The Skåne Project offers exposure to Vanadium and the battery metals sector with a deposit in the heart of Europe. Sweden has long history of mining together with a well-established process of law, beneficial economics and proximity to terminal markets.
The project shows potential to develop a large, long life vanadium operation; with an exploration target of 610Mt – 1,200Mt @ 0.5-0.8% V2O5 in a sediment hosted black-shale ore deposit which dips gently from surface. Sediment hosted deposits offer potentially favorable metallurgy; a differentiator to establish both a low CAPEX and low OPEX operation as well as a clean processing route to provide a high purity V2O5 flake product.
Skåne is located on the southern-most tip of Sweden, about 1 hour’s drive from Malmö and 90 minutes’ drive from Copenhagen, the nearest international airport. The area is rural, characterised by seasonal tourism and agriculture. The primary exploration targets are situated on agricultural land.
Sweden is an established and highly regarded mining jurisdiction, a member of the European Union and has excellent human capital and infrastructure. The 2017 Fraser Institute Policy Perception Index, rated Sweden as the 4th most attractive jurisdiction in the world on ease and certainty of conducting mining and exploration activities. Sweden has amongst the lowest mining royalties globally at 0.2% and a corporate income tax rate of 22%.
Caption: Skåne, Southern Sweden
The Skåne Project is comprised of 11 exploration permits and cover what we believe to be the vast majority of the Dictyonema formation accessible from surface.
The presence of unusually high concentrations of vanadium in the Dictyonema Formation of the Alum shales in Skåne was first identified in 1940 when mining and production of V2O5 was conducted near to the hamlet of Flagabro on an area contained within the Killeröd licence application.
Vanadium was concentrated by biological action in the Early Ordovician Dictyonema Formation, the topmost member of the Alum Shale. Although part of the alum shale, freshening oceanic conditions resulted in higher biological activity and lower abiotic chemical precipitation. This subsequently resulted in much higher grade vanadium while other elements such as uranium, molybdenum, iron and sulphur are much lower. Skåne is the only region in Europe where the full thickness of Dictyonema shale is preserved at the top of the Alum Shale.
Detailed geological maps of the Skåne area have been produced by the Sveriges Geologiska Undersökning (SGU) based on extensive data including airborne surveys, mapping and historical drilling. A network of 140 water boreholes which are logged to give depth to the top of each stratigraphic unit are present on the Skåne Project area. This data shows that the Alum Shale occurs as a flat lying unit broken into blocks by a series of faults, while grade and thickness of the Dictyonema Formation comes from historic diamond drill cores drilled in the 1940’s. Borehole data assists with the development of a regional stratigraphic model, for calculation of an exploration target, and identifying areas for drill testing.
Mineralisation at Skåne is shale hosted which potentially offers a metallurgical advantage over traditional titanomagnetite deposits. Black shale has the potential to be amenable to modern Pressure Oxidation Leaching (POL); a self-contained processing method that can produce a high-quality V2O5 flake with little to no environmental discharge. POL processing plants are modularised and therefore highly scalable allowing for a lower CAPEX startup option and largely unrestricted expansion.
Preliminary results received from ore-characterisation test work undertaken in collaboration with the Research Institute of Sweden and the University of Copenhagen shows the Vanadium is distributed evenly throughout the clay matrix of the Dictyonema Seam. It also shows very little difference between samples taken from Flagabro Creek with core from historic Fågeltofta-2, suggesting that there should be limited difference between the processing of weathered ore and fresh ore.