Nordic-focused explorer and developer Beowulf Mining CEO Kurt Budge has used the Almedalen political week in Visby, Sweden, to outline a three-step plan for advancing the Kallak project, should the company be granted a concession.
Whereas previous presentations at Sweden’s yearly political festival focused on the protracted delays in the permitting process for Kallak, Budge used this year’s platform to present the company’s plans for the project, against a backdrop of iron-ore prices hitting five-year highs.
"Kallak is the foundation asset of Beowulf and has been in development for ten years. During my time as CEO, it has enabled us to continue to raise capital from equity markets and to diversify into new geographies and commodities, but it remains our flagship asset, one that we are firmly committed to developing in partnership with the community in Jokkmokk,” he said in a statement on Monday, following last week’s Almedalen week.
The first step of Beowulf’s three-step plan for Kallak will be to complete the scoping study within 12 months of being awarded a concession, while, in parallel, developing a roadmap for environmental permitting.
The company initiated a scoping study in October 2017, but curtailed work because of continued delays in processing the Kallak application, owing to concern about the mine’s potential impact on reindeer herding.
Budge said that the scoping study’s focus would be on assessing logistics and transport options, with a specific emphasis on the interaction with reindeer herding activities.
The study would also probe market opportunities for Kallak’s production, including “super” high-grade magnetite concentrate, over 71% iron-content with low deleterious elements and what value addition processing steps could be achieved at the mine.
Other focus areas would be on preparing a workforce in readiness for mine construction and operation, developing Kallak as an innovation centre and setting up an incubator for start-up enterprises in Jokkmokk.
The second step involves setting up a development taskforce with Jokkmokks Kommun and other partners to coordinate the activities of interested parties in Kallak, while the third leg of the Kallak plan revolves around discussions with the Sami reindeer herding communities.
Beowulf would up its support for Sami communities and would support the development of Sami small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The company has an established collaboration agreement with Jokkmokks Allmänning, the main purpose of which is to invest funds and support the development of SMEs in Jokkmokk. To date, Beowulf has invested Kr500 000 and has recently committed a further Kr300 000 in the event the concession is awarded. The company would use that agreement as a template for setting up a similar agreement with Sami communities.
"While not wanting to rely on imports of metals and minerals from countries that might have lower standards of environmental, health and safety performance, and lack transparency, Sweden has seen no greenfield mines started in more than a decade.
"Kallak would showcase the best of Swedish design, engineering and innovation, be developed in partnership with the community, including the Sami, safeguarding reindeer herding, their livelihoods and culture,” said Budge.
Meanwhile, analysts at SP Angel, which is acting as broker to Beowulf, say that they believe the Kallak project should be of increasing interest to the Swedish people and to iron-ore miner LKAB, from a potential resource-replacement perspective.
Beowulf is 62% owned by Swedish shareholders and 38% by UK shareholders.