Bluejay Mining Plc – The Arctic Promise
Bluejay, Greenland’s premier mining exploration and development company, is on its way to release the island’s potential.
Bluejay Mining Plc is an Arctic-focused multi-commodity, multi-project exploration and development resource company. Bluejay currently has four projects in Greenland, which it is actively developing, aswell as several projects in former Finnish mining districts – two countries with very stable jurisdictions and very high environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.
As the parent company, Bluejay Mining runs several wholly owned subsidiaries that are in charge of project execution. The company has experts positioned in various locations throughout the world from Helsinki and London to Calgary to draw on the best expertise available. The amount of online communication and management has been high, a winning factor during the pandemic.
CEO Bo Møller Stensgaard affirms that the company has a very strong project portfolio in both countries and the fact that its teams are specialists in these challenging environments is a clear advantage when compared to competitors.
“We have extensive in-house expertise – we are not only geologists, but almost everyone in our team also has a professional background in mining, logistics and project management plus sound experience of operations in the Arctic paired with a profound understanding of the mineral business. While there are other companies with recent interest in Greenland, our unique ability to handle Arctic challenges – from climatic conditions to working with local communities – is what sets us apart.”
He explains that Greenland represents one of the last underexplored mineral regions that has the potential to contain globally significant resources. Finland on the other hand offers opportunities of a different kind – it has a long mining tradition and the company is looking at some of the brownfield areas in the former mining districts, re-evaluating the data with new eyes and testing areas with proven resources.
One of a kind
The prime focus at the moment is on advancing into production Bluejay’s primary Dundas Ilmenite Project in Greenland, the world’s most significant, highest grade mineral sand ilmenite deposit, in the near term. Ilmenite concentrate is used for the production of titanium – a metal regarded as critical by the European Union, the US and Canada.
The purpose of the Dundas Ilmenite Project is to extract ilmenite from the onshore raised and dry beaches of the ‘black sand’ deposit on the south coast of Steensby Land peninsula in North-West Greenland. The black sand is located on the surface of the raised and active dry beaches, and therefore requires simple surface mining and processing.
The project will consist of onshore automated continuous surface miners, a wet plant, a dry plant, a small port, a ship-loading facility, an airstrip, workforce accommodation, concentrate storage, and general utilities such as power and water supply.
Mr Stensgaard summarised the project’s uniqueness: “The resource is chemically homogenous, with low impurities, which is unusual on a global scale. Only three simple processes are required – mining, wet gravity processing and dry magnetic processing. The low-cost production will have minimal environmental impact. Its proximity to the US and Europe provides multiple export opportunities with relatively low shipping costs.”
The Dundas project underwent a successful public hearing and experiences local support from the surrounding communities in North-West Greenland. The Government of Greenland granted a 30 year mining permit for the project in December 2020 – a permit that can be extended. Whilst the feasibility study has initially identified a reserve for a 10-year mining operation, it is expected that additional resources in the area should be capable of supporting an operation for many more years.
Unlike most mining projects elsewhere in the world, the Dundas Ilmenite Project will have minimal environmental and positve social impact. Mr Stensgaard explains that where present, the uppermost part of the raised beaches with their organic plant material will be stripped off and deposited for later remediation work when the ilmenite has been mined from the black sand and the mining voids have been back-filled with sand rejected by the wet gravity separation.
“The project is also very much suited to the emerging mining sector in Greenland. The mining processes at Dundas are very simple, and a local workforce will be supported by the training courses available in Greenland,” he says. “With Greenland’s very high ESG standards, beneficial relationships with local communities are key and we have done and will continue to do everything we can to lessen our environmental impact and to create as much benefit as possible for the local community.”
The company is experienced in handling other Arctic challenges such as the need to create the entire infrastructure on a mobile basis. “Everything needs to be brought out there, and it all needs to be taken out again when the project is finished. As much as possible will be modularised, as few foundations as possible and nothing permanent built unless agreed with the authorities and local communities,” says Mr Stensgaard.
As the project is located in the so-called Arctic desert with only a small amount of snow, it will be possible to operate the mine all year round. The produced ilmenite concentrate will need to be kept in a storage facility, ready to the shipped during the four-months ice-free window, within which 11 shipments are expected to be made.
Expanding the focus
While the Dundas Ilmenite Project is the most advanced, Bluejay is also set to drive value by developing its other large-scale high-grade projects providing access to commodities including nickel, copper, lead, zinc and platinum.
These include the Kangerluarsuk Zinc-Lead-Silver Project, further south in West Greenland in an area with a recent history of mining from the world famous Black Angel Mine. Bluejay’s licence areas here are acknowledged as containing the strongest cluster of stream sediment zinc anomalies in the whole of Greenland.
A hidden jewel in Greenland is the Disko-Nuussuaq nickel-copper-platinum-cobalt-gold project located on the west coast of Greenland. The project has a high potential to host mineralisation similar to the world’s largest nickel/copper sulphide mine, Norilsk-Talnakh in Siberia.
Bluejay also has three high-grade, multi-element base metal deposits in southern Finland, a country with a strong mining tradition particularly in commodities including copper, nickel, zinc, cobalt, chromium, iron and vanadium. The projects are “cost sustainable” for the long term and the company is continuing to assess the best ways in which to realise value. Recently Bluejay entered into a $20 million joint venture with the mining giant Rio Tinto on one of the projects in Finland.
The project portfolio reflects the company’s strategy, says Mr Stensgaard. “Our strong multiple-commodity project portfolio taps into global trends – critical metals for sustainable growth on the one hand, and key metals for the green transition on the other. Our strategy is to deliver projects to a high standard with value for shareholders, and with the promising potential in both Greenland and Finland, we are in a good position to achieve that.”