14 September 2021
Beowulf Mining plc
("Beowulf" or the "Company")
Letter to Minister Baylan
Beowulf (AIM: BEM; Spotlight: BEO), the mineral exploration and development company, has sent a letter from its CEO, Kurt Budge, to Sweden's Minister of Enterprise and Innovation, Ibrahim Baylan, concerning the status of Beowulf's Kallak application.
The letter is reproduced below:
CEO's letter to the Minister:
Statsrådet Ibrahim Baylan
Jokkmokk Iron Mines AB, Kallak nr 1, Jokkmokks kommun, Norrbottens län - Application for an Exploitation Concession
I write to you to request a meeting to discuss the development of the Kallak Iron Ore Project ("Kallak").
Previously, you have said that a decision on Kallak will be made once UNESCO comments are received, and now that is the case, it appears you have everything you need to decide.
With your announced retirement last week, you can surely appreciate that the prospect of engaging with a third Minister over 6 years is of great concern to me.
In September 2017, your predecessor Mikael Damberg said that Swedish law is enough for testing the Kallak application and that the permitting process should be "by the book".
With the Concluding Statement, submitted to the Government by the Company's lawyers in November 2019, we robustly demonstrated that under judicial review the Company's application would satisfy all requirements for being granted a Concession. Only for that Statement to be met by silence and inaction on the part of the Government.
It is almost 2 years since you wrote to me, in September 2019, explaining that my request for a meeting at that time "concerns a forthcoming Government decision - a dossier that is currently under preparation" and for those reasons the Government was unable to meet or comment with regard to its "ongoing review".
It is nearly 10 months since The Constitutional Committee ("KU"), in its review of the Government's handling of the Company's application for an Exploitation Concession for Kallak, made the following statement (translation):
"KU has examined the application for a processing concession for Kallak. In the Government case, no visible administrative measures were implemented for almost three years. This means a delay that is not acceptable, according to KU.
It also appears that the applicant has on several occasions asked the Ministry of Trade and Industry for a meeting. The Ministry has then stated that this is not possible because the issue concerns a forthcoming Government decision and is a matter under consideration.
KU notes that the Ministry management's statement does not seem to be in line with what the Prime Minister has stated. The Government Offices thus seem to lack a common approach to the possibility for parties in administrative matters to have a meeting with the responsible ministry."
It is 18 months since we both attended the Mining Nordic Day in Toronto in early March 2020, at which event you saved your biggest welcome for investors. I reminded you that Beowulf has been invested in Sweden and working on Kallak since 2006. You also said that I was welcome to do business in Sweden.
It continues to be the case, that Beowulf is unable to do business in Sweden, because we cannot get a decision on Kallak and play our part in the Country's sustainable mining future.
Fossil-free steel making in Sweden is in the ascendency. Yet when it comes to permitting, there is no visible understanding exhibited by authorities or the Government that steel plants need sustainably produced high quality iron ore, like Kallak's market-leading 71.5 per cent magnetite iron concentrate.
Jokkmokk desperately needs investment and jobs. Kallak will bring billions of SEK in investment and hundreds of jobs to the municipality that will keep people employed and support families for decades.
The application you have on your desk is for Kallak North. Yet the Company has continued to invest, explore and assess the potential in the Kallak area, and, in May 2021, with our licences Kallak South and Parkijaure, we upgraded the global Mineral Resource Estimate showing the potential for up to 389 million tonnes of iron ore mineralisation that could support mining for 30-40 years. More than doubling the current estimated life of Kallak North.
As with Kiruna or Aitik, the full potential of any mining development is not presented with the first application. Mines last longer than first envisaged, workers hold jobs for longer, taxes get paid for longer, municipalities like Jokkmokk recover and thrive, and minerals and metals get produced under the right conditions.
Investors in capital projects across sectors need to see transparency and predictability in permitting processes, which you have spoken of and which define competitive jurisdictions. Yet it appears you will leave office before the reviews you initiated have concluded, or any action taken to resolve the issues that have impeded business during the last 3 years.
In the case of Kallak, you now have the chance, before leaving office, to make a final decision that will make it possible for the Company to take the project forward in partnership with the community in Jokkmokk.
