RNS Number : 4454A

Harvest Minerals Limited

01 June 2021

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Harvest Minerals Limited / Index: LSE / Epic: HMI / Sector: Mining

1 June 2021

Harvest Minerals Limited ('Harvest' or the 'Company')

New Limestone Area Added to Portfolio

Harvest Minerals Limited, the AIM listed remineraliser producer, is pleased to announce that it has acquired at nominal value the mineral rights over an area ('the Project') highly prospective for the exploration of agriculture limestone, a critical soil input used to neutralise soil acidity by raising its pH levels. Located in the municipality of Iguatama, Minas Gerais, the Project is approximately 168km from Harvest's Arapuá Fertiliser Project ('Arapuá').

Brian McMaster, Chairman of Harvest, said: "As part of our strategy to build our profile in the region, we are delighted to have acquired this exciting project that has a number of synergies with our existing operations. Given Minas Gerais is the second largest consumer of agricultural limestone in the country and that most of our existing clients are also buyers of such product, we hope to leverage our commercial channels and regional market know how to rapidly build sales. First, we're preparing a cost-effective exploration programme ahead of developing a preliminary mineral resource and, if favourable, continue with economic and market studies, following the same fast-track route to production as Arapuá. Notably, the simplicity of a potential operation with free digging, crushing, and packing and the organic nature of agricultural limestone sits perfectly with our ESG commitment. This is a great opportunity with the potential to add accretive value to our shareholders beyond our already well-established platform and I look forward to updating the market further in due course."

Further Information:

Harvest has acquired a new prospective limestone project in the latest auctioning process promoted by the Brazilian National Mining Agency ('ANM'). The Project is in the municipality of Iguatama, in the west of the state of Minas Gerais, within an agricultural region with access via paved roads and with available power, water, commerce and workforce. The main crops within the region are beans, soybeans, sorghum, and corn. Limestone mining, crushing and commercialisation already takes place in the region through several long-standing companies, which sell their products locally and to other regions of Brazil.

Harvest will undertake a preliminary assessment of the geological potential of the Project to establish the best approach for a cost-effective exploration programme, following the same strategy used to define and advance the now producing Arapua deposit. It is anticipated that the Project will benefit from Harvest's established facilities, 168km away by paved road, and its regional presence and commercial activities given most of its clients also use limestone to condition their soil by raising pH levels and promote healthy plant growth, a process known as liming.

The state of Minas Gerais is the second largest consumer of agricultural limestone using circa five million tonnes per year according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply (MAPA). It is estimated that for each tonne of fertiliser, three tonnes of limestone are needed. The consumption of fertiliser (NPK) within a radius of 200km from the Arapuá project is estimated at about 350,000 tonnes per year.

 Figure 1: Location of new Limestone area relative to the Arapuá 

Limestone and Cerrado

Arapuá and the new prospective limestone project are both located within the Cerrado Region of Brazil, the largest fertiliser consumer region in the country (see Figure 2).

Brazil has more arable farmland than any other country. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ("FAO") lists Brazil's total potential arable land at over 400 million hectares, currently only 50 million hectares is in use. Since 1996, the amount of cultivated land in Brazil has increased by a third, with the majority of this increase occurring in the Cerrado. The availability of farmland is only a secondary reason for the extraordinary growth in Brazilian agriculture. The main reason for this increase is the R&D work executed by Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária ("EMBRAPA"), a state-owned research corporation affiliated with the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture.

When EMBRAPA was first established, the Cerrado was thought to be unfit for farming, due to the soil being deemed too acidic and nutrient poor. EMBRAPA devised a process to enrich the soil by pouring industrial quantities of lime (pulverized limestone or chalk) onto it to reduce acidity levels. In the late 1990s, 14 million to 16 million tonnes of lime was being distributed onto Brazilian fields each year. This number rose to 25 million tonnes in 2003 and 2004, turning a large amount of unproductive land into arable land. Today, the Cerrado accounts for 70% of Brazil's agricultural output, but soil nutrient remains poor and for certain crops, such as soybean, requires up to fifteen times more fertiliser per hectare than other agricultural regions.

 Figure 2: Cerrado Region of Brazil 


For further information, please visit www.harvestminerals.net or contact:

 Harvest Minerals Limited   Brian McMaster         Tel: +44 (0)20 3940 
                             (Chairman)             6625 
 Strand Hanson Limited      James Spinney          Tel: +44 (0)20 7409 
  Nominated & Financial      Ritchie Balmer         3494 
  Adviser                    Georgia Langoulant 
 Shard Capital Partners     Damon Heath            Tel: +44 (0)20 7186 
  Broker                                            9900 
 St Brides Partners Ltd     I sabel de Salis       E : info@stbridespartners.co.uk 
  Financial PR               Charlie Hollinshead 

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June 01, 2021 07:22 ET (11:22 GMT)

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