Ore, Reserves and Production
One of the World’s Cleanest Copper Ores
The copper ore at Nussir and Ulveryggen is some of the most environmentally attractive in the world.
This is for three reasons:
- Copper is contained predominantly in Chalcocite and Bornite. There is very little chalcopyrite in the ore. The gangue material has no pyrite and other sulphides. This means that acid rock drainage will not be an issue for this project. In ores with pyrite in gangue material and host rock, acid is generated in the waste rock and the tailings, and present in the pumped mine water.
- The copper contained in chalcocite and bornite, results in the production of a concentrate which is relatively high in copper. Consequently less energy is wasted on shipping barren material in the concentrate for a given volume of copper.
- The concentrate will also be particularly clean. This is to say that toxic elements, such as arsenic and bismuth, are only present at extremely low levels, indeed some of the lowest of any copper concentrate in the world. This makes the copper concentrate very attractive to smelters, and it commands premium pricing.
Norway’s Largest Copper Reserves
The ore at Ulveryggen was discovered at the turn of the century by a person called Monsen. The Swedish company Nordic Grufaktiebolaget got the mining rights in 1903 and received an operating license in 1905. A road was built to the Bratthammer area 1.5 km southwest of Ulveryggen back in 1913. Around Ulveryggen there were probably dug and blasted out a number of surface trenches for chemical analysis of the ore up in the air, many of which are still visible on the outskirts of the open pit mines. Investigations took place in the area until 1913, but was then abandoned until the Canadian company Invex Corporation Limited resumed studies in 1955. Again, the rights transferred in 1963, this time to AS National Industry, who continued investigations. Folldal Verk AS took over the rights in 1970 and started up production on the ore in 1972. Calculated reserves were at that time 10 million tonnes of 0.72% Cu. The deposit was in operation until the end of 1978/1979. They produced 3.1 million tonnes averaging 0.66% Cu grade during those years.
The Nussir orebody was discovered by Kjell Nilsen when he was working for Folldal Verk around the time of the bankruptcy of the company in 1979. The ore was not properly investigated at the time due to other more pressing issues and rights were transferred and not followed up in a methodical fashion before Nussir ASA took over the rights in 2006. Since then the Nussir orebody has been core drilled, examined and the copper project has been developed alongside the Ulveryggen ore.
Reserves have been calculated from the JORC standard and is part of the feasibility study made by SRK in 2022.
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The deposit also has payable amounts of silver and gold. It is expected that future core drilling towards the deep will result in increased tonnage. The Nussir ore thickness is normally between 3 to 6 metres.