Nordic Iron ore has, since the start in 2008, established a portfolio of exploration permits for iron ore deposits in Bergslagen, where mining has been taken place since the 14th century. Both Blötberget and the Håksberg field have been actively mined up until 1979, when the former owner SSAB, closed the mines. These were not exhausted at this time, but operations were shut down due to low iron ore prices and lack of efficiency and profitability.
Restarting the Ludvika mines
The company’s main project includes the deposits at Blötberget and Håksberg near Ludvika. The Väsman field is located between these deposits and can, potentially, represent an interesting prospect for expansion. Deposits are located along an approximately 25 km long vein of iron deposits that run from Blötberget in the south to the north section of the Håksberg field. For the first time in history, this vein is controlled by a single stakeholder (Nordic Iron Ore) through a total of nine exploration permits and two mining concessions.
During 2011, Nordic Iron Ore was awarded mining concessions for both Håksberg and Blötberget and in 2014 an enviromental permit was obtained. The goal is, at the latest year 2018, to restart mining activities with an expected yearly production at full capacity of about 4.3 million tonnes of concentrated product. The production may be expanded significantly if prospecting shows that the Väsman field is workable. In addition, the company shall continuously prospect, evaluate and retain all other concessions for eventual future development and mining.
Väsman and parts of the Håksberg concessions are so called brown fields and have previously been worked in now abandoned mines.
In total, Nordic Iron Ore controls measured and indicated mineral resources of 80,2 million tonnes (with an iron content between 36,4 and 41,9 percent) as well as inferred mineral resources of 102,9 million tonnes (with an iron content between 33,5 and 38,4 percent) according to JORC standard.
In addition, mining concessions for historically calculated mineral resources of a total of 13.6 million ton, with an iron content between 27.5-33 percent, as well as exploration targets of 81-92 million tonnes with an iron content between 20-38 percent. The historically calculated mineral resources do not follow JORC standard and are therefore not controlled by a independent Qualified Person.
The development of Ludvika Mines will follow a set plan where several phases need to be completed before mining operations can be resumed at Blötberget and Håksberg.
During 2010 and 2011, the company has applied for mining concessions for Blötberget and Håksberg. The Mining Inspectorate of Sweden granted the concessions for the mineralisations in Blötberget and Håksberg in August and December 2011, respectively. In December 2017 a concession was also granted for the southern part of the Väsman field.
The company was granted an eviromental permit by the Land and Environment Court during the first quarter of 2014.
In the spring of 2012, the company began work on a feasibility study. A feasibility study is an in-depth and detailed plan based on the PEA, which will form the basis for investment and production decisions. Work on the study is coordinated by Golder, an internationally reputed mining consultant.
Pending a favourable outcome from the final feasibility study, a decision will be made to start construction work for production in Blötberget, provided that the necessary funding is secured.
The company commenced test mining in 2012 of representative mineralisations at Blötberget. The samples of mined ore have been used in various ore processing tests. The results from these will form the basis for the final processing configuration and design of the necessary equipment. A calculation of investment and operating expenses will then be made. The concentrated final product from the tests have been used for trial deliveries to potential buyers. Trial deliveries are necessary in order to enter into supply contracts with potential customers on the planned production.
Subject to the planned feasibility study being positive, and that funding has been secured, the company intends to take decisions on the capital expenditure needed to resume production and start shipping to customers.