Special Report: Mineral Commodities has secured itself two additional graphite prospects, just 15km from its existing Skaland graphite operations in Norway.

The Hesten and Vardfjellet prospects, acquired through Mineral Commodities’ (ASX:MRC) 90 per cent owned subsidiary Skaland Graphite AS, are located on the island of Senja about 4km west of MRC’s Bukken exploration project – the largest known graphite anomaly in Norway.

The Skaland mining operation just 15km away is the highest grade flake graphite operation in the world and the largest producing graphite mine in Europe.

That’s a serious project to hold when you look at the supply-demand equation for the commodity.

The agreement over Hesten and Vardfjellet grants MRC exclusive exploration rights for six years over a 6.9km2 area – an exploration addition CEO Mark Caruso said would be significant moving forward.

“With the addition of Hesten and Vardfjellet to our existing Bukken exploration project, we have secured some of the most prospective ground proximal to Skaland,” he said.

“By securing these prospects, MRC has the opportunity to further expand on our strategy to build our resource inventory at Senja.

“This investment in exploration highlights MRC’s commitment to graphite production at Skaland and contributes to our overall expansion goals.

“We look forward to unlocking more of the critical raw materials required to meet our plan to produce anode material in Norway.”

MRC told Stockhead in August that the company planned to leverage income from its Tormin mineral sands project in South Africa to build its battery anode business, eyeing Europe’s ever-growing appetite for electric vehicles.

Mineral Commodities Norway
Graphite occurrences in Northern Senja, underlaid by apparent resistivity from helicopter-borne 7kHz (modified after NGU, 2019). Pic: supplied.

A serious growth story

Having picked up Skaland in October 2019, MRC has set about expanding its Norwegian graphite ground to grow its future output from the project.

First addition was Bukken, just 4km away, and the addition of Hesten and Vardfjellet – themselves 2.5km apart – further adds to the MRC graphite presence in the Nordic nation.

All three of the prospects were identified by the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) through regional, helicopter-borne geophysical surveys. They sit about 50km southwest of Tromso, a town with a population of around 65,000.

Detailed geological mapping, including structural mapping, thin section analysis, sampling and assaying, was undertaken in 2003, 2016 and 2018 on all prospects.

Both Hesten and Vardfjellet have been surveyed several times by NGU since 2012, including by helicopter and ground electromagnetic, charged potential and self potential, as well as one profile of 2D resistivity and induced polarisation at Hesten in 2019.

The geology and mineralogy on the graphite-bearing rock at both prospects is said to be similar to that observed at Skaland, and has been mapped over a 1600m by 150m area with several graphite zones at Hesten.

Outcrops are said to be better exposed at Vardfjellet where graphitic schist has been found outcropping over an area of 1700m by 350m.

Mineral Commodities Norway
Rock face about 150m long on the western side of Vardfjellet, showing a mixture of graphite schist and amphibolitic gneiss. Pic: supplied.

MRC said individual graphite structures appeared to be thicker at depth than indicated at the surface based on ground electromagnetic data.

The company plans to begin an exploration program on its new prospects in the June quarter, comprising further ground-based geological mapping and sampling to determine high-grade locations to target drilling.


This article was developed in collaboration with Mineral Commodities, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.