The Southern Norway Nickel projects are part of a belt of nickel sulfide deposits and occurrences in southern Norway which allowed Norway to become the world’s major producer of nickel in the 1870’s1. In the late 1920’s, Falconbridge Nickel Mines Ltd, which operated nickel mines in the Sudbury District of eastern Canada, acquired the regional smelting and processing facility in Norway known as “Nikkelverk A/S”, which still operates today.
This led to decades of exploration by Falconbridge, during which time Falconbridge and its partners discovered and advanced a number of nickel sulfide prospects, including each of EMX’s Norwegian Projects. After being acquired by Xstrata in 2006, Falconbridge’s regional exploration programs were curtailed, and the projects were abandoned shortly thereafter. These projects largely remained idle until acquired by EMX over the past two years.
The Flåt mine (pronounced like “float” in English) was one of the largest historic nickel producers in Norway, producing over 2.5 million tonnes of mineralized material, and was in operation from 1872 through World War II2. EMX’s exploration licenses surround the historic Flåt mine and cover the lateral and downward projections of the body of mineralization that was historically mined. Drilling by Falconbridge on the EMX licenses in the 1970’s failed to reach the projection of the mineralization at depth below the mine, and subsequent geophysical surveys defined additional targets that were never tested. EMX believes these to represent “walk up” drill targets on the project.
The Bamble nickel-copper-cobalt project covers a large area (11,000 hectares) with numerous nickel and copper prospects and historic mine workings. Remarkably, only limited historic drilling has taken place within the project area, and several key mineralized intercepts were never followed up. Falconbridge and its JV partner Blackstone Ventures, Inc. made the project a focus between 2004 and 2009, but little to no exploration has taken place since along the project’s 20 kilometer trend.
The 5,000 hectare Brattåssen nickel-copper-cobalt project was advanced by Falconbridge and Blackstone from 2004-2006, which included geophysical surveys and 10 diamond drill holes across multiple exploration targets. Nickel sulfide mineralization intersected at shallow depths by drilling at the Seljåsen prospect was never followed up, and a significant magnetic anomaly at the Brattåssen prospect was also never drill tested.
In February 2021 EMX has entered into an option agreement for the Flåt, Bamble and Brattåssen nickel-copper-PGE-cobalt projects in Norway and for the Mjövattnet and Njuggträskliden nickel-copper-PGE-cobalt projects in Sweden with Martin Laboratories EMG Limited (“MLE”), a private UK based company. The Agreement provides EMX with an equity interest in MLE, a 2.5% net smelter return (“NSR”) royalty on each project, and other considerations including advanced annual royalties (“AAR”) and milestone payments. MLE may also issue up to 9.9% of its issued and outstanding share capital to EMX as certain conditions are satisfied.
1Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) 2018: Nickel in Norway, Focus Article no 6; https://www.ngu.no/sites/default/files/Focus_6_2018_Nickel_in_Norway_web.pdf.
2 Bjoerlykke 1947, Flåt Nickel Mine; Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) Journal Article no 168b; https://www.ngu.no/FileArchive/NGUPublikasjoner/NGUnr_168B_Bjoerlykke.pdf.
Note: The nearby mines provide geologic context for EMX’s Project, but this is not necessarily indicative that the Project hosts similar tonnages or grades of mineralization.