The open-pit mine is located a few kilometers from Norway's border to Russia. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Iron-ore producer with Arctic experience buys Sydvaranger Mine

Tacora Resources, which reopened the Scully Mine in northern Canada in 2019, is the new owner of the open-pit mine in Bjørnevatn and processing plant in Kirkenes on Norway's Barents Sea coast.
January 14, 2021

Europe’s northernmost iron-ore mine, Sydvaranger, has not been in operation since bankruptcy in 2015. In 2016, the Norwegian logistics company Tschudi Group re-acquired the assets, preparing for restart, but the gates remained closed.

Now, action might come. Iron-prices have increased with almost 50% in the course of the last two months. 

The US-based iron ore mining and mineral processing company Tacora Resources has successful experiences in reopening a high north located open-pit mine. In 2019, Tacora restarted the Scully Mine in the town of Wabush, Newfoundland and Labrador, in northern Canada. At the time, the mine had been closed for five years.

In August 2019, the first 70,000 tons of iron ore concentrate was shipped from the reopened mine in Canada to a customer in Europe. Sydvaranger has previously shipped concentrate from Kirkenes to markets in both China and Europe. 

“With this acquisition, we bring together two responsible mining companies with capacity to produce an iron ore concentrate with characteristics very desirable to steelmakers,” says Thierry Martel, President and CEO of Tacora.

“The Sydvaranger Mine builds upon our strategy to deliver high-grade iron ore products to steelmakers globally allowing them to produce more steel per tonne of raw material input and therefore reduce their environmental footprint,” Martel argues.

Tacora says in a press release the acquisition brings a 4 million tonnes per year shovel-ready expansion opportunity.

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The Tschudi group, which in the course of the last five years have made comprehensive feasibility studies for restarting operations, is paid in the forms of shares in Tacora the two parties informs. The number of shares, though, is not disclosed. 

Felix Tschudi at the company’s port facilities in Kirkenes where the iron ore will be shipped to markets. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

 

Felix Tschudi, owner of the Tschudi Group, welcomes the new owners.

“Since 2016, we have sought to provide Sydvaranger with the financial and operational capabilities to enable a restart of the mining operations,” Felix Tschudi says.

“By introducing Orion Mine Finance as a financial partner in 2018 and by now combining Sydvaranger with the operationally experienced Tacora team, we believe Sydvaranger is in an excellent position to succeed with a restart,” he says.

Tschudi still own a logistic company in Kirkenes with harbor facilities on the coast to the Barents Sea.

Inside Sydvaranger’s processing plant. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

 

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