Land and Location
|Ariselvveien 10, 9620 Kvalsund, Norge|
Where we are
The company Nussir ASA is registered in Hammerfest municipality in Troms and Finnmark county. The two orebodies that comprise the copper project, Nussir and Ulveryggen, are about 4 km apart from each other. Both are located in Hammerfest municipality, adjacent to the regional road and the Repparfjord.
Footprint and land use
The Nussir project is a new copper mine in Northern Norway based on the brownfield site of a mine that stopped operations in 1979. All infrastructure is already in place and almost no new undisturbed land will be needed to develop the new copper ore underneath the historical ore body. Mitigating measures have been put in place to allow the operation to coexist with the Sami reindeer herding activity in the Municipality allowing everyone to prosper from the benefits the operation will bring.
Access to infrastructure
The processing plant is adjacent to the regional road, RV94, which connects the nearest city of Hammerfest to Skaidi, where the RV94 meets the E6. The project has its own harbour which will be utilised for concentrate shipments and for receiving goods by sea. There are three airports close by, the largest is in Alta, the biggest city in Finnmark, then there’s Hammerfest airport and an airport capable of receiving special large cargo in Lakselv.
World’s first zero carbon mine
Nussir ASA’s mining project will be a state-of-the-art mine and is planned to be the first fully electrified mine in the world. Once in commercial operation, there will be no diesel engines running at site. Combining zero carbon emissions with Norway’s almost 100% clean renewable energy grid is the ultimate combination for bringing the much needed copper metal to market in a sustainable way.
Optimised mine plan
The mine plan is optimised for efficiency and for the use of battery and electric vehicles and machines. The need for ventilation is greatly reduced as there will be no emissions underground. Additionally, there is a reduce need for heating the air in winter, leading to further reductions in energy usage. The mine plan also utilises an innovative setup of distributed crushers to speed up mining logistics.
Best underground working environment
Diesel exhaust fumes can be harmful to miners however, until now, there has not been an alternative option. The Nussir operation will have zero emissions of CO2 and any other combustible exhaust gases underground. This will lead to a much cleaner working environment and reduce the risks for miners working at the project. It will probably be the best mine to work in in the entire world.
Ore, Reserves and Production
One of the world’s cleanest copper ores
The ores of Nussir and Ulveryggen, the two ore bodies that will be mined, have zero excess sulfide minerals except for the copper ores themselves. This means no acid rock drainage problems and minimal impact from leaching. Additionally, the ore is exceptionally clean with almost no deleterious elements hence, it is expected that the ore will command a premium price in the world copper concentrate market
The Ulveryggen orebody was mined in several open pits until 1979. An access tunnel was built for transporting the ore from the pits to the concentrate silos at the Øyen site, and is still in useable for the new project today. The Nussir orebody has not been mined before. It is significantly larger and stretches some 10 km from the fjord into the hillside. The deepest diamond drill hole was 1100 meters deep and still found high grade ore, which means that the orebody is open at depth. SRK calculated that the Nussir mine has economically exploitable Proven and Probable reserves of 155,000 tonnes of contained copper and Ulveryggen has almost 7,000 tonnes of contained copper.
Timeline to production
Preparing the portal and continuing with the access tunnels and underground infrastructure will begin in summer 2021 and continue for two years. At the same time the processing facility will be partly upgraded and partly rebuilt with modern automated ore processing technology.
Plans & Permits
All permits awarded
The Nussir Copper Project has received all its key construction and operational permits. The Zoning plan is finished and covers the areas for mining, processing and deposition. The operating licence has been awarded by the Directorate of Mining and the tailings permit was awarded by the Norwegian Environmental Agency. In addition Nussir ASA hold all the mining rights necessary for both the Nussir and the Ulveryggen ores.
State-of-the-art tailings solution
The tailings will be deposited in a natural basin. Nussir’s ESIA studies found that a Sea Tailings Placement (STP) at the bottom of the adjacent deep fjord was both environmentally a reasonable approach and would have a lower environmental impact and risk than the deposition in a tailings dam on land. This is due to the STP being deposited in a natural basin in the fjord with zero chances of any landslides or dam ruptures. The STP will be fully automated and equipped with continuous, online surveillance systems.