Almedalen 2019 and Future Plans for the Kallak Iron Ore Project
Beowulf Mining plc
("Beowulf" or the "Company")
Almedalen 2019 and Future Plans for the Kallak Iron Ore Project
Beowulf (AIM: BEM; Spotlight: BEO), the Nordic focused mineral exploration and development company, provides an update on the CEO’s attendance at the Almedalen Political Week (“Almedalen”) which takes place every year in Visby, Sweden. Almedalen provides a unique arena for Swedish decision-makers in politics, government agencies, business, and NGOs to meet, build relationships, discuss, and debate.
During Almedalen the CEO discussed Jokkmokk’s economic situation, the SEK 28 million cuts announced by Jokkmokks Kommun to balance its budget and the local and regional support for the Kallak Iron Ore Project (“Kallak “) from Jokkmokks Kommun, Jokkmokks Allmänning, local entrepreneurs, the Mayor of Luleå and leaders in Region Norrbotten. The CEO therefore explained the role that Kallak would play in transforming Jokkmokk’s economic future, to one that is ‘thriving, diversified and sustainable’ and lives beyond mining.
Additionally, the CEO received a number of questions regarding what Beowulf’s plans would be should the Company be awarded an Exploitation Concession (the “Concession”) for Kallak. In response to these queries the CEO shared the Company's immediate plans for Kallak, should the Concession be awarded, and described the Company's ambition to build a modern, sustainable and innovative mining operation.
In order to keep all shareholders up to date, the Company has outlined the CEO’s responses to these queries below.
Plans for Kallak
- The Company has an immediate three-step plan for advancing the Kallak project, in the event the Swedish Government awards the Concession:
In October 2017, the Company initiated the Study to consolidate the technical work carried out on the Kallak project, since the Company first started its investigations in 2010, and to develop the roadmap for advancing Kallak to pre-feasibility stage.
The planned Study was curtailed, because of the continued delays in processing the Kallak application, with SRK Consulting (UK) Limited completing an audit of the geological database and model, and validation of the Kallak mineral resource estimate.
Focus areas of the Study will be:
- the assessment of logistics, transport options from the mine to the Inlandsbanan (alternative methods and power supplies) and routes, with specific emphasis on the interaction with reindeer herding activities;
- market opportunities for Kallak’s production, including a potential ‘super’ high-grade magnetite concentrate’, over 71 per cent iron content with low deleterious elements (silica, alumina, phosphorous and sulphur), and what ‘value add’ processing steps might be possible at Kallak;
- the partnerships, organisational structures and programmes that are needed to prepare a workforce in readiness for mine construction and operation; and
Jokkmokk and the north of Sweden have a long tradition of entrepreneurship, and the Company has already discussed with Luleå University of Technology opportunities to work together, using Kallak as a ‘live’ case study, as part of the national strategic innovation programme for the Swedish Mining and Metal Producing Industry, SIP STRIM, which is part of a joint investment in strategic innovation areas (SIP) by Vinnova, Formas and the Swedish Energy Agency.
As has previously been stated by the Company, the Kallak project is not just about a mine. Kallak is the asset on Jokkmokk’s doorstep that can give the town a ‘thriving, diversified and sustainable’ economy that lives beyond mining.
The Company’s ambition is to develop a ‘smart and sustainable mine’, and at the same time to work in partnership with Jokkmokks Kommun and contribute to the development of Jokkmokk into a ‘smart and sustainable city’, creating the conditions for people to live and work in the town.
The Company has been a supporter of OECD initiatives over the last 18 months, including the OECD's Rural Policy Review 'Linking the Indigenous Sami People with Regional Development in Sweden', and the Company intends to use the OECD’s recommendations in the development of Kallak.
One of the OECD’s findings was that there is insufficient support for Sami entrepreneurs. The Company has an established Collaboration Agreement (the “Agreement”) with Jokkmokks Allmänning, the main purpose of the which is to invest funds and support the development of small-medium enterprises (“SMEs”) in Jokkmokk. To date, the Company has invested SEK 500,000, and has recently committed a further SEK 300,000 in the event the Concession is awarded.
The Agreement provides a template for setting-up a similar agreement with Sami communities, that supports the development of Sami SMEs.
Kurt Budge, Chief Executive Officer of Beowulf, commented:
“Following a successful AGM in London on 29 June, I headed to Almedalen last week.
“It is my fourth Almedalen and being there demonstrates Beowulf’s commitment to doing business in Sweden and making a positive contribution to Swedish society, locally in Jokkmokk, regionally in Norrbotten and as part of the world leading mining sector in Sweden.
“Whereas, on previous visits I have focused on explaining the protracted permitting process for Kallak, this year, in response to a number of queries, I have been presenting the Company’s plans should the Concession be granted, against the backdrop of iron ore prices reaching five year highs during the last week. From a technical perspective, the completion of a Scoping Study, and from a societal perspective, the creation of formal partnerships and agreements with Jokkmokks Kommun and Sami reindeer herding communities.
“Kallak is the foundation asset of Beowulf and has been in development for 10 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.
“On many occasions, the Company has stated its ambition to build the most modern, sustainable and innovative mining project, but equally exciting is to contribute to the economic resurgence of Jokkmokk.
“The Company’s investment in Kallak is aligned to the Government’s ‘January Agreement’ from this year, in which the Government made the commitment that all rural areas across Sweden should be able to develop, to build and equip railways, roads and housing so that people can live, live and work throughout the Sweden.
“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.
“The Company has done the work required to be granted a Concession. We hope that the Government is satisfied that is the case, and that the patience shown by our supporters in Jokkmokk and Norrbotten, and our 62 per cent Swedish and 38 per cent UK long-standing individual shareholders is rewarded.
“I look forward to keeping the market updated on further developments.”