MRC is drilling Bukken, Norway’s largest known graphite anomaly
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Special Report: The greenfields Bukken graphite prospect is massive. A discovery here, only 20km from Mineral Commodities’ operating Skaland mine in Norway, would boost the company’s plans of becoming a vital part of Europe’s emerging battery supply chain.
The operating mine at Skaland, an advanced development project in WA and now a greenfields prospect at Bukken — Mineral Commodities (ASX:MRC) is well positioned to become a significant player in the world graphite market.
In October 2019, MRC finalised the acquisition of the Trælen graphite mine and Skaland processing facility in Norway.
This is the largest flake graphite producer in Europe and the highest-grade flake graphite mine in the world, with mill feed grade averaging approximately 28 per cent carbon.
The greenfields (underexplored) Bukken graphite prospect – 20km from Skaland — is another step toward MRC’s aim of capitalising on the fast-growing demand for lithium-ion batteries by becoming Europe’s first vertically integrated producer of natural graphite anode material.
The agreement through its 90 per cent owned subsidiary, Skaland Graphite AS, will provide MRC with exclusive exploration rights for 10 years.
The target is huge. Bukken is Norway’s largest known continuous graphite anomaly.
By way of comparison, MRC estimates that Bukken could conceptually be longer (2,000m) and wider (300m) than the existing Trælen underground mine at Skaland.
Initial surface mapping and sampling by the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) returned carbon content of up to 14.1 per cent, an indication of significant total carbon (TC) concentrations in the area.
In 2018, two short (less than 50m) diamond drill holes at the very edges of the geophysical anomaly (due to access issues) intersected graphite bearing gneiss but failed to intersect high-grade graphite rich zones.
NGU believes these holes were too short.
Following further ground-based geological mapping and sampling to dial in on higher grade locations, MRC plans to drill to at least 200m depth to show a true representation of any high-grade graphite distribution within the gneiss.
The company anticipates commencing an exploration program this quarter.
MRC now has an opportunity to explore one of Norway’s most prospective graphite targets, executive chairman Mark Caruso says.
“The discovery of an economic graphite resource at Bukken, located only 20km from our processing infrastructure at Skaland, would further add to our strategy to make Skaland an integral part of Europe’s plan to secure supply of critical battery raw materials,” he says.
“Mineral exploration is the foundation of extractive industries and we are pleased to be investing in greenfields exploration that contributes to securing European supply and the transition to green energy technologies.”