Canada’s iron ore miner Tacora Resources to reach 10 Mt/y with addition of shovel-ready Sydvaranger mine in Norway

Tacora Resources Inc, the operator of the 6 Mt/y Scully iron ore mine in in Wabush, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada recently announced that it has completed the acquisition of Sydvaranger Mining AS and its subsidiaries, an iron ore mine and processing plant located in Sør-Varanger, Norway. The acquisition of Sydvaranger provides Tacora with a 4 Mt/y shovel-ready expansion opportunity and geographical diversification in a tier 1 jurisdiction.

Sydvaranger operated from 1910 to 1997, and then from 2009 to 2015 producing high grade iron ore concentrate, with an iron content of 68%, for pelletising operations. The Tschudi Group,a Norwegian shipping and logistics company, has been involved with the Sydvaranger mine since 2006. In 2016, the Tschudi Group re-acquired the Sydvaranger assets and has since focused its activities on completing a feasibility study and preparing for restarting the operations.

“Sydvaranger’s high quality, low impurity, magnetite iron ore concentrate has significant environmental and cost benefitsfor steel producers and pelletising operations, including increased blast furnace productivity, reduced slag volumes, lower CO2 emissions per tonne of steel produced and reduced energy requirements for pelletising, amongst others.”

Thierry Martel, the President and CEO of Tacora will lead the expanded organisation. Martels said: “With this acquisition, we bring together two responsible mining companies with capacity to produce an iron ore concentrate with characteristics very desirable to steelmakers. 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.”

Felix Tschudi, Chairman and owner of the Tschudi Group, said: “We are pleased to welcome Tacora as the new owners of Sydvaranger. Since 2016, the Tschudi Group has sought to provide Sydvaranger with the financial and operational capabilities to enable a restartof the mining operations. 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. The Tschudi Group will remain strong supporters of the Sydvaranger mine and continue its considerable presence in Kirkenes and the Troms og Finnmark county more broadly through its other business activities in the region.”

Martel continued, “on behalf of our current Tacora employees, we welcome the Sydvaranger team into the Tacora family and thank the Tschudi Group for their stewardship of the Sydvaranger assets. With both operations being compatible in many ways, the collective capabilities and similarities of both assets make for a perfect match as we continue to focus on our employees’ safety and well-being, workingclosely within the communitieswe operate,with our stakeholders to build a reputable and performing company we can all be proud of.” The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price which was paid in the form of shares in Tacora.