Vancouver-based Strategic Resources has successfully applied for reservations over the past-producing Mustavaara mine area, in Finland, and also signed a definitive agreement with the bankruptcy estate of Ferrovan to acquire all of the intellectual property, core samples and storage facilities associated with the mine for €150 000.
Mustavaara is a large vanadium/iron/titanium deposit, which was mined by the Finnish State company Rautaruukki between 1976 and 1985. The vanadium produced from Mustavaara and the nearby Otanmäki deposit accounted for about 10% of the world vanadium production at that time.
Mining was suspended owing to adverse market conditions and the processing facilities were dismantled in 2001.
Ferrovan commissioned Pöyry Finland to complete a prefeasibility study (PFS) for the project in 2011. The resulting 2012 PFS outlined a project that would have a concentrator near site and a smelting plant located close to the coast in the city of Raahe.
The PFS was based on a reserve of 97-million tonnes at 13.8% magnetite and 0.91% vanadium in concentrate in the probable reserve category. Prior work indicated that the magnetite content could be upgraded by a factor of six as a result of the concentrating process. Consequently, the vanadium grade could also be enhanced significantly from 0.2% vanadium to 0.9% vanadium.
“Mustavaara has the potential to supply a growing vanadium redox battery market as well as provide substantial benefits to the Finnish economy,” commented Strategic CEO Scott Hicks.
The company plans to commission a National Instrument 43-101-compliant resource estimate for the project based on existing drilling completed to date, surface checks and detailed re-sampling work. Thereafter, it plans to undertake an economic study that reflects current market prices and cost estimates.
Strategic's key projects are the Silasselkä and Akanvaara projects in Finland, both of which have past drilling that demonstrated good vanadium results.