A mine that the local community wants

The local community of Vevring in Sunnfjord municipality is situated close to the North Sea along the northern banks of the Forde-fjord on the western side of the Engebo mountain, a beautiful mountain that can be admired from boats and ships in the fjord as well as from the shores of the Kvammen in Askvoll municipality, a local community situated on the southern side of the fjord, directly opposite the Engebo mountain. The Engebo mountain represents a popular hiking ground for the locals and the Forde-fjord is one of Norway’s national salmon fjords, and hence sensitive to industrial activities that may impact its marine wildlife.
The locals in Vevring thrive in a village rich in art and culture with stunning nature. They welcome sustainable businesses / industries which can contribute to the further development of the local community whilst maintaining its attraction as a pristine area to live. They welcome mining as long as it adheres to certain operational parameters, the most important of which are:
  • Minimal footprint during and after mining
  • Moderate size and longevity
  • Development of new and safe jobs with a gradual increase of local inhabitants
  • Mining that keeps the Engebo mountain and the Forde-fjord intact
  • Mining that allows a fruitful coexistence with the local society and the various local industries
The landowners were historically told (since the 1990s) that any commercially viable mining operation with the industrial mineral rutile as focal point would entail high extraction rates in order to yield economies of scale. Such extraction rates would in turn entail open pit mining that would require large scale deposits onshore and in the Forde fjord.
The historical focus on rutile mining was gradually replaced by an increasing focus on garnet, which represents more than 80% of the commercially viable mineral content of what is currently defined as mineral resource, and even more when defining the mineral applying a value-based cut-off. The continuous focal shift from rutile to garnet was not communicated to the local landowners, hence they had no knowledge that the most valuable mineral content was represented by garnet, a mineral that belongs to the landowners, and that a mining operation on garnet alone could yield highly attractive returns at significantly reduced extraction rates and mined in line with the local community’s desires.
Favourable geotechnical conditions allow for highly cost-efficient underground mining (less than €6 per tonne). A moderate extraction rate allows for full commercial utilisation of garnet and by-products, in turn yielding high income per tonne. Underground mining, moderate extraction rates, and offtake of tailings during the initial operating phase eliminates the need for disposing tailings in the fjord or waste rock onshore. All aspects of the project have been reviewed by experienced industry experts, confirming all to be operationally achievable, safe, and financially sound.
Establishing the operation at a moderate extraction rate, outsourcing parts of operation, and carrying out parts of the operation at an external industrial site during the initial operating phase allows for a gradual development of our operational organisation and avoids a sudden influx of mining and mineral recovery personnel in the local community. We will work towards a goal of making the workforce settling permanently in the Sunnfjord region. This way we will contribute to creating value and new employment within environmental parameters embraced by the local community whilst ensuring a healthy and gradual build-up of the business. In short, it is a mine that the local community welcomes.