Northland Chooses Finnish Rail and Port Option For Tapuli Project
Mr. Karl-Axel Waplan, Executive Vice-President of European Operations for Northland’s Swedish subsidiary, reports that the Company has decided to transport the planned production from its Tapuli project in Pajala, Sweden, using the Kolari-Kemi rail line, and the Kemi port, both located in Finland.
The Company estimates that the Tapuli mine and concentrator will produce 3 Mtpa of iron ore concentrate, when operating at full capacity. The concentrate will be trucked 28 kilometres to the existing rail line at Kolari, Finland for shipment to the port at Kemi, Finland.
The Kolari-Kemi rail line currently transports passengers and timber products, but has previously transported iron ore. With minimum upgrades, the rail line can accommodate Tapuli’s planned production of 3 Mtpa of iron ore concentrate. This summer, the Finnish government commenced upgrading the rail line, at an estimated cost of EUR 84 million. The Finnish rail authority is currently studying the cost and technical requirements to upgrade the line further, to accommodate additional tonnage in anticipation of production from Northland’s Stora Sahavaara and Hannukainen projects.
In anticipation of the need for additional rail line and port capacity, Northland continues to consider other options regarding rail transport and port facilities. Northland has engaged Railize International to examine the feasibility of various rail link options, including using the Kolari-Kemi rail line to the ports of Lulea or Kalix-Storon, which are located in Sweden.
The Company has determined that the lead times involved in establishing a rail link from Kaunisvaara and Svappavaara in Sweden to the Port of Narvik in Norway, are not compatible with the Company’s forecasted near-term production timelines. However Narvik has not been ruled out as a long-term alternative.