Chief Executive Officer, Beowulf Mining plc
Director, Jokkmokk Iron Mines AB
Beowulf Mining plc
Kurt Budge, Chief Executive Officer Tel: +44 (0) 20 7583 8304
SP Angel(Nominated Adviser & Broker)
Ewan Leggat / Stuart Gledhill / Adam Cowl Tel: +44 (0) 20 3470 0470
Tim Blythe / Megan Ray Tel: +44 (0) 20 7138 3204
Statements and assumptions made in this document with respect to the Company's current plans, estimates, strategies and beliefs, and other statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements about the future performance of Beowulf. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those using words such as "may", "might", "seeks", "expects", "anticipates", "estimates", "believes", "projects", "plans", strategy", "forecast" and similar expressions. These statements reflect management's expectations and assumptions in light of currently available information. They are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to , (i) changes in the economic, regulatory and political environments in the countries where Beowulf operates; (ii) changes relating to the geological information available in respect of the various projects undertaken; (iii) Beowulf's continued ability to secure enough financing to carry on its operations as a going concern; (iv) the success of its potential joint ventures and alliances, if any; (v) metal prices, particularly as regards iron ore. In the light of the many risks and uncertainties surrounding any mineral project at an early stage of its development, the actual results could differ materially from those presented and forecast in this document. Beowulf assumes no unconditional obligation to immediately update any such statements and/or forecast.
About Beowulf Mining plc
Beowulf Mining plc ("Beowulf" or the "Company") is an exploration and development company, listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and the Spotlight Exchange in Sweden.
Beowulf's purpose to be a responsible and innovative company that creates value for our shareholders, wider society and the environment, through sustainably producing critical raw materials, which includes iron ore, graphite and base metals, needed for the transition to a Green Economy and to address the Climate Emergency.
The Company's asset portfolio is diversified by commodity, geography and the development stage of its various projects.
The Company's most advanced project is the Kallak iron ore asset in northern Sweden. A potential 389 million tonne resource which can produce a 'market leading' concentrate of 71.5% iron content and is a potential source of supply for fossil-free steel production in Sweden for decades to come.
Fennoscandian Resources ("Fennoscandian"), a wholly-owned subsidiary, is pursuing a strategy to develop a resource and production base of graphite that can provide security of supply and contribute to Finland's ambitions of achieving battery manufacturing self-sufficiency, focusing on both natural flake graphite production and a Circular Economy/recycling strategy to produce high-value graphite products. The Company is also developing its knowledge in processing and manufacturing value-added graphite products, including anode material for lithium-ion batteries.
Since Fennoscandian was acquired by Beowulf in January 2016, the Company has invested approximately €2.2 million in graphite exploration, resource development, metallurgical testwork and the assessment of market applications for graphite supplied from its Aitolampi project, including lithium-ion battery applications.
Fennoscandian has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding ("MoU") with Epsilon Advance Materials Limited ("EAMPL"). The MoU enables Fennoscandian to build its downstream capability, collaborating with a strong and innovative technology/processing partner, and for EAMPL to firmly establish itself in Finland, as a market-entry point for supplying pre-cursor anode material into Europe. The MoU addresses the development of a strategic processing hub for both natural flake and recycled graphite to be located in Finland.
In addition, a Scoping Study contract for the Aitolampi graphite project has been awarded to AFRY Finland Oy. The purpose of the Scoping Study is to verify the robustness of the work completed by Fennoscandian, and to provide a roadmap for the next project development stage, most likely a Pre-feasibility Study. The output of the Scoping Study will enable Fennoscandian to share information on the Aitolampi project and communicate with the local community and other important stakeholders.
In Kosovo, the Company owns approximately 49.4% of Vardar Minerals ("Vardar"), which is focus on exploration in the Tethyan Belt, a major orogenic metallogenic province for gold and base metals. Vardar is delivering exciting results for its Mitrovica licence which has several exploration targets, including lead, zinc, copper and gold. It also has the Viti licence which is showing potential for copper-gold porphyry mineralisation. With Beowulf's support, Vardar is focused on making a discovery.
Kallak is the foundation asset of the Company, but with Vardar and Fennoscandian, the Company has many opportunities to grow, each business area displaying strong prospects.