I am incredibly proud of what our team has achieved this year – with its interesting mix of mining industry stalwarts, technology enablers, business growth experts. We are excited by the huge potential that lies ahead and believe we are on the precipice of something truly great. Norge Mineraler AS, our fully owned Norwegian subsidiary, has its own board of directors and a talented management and technical team.
As I write this, we’ve just received official acceptance of Norge Mineraler AS as a core member of EIT RawMaterials and confirmation of support of our funding requirements. This body is co-funded by the EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology), a body of the European Union, and is the largest and strongest consortium in the raw materials sector worldwide. This is an elite community, and we are very honoured to be part of it – highlighting the acknowledgement that the Critical Raw Materials we are investigating in southern Norway – vanadium, titanium, and phosphate – are strategically important to Europe’s future. In fact, our CRMS are more strategic than we ever imagined when we set out on our investigations in 2019.
This follows an endorsement from the Norwegian government of the importance of our project, within the context of the development of the country’s mining industry – in particular, in relation to the supply of Critical Raw Materials. Recently, I met the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Jan Christian Vestre, in Oslo to discuss mineral policy. Our Founder, Michael Wurmser, also had proactive discussions with Mr Vestre at a round table with Maroš Šefčovič – the Vice-President of the European Commission for Interinstitutional Relations.
In the Norwegian’s government’s budget proposal, an additional NOK 10 million has been allocated for mapping minerals – highlighting a greater focus on natural resources by the state. We welcome this interactive relationship with the Norwegian government, and I believe there will be many more fruitful conversations to be had early next year.
All these developments meant we needed to bolster our operations rapidly. We therefore appointed Tim Galusky as our Project Director this year. Tim really hit the ground running and has introduced an exciting new dynamic to our senior team. Tim’s role is to take us from the Pre-feasibility Study phase to the commissioning of our plant within this decade. And although Tim is tasked with managing our original project, there are parallel programmes, already in planning, that we will announce in the new year that he’ll be instrumental in running.
In the new year, a lot is in store for Norge Mining. We will be reporting on results from SGS on their beneficiation testing. Beneficiation is the process that improves the economic value of the ore by removing the gangue (commercially worthless) materials – which results in a higher-grade product. I can’t reveal any more until we have the final report. Suffice to say, I am extremely encouraged by the progress and believe the results will have a big impact on our future (ever evolving, it seems) plans.
As the scope and importance of our work expands, I will be introducing additional skills and capabilities to our senior management team – including a well-known and highly regarded executive from the Norwegian business community. I should be able to share more on this news early in the new year.
Much still to be done
And so, as the year winds down for many, for us, things are firmly ramping up; there’s much still to be done. We are relishing the opportunities that are coming our way. And I am looking forward to being able to disclose in more detail some of the developments that I’ve only been able to allude to here.
I wish a prosperous New Year to all.