Brazil: Vale’s Onça Puma Project Produces First Nickel
Vale’s $2.3-billion Onça Puma laterite nickel project, a greenfield smelter in Brazil’s Para state, has begun production, and will ramp up to 55,000 tons per year.
The project will process ore from the Onça and Puma open-cast mines, located seven and 16 kilometres from the smelter, respectively.
Hatch provided detailed engineering, and project and construction management services. A large Hatch team assisted with start-up for all phases of the project, from the feasibility study to hot commissioning.
Hatch’s scope included delivery of two rotary kiln electric-furnace (RKEF) smelting lines, including ore receiving, crushing, drying, calcining, smelting, refining and shotting.
Onça Puma was a 30-million-work-hour project of which there were 10 million work-hours completed without a lost-time incident. The project is considered by Vale to be the benchmark for project safety in Brazil.