The mine, rail and processing facilities were refurbished in 2008 and recommissioned in 2009 by ASX-listed Northern Iron Ltd. The mine operated from 2009 to November 2015 with 20 million tonnes of ore mined and 8 million tonnes of magnetite concentrate (68% Fe) sold to Europe, the Middle East and China. The product is well known for its exothermic and low impurity characteristics.
In excess of US$250 million was invested in new equipment, refurbishment and debottlenecking of the processing facilities. The mine and production facilities operated with increasing efficiency, reliability and lower costs until November 2015. However rapid global iron ore market deterioration in 2015 forced the mine to close once again.
In April 2016, the Tschudi Group acquired the Sydvaranger assets. All equipment necessary for the restart of operations was secured and has since been carefully maintained. All necessary operating permits are also in place, with the mining permit granted in the spring of 2019. A successful and profitable production campaign took place in 2016, producing approximately 100,000 tonnes of high grade iron ore concentrate. The project provided an excellent opportunity to exercise the production line and demonstrate the ability to rapidly restart operations.
Sydvaranger has since focused its activities on supporting the restart of operations for the long term. This work has included an extensive analytical program to upgrade the geological database from drill core gathered over the past 100 years, an independent verification of the Sydvaranger resources, as well as a completion of all mine engineering designs that will underpin a sustainable and responsible operating plan.
In 2018, the Tschudi Group entered into a partnership with the US-based fund Orion Mine Finance, which de-risked the project through engineering and environmental studies. This attracted the attention of strategic partners, and in January 2021 Sydvaranger was merged with Tacora Resources Inc.
Tacora is an iron ore mining and mineral processing company focused on the acquisition, development and operation of iron ore reserves and assets which allow for the sale of high-grade and quality iron ore products. The Company’s equity investors include: funds managed by Proterra Investment Partners LP; Aequor Holdings LLC; Cargill, Inc.; a fund managed by Orion Mine Finance; and MagGlobal LLC. In July 2017, the Company purchased the Scully Mine, with a 6 million tonne per year iron ore concentrate capacity, located in Wabush, Newfoundland and Labrador and recommenced operations in June 2019. The acquisition of Sydvaranger provides Tacora with a 4 million tonne per year shovel-ready expansion opportunity and geographical diversification in a tier 1 jurisdiction. Additional information about the company is available at www.tacoraresources.com