Drilling at Norge Mining’s Bjerkreim site in southern Norway began earlier in May, only two months later than expected – a vital step towards unearthing critical evidence of the economic viability of our Vanadium, Phosphorus and Titanium deposits.
Drilling for the first time
To begin exploring the reserves underground during a global pandemic was nothing short of remarkable. In close collaboration with the Norwegian authorities at all levels, our SRK geologist partners, along with Energold and later Protek, overcame significant hurdles to start work at our licence areas – not least the challenge of getting to Norway in the first place, then social distancing on site. We have been extremely proud of their work on our behalf and for their role in getting the industry moving again. Norge Mining has now drilled in excess of 23,000 metres, as well as having drilled the deepest hole ever in Norway, to a depth of 2,200 metres. The results have constantly exceeded all expectations, and we look forward to our maiden resource statement within 2020.
Michael Wurmser, Founder & Deputy CEO, Norge Mining
“Our drilling, sampling and lab testing so far show that there are potential concentrations of these critical raw materials right down to 2.2 kilometres below the surface. Magnetic surveys show the mineralised ore body reaches a depth beyond 4km. Nobody would have expected this – not even us!”
A third EU Critical Raw Material
Just a couple of months after our drilling began, the European Union added Titanium to its Critical Raw Material list for the first time. CRMs have significant economic importance for key sectors in the European economy, a high-supply risk and a lack of viable substitutes. This news means that we are investigating three EU CRMs in southern Norway, with hugely promising results so far. Following one of the greatest supply chain shocks in the world – the Coronavirus pandemic – domestic availability of vital minerals and metals has become an increasing priority. We believe, and tests are proving so far, that Norway will offer a friendly, neighbourly source of Critical Raw Materials to Europe in the future – and to the wider world.
Jon Russill, Principal Exploration Geologist, SRK
“We thought that Norge Mining was in a lucky position before, when two of the minerals we were investigating were on the list. But now there are three, it could elevate the importance of this deposit in terms of a source of these raw materials for Europe.”
Exciting new partnerships
As our investigations into three CRMs gathers pace, it’s important that we nurture new, strategic partnerships and networks. With this in mind, we were honoured to be invited to join the European Raw Metals Alliance (launched by the European Commission). ERMA contributes to ensuring reliable, secure and sustainable access to raw materials as key enablers for a globally competitive, green and digital Europe – which aligns perfectly to what we are endeavouring to achieve southern Norway. Vanadium’s extraordinary renewable energy storage capability and the environmentally-friendly characteristics of phosphate fertilisers means our deposits are key ingredients for a cleaner, greener future.
Expansion of our team
With so many developments happening in just one year for Norge Mining, strategically, it’s been the right time to bolster our team with further expertise. We have a new Operations Manager: Monika Øksnes is responsible for communications with stakeholders, municipalities, and politicians – both locally and nationally – and all operational logistics. Commodities stalwart Sacha Lifschitz has joined as our new marketing adviser, having worked for Glencore for more than 13 years. Also new to our fold is our Chief Sustainability Officer, Beat Kälin; he brings with him 30 years’ experience in capital markets. Our multi-skilled, expanding team is testament to our rapid evolution.
Sacha Lifschitz, Marketing Adviser, Norge Mining
“There’s reputational risk when it comes to mining – and that’s a good thing.”
Beat Kälin, Chief Sustainability Officer, Norge Mining
“It is possible to make money, pay local employees decent wages and protect the land and wildlife.”
2021 and beyond
Our geologists have produced some thought-provoking 3D models from the data they’ve gathered. Statistical analysis and geological interpretation will lead to an estimation of how many tonnes are there and the content of the targeted minerals. It’s now being determined how much of the material (that has been outlined by sufficiently detailed drilling) has the potential to be mined, and is therefore reportable as a Mineral Resource. And we have more fronts of activity opening up on our other licence sites. With all this in mind, 2021 certainly looks like it’ll be a turning point for Norge Mining, as we inch closer to mining for Vanadium, Phosphorus and Titanium in Norway in the future.
John Vergopoulos, CEO, Norge Mining
“We have expanded the local Norwegian personnel, and their hard work and whole hearted commitment to our work programme has been an important factor in the success so far. Additionally, we have taken on new offices in Egersund, which establishes our corporate presence. We have also extended our commitment to the local community. We’ve invited many groups of interested parties to speak with us – politicians, local authorities and even with great pleasure on our side, local school children. They will hopefully will be part of the legacy we want to establish as they grow up and may even take an interest in geology – and the drive to achieve sustainability in our everyday lives.”