, ports, airports and transmission lines, said AIM-traded Horizonte. “With Copa’s strong track record of successfully delivering infrastructure projects across the country, signing this contract enables us to commence construction at the beginning of the dry season this quarter as planned,” said Horizonte chief executive Jeremy Martin. “This is another important milestone in our 24-month project construction timeline, with next steps being the award of the civil works, 230 kV powerline and electromechanical construction contracts.” Araguaia is fully funded for construction and is set to produce 29,000 tonnes of nickel annually to supply the stainless steel market. The earthworks contract is designed to ensure the site is ready for the civil construction works on completion, and will see Copa levelling the main plant area, creating a series of stepped plateaus that will support the key process equipment packages and buildings, installing initial drainage facilities, as well as the main ramp and crusher platform.