Boreal Metals Corp. (TSX-V: BMX) is pleased to announce that it has completed the acquisition of the Modum Project ("Modum" or the "Project") from EMX Royalty Corporation ("EMX") (NYSE American:EMX; TSXV:EMX). Pursuant to the terms of the purchase and sale, Boreal has issued to EMX 1,324,181 common shares of Boreal, which brings EMX's equity ownership in Boreal to 19.9%. EMX will have the right to participate pro-rata in future financings at its own cost to maintain its 19.9% interest in Boreal. The TSX Venture Exchange has approved the transfer of the Modum exploration licenses from EMX to Boreal, subject to customary final filings.
"The Modum acquisition provides Boreal's investors with exposure to the rapidly expanding battery metals market," stated President and CEO, Karl Antonius. "We continue our aggressive growth strategy with the Modum Project and additional regional acquisitions. Advancing high quality cobalt assets in Scandinavia is attractive in light of the recent advancement of the Northvolt battery factory in northern Sweden."
Cobalt and the Region
Modum surrounds southern Norway's historic Skuterud Mine (also known as the Modum Mine), which was Europe's largest and highest-grade producer of cobalt through the nineteenth century1.
As demand for batteries drives a surge in the price of cobalt, the Democratic Republic of Congo (the "DRC"), which produces the majority of the world's cobalt, is overhauling its mining regulations. The DRC has recently lifted a provision exempting license holders of compliance with the new code for 10 years, which means there will immediately be higher royalties on cobalt, as well as copper and gold, in addition to a new 50% tax on super profits.
The 13,115 Ha Modum project is located approximately 75 kilometres west of Oslo, Norway. The Modum project is accessible year-round, with robust infrastructure including road, rail, power, and skilled labour in nearby municipalities. The Modum property position surrounds an inlier of exploration licenses held and explored by third parties that partially cover the historic Skuterud Mine. Historic mine workings, prospects and trends of mineralization extend onto the Boreal property.
The cobalt deposits in the Modum District are hosted in steeply dipping, north-south trending Mesoproterozoic sedimentary rocks known locally as "fahlbands". These rocks are intruded by mafic and ultramafic rocks and contain widespread albitization and sulfide mineralization, similar to other cobalt deposits in the region. The most prominent of the sulfide-bearing fahlbands hosts the mineralization at Skuterud which can be tracked for 12 kilometres along strike with an average thickness of 100 to 200 meters. Mineralization in the fahlbands occurs as disseminated sulfides, sulfide replacement zones, sulfide-rich veins developed within shear zones, and as structurally controlled lenses that occupy fold hinges.
Cobalt mineralization was discovered at the Skuterud Mine in 1772 (also known as the Modum Mine), which is the type locality of the mineral Skuterudite (CoAs3)1. Production from open pits commenced in 1776 but mining transitioned underground in 1827 and continued through 1898. It is estimated that the Skuterud Mine supplied over 80% of the world's commercially produced cobalt in the 1820s and 1830s with some byproduct copper1. Sandstad et al., 2012 estimate a total production of approximately 1 Mt at 0.2% cobalt based on historical mining reports2. Copper (up to 1-2%) and locally gold (several ppm) were present in Modum ores, but there are no records for production of these elements1,2.
Only limited modern exploration has taken place at Modum. In 2013, an aeromagnetic geophysical survey (200m line spacing) covering the entire Boreal land position was commissioned by the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU). In 2016, a 1:100,000 scale geological map was published by the NGU. Drilling programs have been recently conducted on inlier claims that cover about 20% of the prospective strike length at Modum. However, much of the remaining strike length, including the extensions onto Boreal ground, has never been drill tested before. Importantly, gold is known to accompany the cobalt mineralization, and precious metal potential remains largely unassessed at this time.
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