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Sydvaranger acquisition: GRANGEX expands amidst Russian ore exodus

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The withdrawal of Russian ore from the European market is fueling increased demand for companies like Sydvaranger, according to Christer Lindquist, leader of GRANGEX. His company has now taken over the Norwegian mines located just a few hundred meters from Russia.

Lindquist emphasized the world-class quality of the product and expressed confidence in the success of the acquisition of the Sydvaranger iron ore mine.

The Swedish company has acquired 100% of the north Norwegian mining company for US$1.5 million. Sydvaranger already had a US$25 million debt to U.S investment company Orion Mine Finance.

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Lindquist believes that the far northern mines are heading towards reopening and highlights GRANGEX’s close cooperation with British company Anglo American. However, he acknowledges that there is still a long way to go before reopening, likely not before 2027.

The Sydvaranger pits are located less than two kilometers from the Russian border, which may deter potential investors. However, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the subsequent expulsion of Russian raw materials from the European market are now benefiting mining companies like GRANGEX.

Lindquist asserts the need to replace Russian ore in Europe due to market deficits and the importance of increasing self-sufficiency. The Sydvaranger mine was a cornerstone industry when it opened in 1908 and remained so until its bankruptcy in 1997. It was reopened by Australian developer Northern Iron in 2009 but closed again in 2015.

Local authorities hope for sustainable mining that will benefit local development for decades. Mayor Magnus Mæland welcomes GRANGEX and Anglo American to the municipality of Sør-Varanger and anticipates job creation and investment in the local community.

A full-scale relaunch of mining at Sydvaranger is expected to require up to 450 jobs, but recruitment may be challenging due to low unemployment in the municipality. Chief Operating Officer Thomas Bækø emphasizes the need for a mix of commuters and locals in the workforce.

While the reopening is seen as positive for local development, Bækø cautions against unrealistic expectations and emphasizes the need for gradual development over time.

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