September 6, 2016

Sydvaranger Ramps-up Plans to Test the Mine Equipment and Production Line, Signals a New Chapter in Care and Maintenance Activities

Sydvaranger AS (“Sydvaranger”) is pleased to announce plans to ramp-up its care and maintenance activities during the next months to include a test program for running mining, rail and production line equipment. The program will stretch the activities across the Bjørnevatn and Kirkenes sites and simulate a short period of production operations.

The focus will be to extend the ongoing care and maintenance to include exercising the equipment in an operating environment to ensure the Sydvaranger assets remain in an operationally ready state. Planned activities will include the movement of some available ore stocks located at the Sydvaranger mine combined with a trial of magnetic iron material located at the historical tailings deposit (Slambanken) site in Kirkenes.

The benefits of the project include bringing the production line to a fully commissioned state whilst equally importantly, promoting a period of employment for local personnel which will assist in maintaining their unique skills and competence in mining operations. It is anticipated the project will also result in the production of some iron ore concentrate which, if successful, will demonstrate Sydvaranger’s ability to re-enter the market as a producer in future.

Commenting on the project, Peter Steiness Larsen, Chairman of Sydvaranger says: “We are delighted with the progress the small Sydvaranger team has made over the last months with the care and maintenance program and we are excited to now expand this work further to include a production type exercise to give both our people and the equipment a work out. We are also extremely pleased that this project will enable us to hire in several local and skilled personnel while also creating an opportunity to build partnerships with several of our local business partners.”

“Progress continues to be made on the permitting for mining activities in the longer term and we remain optimistic about the future opportunities at Sydvaranger. At the same time, we are realistic that these processes take time and the iron ore market continues to be challenging at present, so our focus continues to be on ensuring the mine and production line is kept “warm” to secure the future opportunities for renewed activity” Mr Larsen says.

Sydvaranger Industriområde, 9900 Kirkenes, Norway
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