The Kallak North deposit, which explorer and developer Beowulf Mining has been lobbying Sweden to exploit, has the potential to produce an exceptionally high-grade magnetite concentrate of 71.5% iron content.
London-listed Beowulf Mining on Thursday announced findings of an expert market assessment by Dr Bo Arvidson, who investigated the products from Kallak North based on laboratory and pilot plant testwork.
The assessment determined that Kallak had the potential to be a market leader in high-grade magnetite. The next best magnetite product is Swedish State-owned iron-ore miner LKAB’s, which produces magnetite fines with a target specification of 70.7% iron content.
The announcement sent Beowulf’s stock surging 20% to 6p a share, giving the junior a market capitalisation of £36.1-million.
"The Kallak deposit is unique considering the quality of the magnetite concentrate it can produce,” said Beowulf CEO Kurt Budge, adding that Arvidson’s assessment had validated what Beowulf had been saying about Kallak since 2015.
"Sweden wants to be a leader in sustainable mining and a ‘green transition’. When considering Kallak's magnetite concentrate, you have a product that 'ticks all the boxes', that can increase energy efficiency, reduce the carbon footprint of traditional steel manufacturing, minimise waste and the impact of waste disposal.”
Magnetite has inherent energy content, which ultimately results in lower energy demand for steel manufacturing when compared with current common practice.
At the recent startup of the HYBRIT plant – a joint initiative between steel manufacturer SSAB, miner LKAB and energy company Vattenfall to develop a fossil-free ore-based steelmaking process – Prime Minister Stefan Löfven spoke of the historic opportunity to do things that provide jobs, while hastening the climate transition.
"Sweden's ambition is for fossil-free steel production and to do that you need high-quality feedstock. It is potentially an important tool in the Swedish government's ambition to make green transition part of its efforts to restart the Swedish economy after the Covid-19 crisis. That's where Beowulf believes Kallak fits into the 'big picture', bringing much need investment and hundreds of jobs to Jokkmokk and Norrbotten,” said Budge.
He added that, with iron-ore prices at elevated levels, now was the time for Sweden to give Kallak the “green light”.