Arctic Mineral Resources' objective is to develop a modern, environmentally conscious mining operation on the garnet deposit in Vevring, situated on the northern banks of the Førdefjord in Naustdal, Norway.
The Vevring resource is a large, continuous eclogite deposit particularly rich in hard-rock garnet, primarily of the Almandine type, as well as containing economically significant grades of rutile. The eclogite further contains traces of ilmenite, scandium and yttrium. Resource surveying and analysis to-date includes extensive surface sampling, 8.6km of core drilling across 29 holes (cores logged with WRF and stored at NGU), optical analysis of thin sections, and XRD sample analysis. The ore body intersects sea level just next to the fjord side continuing upwards in a north-easternly direction (well into an adjacent property) and downwards in a north-westernly direction into far depths.
The deposit generally contains high grades of garnet, however, certain zones have higher grades and/or larger grain sizes. This favours a reasonably selective underground mining method. High grade zones at and above sea level as well as the deposit's natural setting next to deep waters favours a development from the sea-side with machines and equipment located on barges adjacent to the mine site prior to having mined sufficient space to move inside the mountain. This yields a highly efficient and flexible start-up, as well as a minimal long-term foot print. Underground mining of gneiss from the mountain behind the deposit will, together with partial refill, yield the necessary space for depositing tailings.
The Vevring deposit contains hard rock garnet with angular shaped crystals. Large, angular, high purity grains are highly sought after, fetching multiples of the prices of small, rounded grains with mineral inclusions. Our comminution hence needs to focus on retaining large grain sizes, whilst at the same time avoiding grains with mineral inclusions as well as "composite grains", i.e., grains consisting of a matrix of smaller grains.
Processing typically involves separation based on paramagnetic features as well as density (specfic gravity). Significant grades of pyroxene as well as traces of ilmenite - dense and paramagnetic - calls for a well-tuned process flow in order to continuously produce high quality products.
Garnet is mainly used for sand blasting and waterjet cutting. Garnet dominates the waterjet cutting segment, but represents less than 10% of the sandblasting segment despite typically being the premium product for that application. Garnet is predominantly mined from alluvial mineral sand deposits, of which the largest are situated in India, Australia, China and South Africa. Only limited amounts are mined from hard rock deposits. There is no upstream production of significance in Europe. Less than a handful of the companies mining garnet have their own distribution platform and about half of the garnet produced is sold through third party distributors or large industrial mineral companies that also distribute alternative products, such as silica sand, coal and copper slag. Garnet is typically sold to end-customers in big-bags or 25kg bags through local sales representatives and regional distribution hubs. Garnet from Vevring will be sold through offtake agreements with large, existing players.
Copyright Arctic Mineral Resources AS - 2018