GeoVista AB, a consultancy service
based in Sweden, is working to develop a transport
infrastructure in the country in order to open up the mining
and minerals industry.
GeoVista has been looking
specifically at the area between Kaunisvaara and Svappavaara in
northern Sweden. It has compiled information describing the
current situation and estimated future potential development of
the mining and minerals industry on behalf of the Swedish
The global trend of increased
demand for metals and minerals is an opportunity to create
growth and economy in the regions with known mineral deposits
or geological potential to develop them, the company
outlined in its report for the industry body.
Assessments at national and
international level are that the mining and minerals industry
is in strong growth, and demand will also remain at a high
level for the foreseeable future, the report added.
The report outlines Swedens
strong position in its established markets of iron ore, but
also adds that the country could move to develop its quarries
and other mines, especially in the north.
The report is to form the basis for
the Administrations pre-feasibility study for an
alternative railway between Kaunisvaara and Svappavaara to
better manage increased yield generated by the mines in the
An advantage of building a
rail network between Kaunisvaara and Svappavaara is, primarily,
to provide better transport facilities for already existing
mines. However, introducing location of potential mineral
deposits to the planning process will add a huge benefit for
the development of additional minerals and mining industry in
the region, GeoVista said.
A new railway would also open up
the possibility of extracting and refining industrial minerals
and transporting them to and from harbours at the Bothnian Bay
or at the Norwegian coast (Narvik) and the economic potential
of doing this should also be considered, GeoVista explained to
In order to provide a picture of
the areas minerals capacity, in addition to known
resources and reserves, classified by degree of knowledge and
potential tonnage, GeoVista is also taking into consideration
further potential deposits.
Five deposit clusters (Vittangi,
Lannavaara, Masugnsbyn, Pajala in Sweden and Kolari, in
Finland) were assessed within the study area for mineral
resources as well as the volume of end products the extraction
of the assets would yield.
In addition to the vast iron
ore deposits in the area, there is also potential for the
extraction of around 600m tonnes of dolomite and limestone,
possibly also extraction of quartzite and graphite would become
of interest. GeoVista told IM.
The uncertainties that exist
in the material relate especially to the [limestone and
dolomite] carbonates. The potential of the carbonates is great
but there are stringent requirements for product quality and
the level of knowledge of the deposits is today too low,
GeoVista added. Worth remembering is the importance of
infrastructure in financing early stages of exploration and
evaluation. If a decision is taken to commence construction of
this railway in an area of high mineral potential, in a region
of good mineral legislation and low political risk, this is an
important signal to the financial markets, GeoVista told
However, it is also important
to remember that mineral resources in the region, whether known
or potential, are not automatically transferred to mineral
reserves to become an economic resource, GeoVista
Deposits which are not
currently being investigated or even encountered may well be
those that within 10-20 years will result in new mines,
GeoVista has recently also updated a similar study covering
the western part of the Barents region, that is northern
Sweden, Finland and Norway as well as northwest Russia. The
study that is primarily based on the Fennoscandian Ore Deposit
Database (FODD) (see page 53), which will be public in
High purity quartz in
In January 2013 Nordic Mining was able to publish a report
which indicated it could produce 5,000 tpa high purity quartz
(HPQ) over 30 years from its Kvinnherad (Nesodden) deposit in
Norway. The report was put together using a geophysical
magnetic survey carried out by GeoVista in 2012.
The impurities in the raw quartz
average approximately 42 ppm which will need to be purified to
less than 30 ppm or a grade of 99.997% silicon dioxide
(SiO2) to be considered high purity.
It has been shown that it is
technically feasible to mine the deposit and that high
grade/high value products can be achieved by processing the
quartz, said Nordic CEO Ivar Fossum.
The deposit requires further
drilling for either JORC or NI 43-101 guidelines to be
applicable. However, the most recent deposit size estimate was
given in 2011 indicating a minimum tonnage of 1.2m tonnes
massive high grade (>90%) quartz and 0.77m tonnes quartz in
the surrounding areas with a lower yield. The magnetic survey
carried out also gives confidence in a sizable quartz deposit
stretching below the surface.
A larger depth continuation than
what is indicated by surface mapping seems to be present.
The scoping study outlined that the
deposit would require $50m investments and assigning
total mining operating and transport (...) the rate per tonne
is estimated to vary between $19.5 (strip ratio 2.2) and $25
(complication due to geology) per tonne.
We will be putting every effort into advancing project
development in the coming year. Initially, the focus will be on
commercial issues that put the emphasis on markets and
customers, Fossum stated.