Still Waiting for Sydvaranger Mine Decision

Sydvaranger is the northernmost iron ore mine in Europe, located in Sør-Varanger municipality, Troms and Finnmark County, Norway. (Photo: Sydvaranger)

Sydvaranger Mine is working on re-establishing mining operations. However, it is not yet clear when the new North American owners will make a decision about commencing the project.

“We are a bit delayed in going through the project with the new owners, who are to make some strategic choices, says Operations Manager Thomas Bækø of Sydvaranger Mine to High North News.

The North American company Tacora Resources Inc. acquired Sydvaranger Mine from the Norwegian shipping and logistics company Tschudi Group in January 2021. Ten months later, it is still not clear when the new North American owner will make a decision about commencing the project.

“The process is currently ongoing, however, Tacora has not yet made a decision about this project when it comes to timeline and all that. In a project of this scale, there are a lot of details that need to fit together and nothing is decided until all is decided. However, we are confident that we have an owner who works for starting up the Sydvaranger mine as soon as practically possible”, he adds.

Maintenance work

Meanwhile, there is maintenance work in the mine and of the equipment.

“In addition, we also have a team working on going through the technical plans and studies made.”

According to Tacora, preliminary work indicates that the operation will employ 350 to 400 people.

We are confident that we have an owner who works for starting up the Sydvaranger mine  
Operations Manager Thomas Bækø, Sydvaranger Mine

A question of electricity

In Eastern Finnmark, where Sydvaranger Mine is located, the transfer capacity for electricity is rather limited compared to elsewhere in the country.

What do you think about your electricity situation?

“We do of course pay close attention to supply ability in Eastern Finnmark and potential problems here. At the same time, we have been promised that there is sufficient electricity in the grid for us to start up Sydvaranger given our current consumption.”

“In the future, when we perhaps want to electrify more, having supply safety and being able to add sufficient electricity, especially here in the eastern parts of the county, will be a precondition for us to do so. Of course we monitor the situation”, he says in closing.

Sydvaranger Mine was operative from 1910 to 1997. In this period, more than 200 million tons of iron ore was produced. 11 years later, the mine was rehabilitated. It was put into operation again in 2009 and ran until bankruptcy in November 2015.

The Tschudi Group has been involved with Sydvaranger since 2006.

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This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by HNN's Elisabeth Bergquist.