Boreal (BMX.V): Close Proximity Exploration to Europe’s Largest Historic Cobalt Mine


Boreal Metals (BMX.V) is well liked around these parts. And for good reason.

The company has a number of prospective projects, in a number of different geological settings, any one of which could be a company-maker.

I gave Boreal a thorough once-over back in May and came away rather impressed with the number of irons it had in the fire.

The company is NOT treating these projects as ‘inventory’, something they’ll get to ‘someday’, perhaps when the junior market improves. No Siree Bub, Boreal is hitting the ground running on multiple fronts.

And they have their work cut out for them. It is for this reason that BMX management – a team already stacked with geological talent – is recruiting new blood.


Check out this guys resume…

Rodney Allen is an economic geologist with 39 years of experience in mineral exploration and geological research of complex ancient volcanic regions. Mr. Allen has carried out assignments for over 50 mining and mineral exploration companies, universities and government agencies in Australia, Europe, Canada, Turkey and Japan. He was Manager, Geology Research and Development for the Boliden Group, in Sweden for ten years and is currently Consultant Geologist and CEO for Volcanic Resources. Mr. Allen’s geological interpretations were instrumental in the discovery of zinc-lead-copper-silver-gold ore bodies worth over $33 billion at Garpenberg and Renström in Sweden and Rosebery in Australia.

Most significant, Rodney Allen was key to the to the discovery of new resources and expanding reserves at Boliden’s world class Garpenberg zinc mine in Sweden, a mine which is in the same mineral belt as the company’s Gumsberg project. This was a smart hire… a strategic hire.

Speaking of strategic…

Another piece of news that caught my eye was the commencement of exploration on the company’s Modum Cobalt Project in Norway. I’ve been looking forward to the start of this one.

Cobalt – considerations, and concerns…

By now, I’m sure we’re all aware of just how important cobalt is to the battery metals market.

I’m sure we’re all aware of just how important ‘ethically sourced cobalt’ has suddenly become to the battery metals market.

The DRC, where the lion’s share of the world’s cobalt is produced, has become a hands-off source-nation for the vast majority of cobalt consuming companies. These companies are busy scouring the planet for a kinder, less objectionable source of the metal.

The move has prompted headlines such as this: Apple in Talks to Buy Cobalt Directly From Miners.

For a refresher course on the push for ethically sourced Co, Equity Guru’s Lukas Kane has the right stuff here.

The Project:

Outcropping zones of visible cobalt mineralization in vicinity of historic mine workings

Modum is located seventy-five kilometers west of Oslo, Norway. The region was once Europe’s primary source of cobalt during the late 17th and 18th centuries.

The project enjoys year-round access with good infrastructure including road, rail, power, and skilled labour in nearby communities.

The Modum project surrounds Norway’s historic Skuterud Mine, also known as the Modum Mine.

note the position of the historic Skuterud Mine within BMX’s property lines. Also note the scale on the map (bottom right)

A bit of project history…

Cobalt mineralization was discovered in 1772 at the Skuterud Mine. Production began in 1776 via a series of open pits, transitioning underground in 1827, continuing through 1898.

The Skuterud Mine is estimated to have supplied over 80% of the world’s commercially produced cobalt in the 1820’s and 1830’s. There was also some byproduct copper, and possibly gold (there are no records for precious metal production even though gold is enriched in Modum’s mineralization).

All told, the Skuterud Mine is estimated to have produced somewhere in the neighborhood of one million tons of Co bearing material.

The Exploration Potential at Modum:

The only real exploration performed on the project since those early mining days was in 2013 – a two-hundred-meter line spaced aeromagnetic geophysical survey covering Boreal’s entire land position was commissioned by the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU). Three years later a 1:100,000 scale geological map was also published by the NGU.

That’s it for exploration. The region is like a blank canvas for modern-day geological sleuths to ply their artistry.

The project encompasses some 13,100 hectares of terra firma… some twenty-five kilometers of prospective terrain to explore.

Here’s the beauty and a hint of intrigue: no drilling has ever taken place on this highly prospective property.

No modern exploration of any kind has been performed on the project to date – NONE… ZILCH… JACK SQUAT!

