Mineração Vale Verde Ltda. Finalized the construction of the Serrote copper-gold mine and processing plant located in Alagoas, Brazil. This milestone has been achieved by MVV ahead of schedule and under budget, while maintaining an industry leading safety record. Construction was concluded safely, while managing the challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
This progress has been driven by high-caliber execution from the team on the ground in Alagoas, delivering on the operating strategy implemented by MVV’s leading management team and Appian. The focus is now on the transition to steady state operations and the ramp-up over the second half of 2021, with operational readiness workstreams, employee training programs and risk management workshops well advanced.
This follows the announcement in February that MVV had secured a $140 million project finance debt facility, the largest independent greenfield mining project finance transaction announced since the beginning of 2020 and the onset of COVID-19, demonstrating Serrote’s strong fundamentals. MVV remains well funded through the ramp-up with the support of Appian and its lender group.
MVV’s first shipment of concentrate is targeted for November 2021. MVV will produce a high-grade bornite-chalcopyrite copper concentrate, with gold and silver byproduct credits. The high-grade nature of the concentrate will yield a premium in the market, and lowers the downstream transport costs and carbon footprint compared to typical copper concentrates.
Serrote will produce an average of approximately 22,000 metric tons per year (mt/y) of copper equivalent over an initial 14-year mine life from a low-strip, open pit mine supplying a 4.1 million mt/y processing plant. This initial life of mine will exploit a mineral reserve of 52.7 million mt grading 0.6% copper and 0.1 g/mt gold. MVV is now working toward unlocking substantial value upside through definition of an expansion plan into the larger 108.9 million mt resource at Serrote, as well as developing plans to generate value through the known oxide resource and nearby satellite deposits which are currently being drilled and expanded.
“This is a fantastic achievement for MVV, underlining the technical, operational and financing expertise of our talented team,” CEO MVV and Appian Brazil Paulo Castellari said. “Concluding construction in line with schedule and below budget once again demonstrates the success of Appian’s business model, and I am particularly proud of our leading safety record and ability to exceed expectations despite the pandemic.”