A privately-owned London-based company that claims to have found one of the world’s biggest rock phosphate deposits in southern Norway will work with ABB to see if it can find ways to develop and finance a “next-generation” mine in the Scandinavian country.
Norge Mining, which said it had £2.38 million in the bank at the end of last year, has contracted ABB to do a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study on Bjerkreim-Sokndal, where it says it has drilled out 70 billion tonnes of mineralised igneous phosphate rock.
“The two companies will explore complete electrification of the Norwegian mine which is set to start operations in 2028,” Norge said this week.
Zurich-headquartered ABB is a global manufacturing and technology giant with a current market value around US$72 billion. Its engineering blueprint will build on earlier scoping and prefeasibility work done by US-based Bechtel.
“ABB is excited to begin this important project with Norge Mining, one that is anticipated to have a positive impact on European supply chains for the energy transition,” said ABB process industries cluster manager, Alex Kaufmann.
“Through our early involvement, as well as our expertise in design and solutions for mining, we will support Norge Mining to optimise costs both during the construction phase as well as during the operation of the mine.
“Furthermore, our eMine approach for electrification and automation, which makes mines all-electric and includes integrated solutions that help eliminate CO2 emissions, will help to increase the mine’s efficiency and ensure energy efficient and seamlessly integrated systems across the entire plant.”
Norge claims to have identified significant vanadium, titanium, phosphate and gold in its 520 square kilometres of exploration leases in south-west Norway. Founder Michael Wurmser said earlier this year it could cost €2 billion or more to establish a production base in the district.
“Norge Mining’s portfolio of significant critical and strategic raw minerals … [can] make significant global impacts on enabling food production and supplying the European battery manufacturing industry,” Wurmser said this week.