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: THE BEST OF CHRIS FARLEY — Pictured: (l-r) Chris Farley, David Spade, Christina Applegate (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Much of the mineralization along trend is exposed on the surface.

Much of this exposed surface mineralization is in the form of coarse-grained (recrystallized) sulfide ore – material ideally suited to low-cost processing.

Commenting on the validity of this project as a potential source of significant cobalt mineralization, Karl Antonius, President and CEO stated…

This is an exciting time for Boreal as we begin exploring for cobalt in this historic mining district. The Skuterud Mine was Europe’s largest and highest-grade producer of cobalt through the nineteenth century.

According to the June 22nd News Release…

This current program will include soil and till sampling of surface material along the geological trend of the historical mining areas.

The goal is to identify extensions of known mineralized zones, as well as outline new zones for future exploration targets.

This phase of exploration will cover the entire claim block with an emphasis on sampling lines along key geological targets. These lines will be oriented perpendicular to the extension direction of known mineralization.

Sampling teams will also be recording important geologic data in order to update their geological maps of the area.

The ultimate goal, at the conclusion of this current phase of exploration, is to define and prioritize drill targets for a future drilling campaign.

Geology of the Modum District…

The cobalt deposits in the Modum District are hosted in steeply dipping, north-south trending Mesoproterozoic sedimentary rock known locally as “fahlbands”. These rocks are intruded by mafic and ultramafic rocks and contain widespread albitization and sulfide mineralization consistent with 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 and average from 100 to 200 meters thick. Mineralization in the fahlbands occurs as sulfide replacement zones, sulfide-rich veins developed within shear zones, and as structurally controlled lenses that occupy fold hinges.

Apparently, the Modum region has garnered a certain degree of interest and fascination over the decades. A Doctoral thesis focused on the areas mineralization titled, ‘A geological investigation of the cobalt – fahlbands of the modum area, Norway’, was presented back in 1964 by one John Bundell Gammon.

The Project Portfolio:

As mentioned at the top of this piece, the company boasts a number of prospective projects, in a number of different geological settings.

There are eight projects in total – eight high-quality exploration projects, including the recently acquired Mjövattnet and Njuggträskliden nickel, copper, and cobalt properties.

The most advanced along the exploration curve is the Gumsberg VMS Project in southern Sweden. I covered this project here at Equity Guru back in early May. It’s an interesting VMS project which should produce substantial newsflow going forward.

The other projects in the BMX portfolio will all be producing results in good time. We’ll be watching the news wires for any movement on that front.

Final Thoughts:

I was hoping Boreal management would push the Modum Cobalt Project to the front of the line after Gumsberg. I like this project.

Though the cobalt price has drifted off of its highs in recent days, it’s bound to remain buoyant as the world rushes to roll out fleets of new EV’s (electric vehicles)… cars, trucks, buses, you name it.

image courtesy of InfoMine

Some of the more prospective juniors in the sector have seen dramatic price gains in recent weeks/months due to takeovers via companies higher up on the foodchain. Cobalt One, Cobaltech and US Cobalt were all taken out by acquisition-hungry First Cobalt (FCC.V).

Canada Cobalt Works (CCW.V) is an example of a cobalt explorer that has performed quite well in recent days/weeks on its own volition, without the benefit of having a predator taking a run at it.

The price performance below is the result of hard work, focused exploration, bulk sampling, metallurgy, and of course… geology.


chart courtesy of StockCharts

Boreal Metals appears to have all of the elements in place to do a CCW. It appears to have everything it requires to succeed, and to project that success onto its price chart.

The company boasts a rare combination of attributes: a robust project portfolio in highly supportive mining-friendly jurisdictions, a super-tight cap-structure, a management team stacked with talent, an excellent and strategic relationship with EMX Royalty (EMX.V), and the resolve to create shareholder value.

I’d be liking this one… especially at current prices.


~ ~ Dirk Diggler

Full disclosure: Boreal Metals is an Equity Guru client. The author does not own stock in the company but may initiate purchases in the near future.

Feature Image courtesy of english.cri.cn


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