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scoping study for production capacity increase

scoping study for production capacity increase
Sydvaranger Gruve AS
Kirkenes, Norway

scoping study evaluates expansion options

Sydvaranger Gruve AS (SVG) was established in 2007 to rehabilitate the mining, railroad, and manufacturing plants at a former mine site and processing plant located near Kirkenes, Norway. The former pelletizing facilities had been demolished and removed from the plant site. SVG resumed production of high-grade iron ore concentrate during 2009 producing magnetite concentrate from magnetite ore mined in a conventional open-pit mine at a production rate of approximately 2.2 dry Mt/a of concentrate being shipped to European and Asian markets.

In late 2010, SVG implemented a plant debottlenecking initiative to increase the plant’s output to approximately 2.8 dry Mt/a of concentrate. In 2011, SVG brought in the Barr/NORAMCO team to perform a scoping study to evaluate options for an expansion project to increase capacity to 5.6 dry Mt/a. The study considered the technical aspects of such an expansion and included considerations for maximum utilization of existing facilities and infrastructure.

The Barr/NORAMCO team evaluated three primary options for the beneficiation plant location and equipment. Option 1 consisted of expanding the existing plant utilizing the existing infrastructure and plant space. Option 2 consisted of expanding the plant west of the existing fines crusher in the former pellet plant area and using ore directly from train by conveying it to a new ore stockpile and feeding it to the new plant. Option 3 consisted of the same expansion plant as Option 2 located near the mine site but with primary crushed and dry cobbed ore directly conveyed to the new ore stockpile and then into the new concentrator plant.

For Options 1 and 2, the study evaluated the capital cost for rail and overland conveyor transport of ore from the mine near Bjornevatn to the expansion plant locations in Kirkenes, approximately eight km away. All three options included expansion of tailings disposal into the fjord, a conventional on-land wet tailings basin system, and a dry on-land disposal with the filtered tails comingled with mine rock stripping stockpiles.

Later, SVG requested the evaluation of a fourth alternative where part of the grinding and concentrating are done at Bjornevatn, and an intermediate concentrate is pumped to Kirkenes for further processing.

The client and its investment bank, Goldman-Sachs, both found the study useful for possible expansion and investment opportunities in the future.