FENIX PROJECT, GUATEMALA
The Fenix Project is a fully integrated ferronickel production facility, containing a large world-class nickel mine and newly built power plant and metal processing facility (“ProNiCo”) in Guatemala. The project contains 36.2 MM tons of nickel ore at 1.86% nickel within its surface rights and additional 70 MM tons of measured, indicated, and inferred resources within its license area. In August 2014, ProNiCo plant began operation and is currently moving toward full operating capacity.
Since 2011, the Group has invested nearly US $600 million in the development of ProNiCo. Potential expansion options include the construction of the HPAL plant at the Fenix site to treat low-grade laterite reserves with nickel grade below the current cut-off grade of 1.6%.
Construction of FeNi plant with the conventional and widely proven RKEF technological solution was performed by Solway from 2011-2014 and has been operational from May 2014. As of today the project has reached production volume over 1,000 metric tons of nickel in ferronickel per month. SPLC project is being implemented that will allow reaching more sustainable operations and higher capacity in 2018. The project is scheduled to achieve the target production volume in 2019
As a responsible employer and neighbor, Solway invests in the development of social infrastructure in its areas of operation in Guatemala. Building effective communications and providing support to local communities help to achieve this; recently key activities focused on repairing municipal roadways and constructing a multipurpose community center. Social development projects included donations to local schools and pharmacies, supporting sports programs, and sponsoring training programs for local midwives and farmers. The Group’s primary focus is to minimize the environmental impact on the neighborhoods surrounding ProNiCo’s production facilities. Other environmental protection initiatives include: reforestation, fire prevention strips, water canal maintenance, and other programs to monitor air, water and soil quality, noise level, and local flora and fauna.
The Feniх mine and ProNiCo are the biggest local employers in the most economically distressed part of Guatemala and provide jobs for 1,936 employees and hundreds of local contractors.