Northland Resources (NAU-T) has been given the green light to get the big trucks rolling, which could mean that Sweden’s next iron mine is only weeks away from entering production.
The Swedish Transport Authority (STA) broke with convention and granted the company permission to use trucks that haul up to 90 tonnes of material — which is 30 tonnes more than the 60-tonne standard it usually permits.
The permit would let Northland carry ore concentrate 150 km to its trans-loading terminal. From there, the concentrate would travel another 26 km by rail to the Port of Narvik in neighbouring Norway.
Now that the permit is in place, Northland will focus on the final leg of getting its Kaunisvaara project into production — which is on track for early November. The first iron concentrate shipment is expected by March 2013.
Kaunisvaara is slated to produce 1.4 million tonnes of iron ore in 2013 and ramp up to 4 million tonnes per year by September 2014.
Once that happens, Northland will have demonstrated stellar development efficiency: the site was little more than a large bog two years ago.
Initial production is expected from the Tapuli deposit, where a process line is over 90% complete.
This deposit should support production for the first three years and draw from measured resources of 52.8 million tonnes grading 27.02% iron, indicated resources of 54.6 million tonnes grading 25.04% iron and inferred resources of 24.7 million tonnes grading 24.58% iron.
Sahavaara, the second deposit at the project, sits 5 km from Tapuli, and the orebody process line is over halfway complete.
Sahavaara has measured resources of 30.2 million tonnes grading 42.9% iron, indicated resources of 56.6 million tonne grading 38.14% iron and inferred resources of 34.7 million tonnes grading 37.28% iron.
Kaunisvaara is in the far reaches of northern Sweden, 100 km north of the Arctic Circle near the village of Kaunisvaara. The project is also 15 km south of the border with Finland.
On the other side of that border, the company has the Hannukainen project.
The past-producing Hannukainen hosts an iron oxide copper gold deposit that is expected to produce 2 million tonnes of iron ore concentrate per year and 35,000 tonnes copper-gold concentrate per year, over a 14-year mine life.
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