Northland Resources has been given the green light to get the big trucks rolling and that should 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 can haul up to 90 tonnes of material, 30 tonnes more than the standard of 60 tonnes it usually permits.
Northland can use the bigger trucks starting in November and the permit will let it carry ore concentrate 150-km to its transloading terminal. From there the concentrate will travel by rail for another 26-km to the Port of Narvik in neighboring Norway.
Now that the permit is in place, Northland will focus all of its attention 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 to be hauled out in the first quarter of next year.
Kaunisvaara is slated to produce 1.4 million tonnes of iron ore in 2013 and then ramp up to 4 million t/y by the third quarter of 2014. Once that happens, Northland will have demonstrated stellar development efficiency as the former greenfield site was no more than a large bog as recently as two years ago.
Initial production is to come out of the Tapuli deposit, where a process line is over 90% complete. That deposit should support production for the first three years and will draw from measured resources of 52.8 million tonnes grading 27.02% Fe, indicated resources of 54.6 million tonnes grading 25.04% Fe and inferred resources of 24.7 million tonnes grading 24.58% Fe.
The second deposit at the project, Sahavaara, sits 5 km from Tapuli, and the process line for that orebody is over halfway complete.
Sahavaara has measured resources of 30.2 million tonnes grading 42.9% Fe, indicated resources of 56.6 million tonnes grading 38.14% Fe and inferred resources of 34.7 million tonnes grading 37.28% Fe
Kaunisvaara is in the far reaches of northern Sweden roughly 100 km north of the Arctic Circle near the village of Kaunisvaara. The project is also just 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 (IOCG) deposit that is expected to produce 2 million of iron ore concentrate and 35,000 tonnes of copper and gold concentrate per year over a 14-year mine life.
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