Does Sweden Host The Next Broken Hill Type World Class Deposit?

In mining circles, certain words and phrases are understood to have Holy Grail undertones. There may not be a better example than that of the ore deposit at the Broken Hill mine in New South Wales, Australia. The largest known accumulation of lead, zinc, and silver mineralization on the planet (~280 million tonnes @ 10% Pb, 8.5% Zn and 148 g/t Ag) has earned the acronym BHT (Broken Hill-type), with explorers the world over searching for the rare type of mineralization and the riches it can hold.

And an upstart appears to have found BHT mineralization some 15,000 kilometers from Broken Hill.

Norden Crown Metals Corp. (TSX-Venture:NOCR) (OTCQB:NOCRF), a company with a market capitalization of just $7 million, is aggressively surveying, mapping, and drilling its 100% owned Gumbsberg Project in the Bergslagen Mining District in southern Sweden with results showing it is indeed a BHT deposit. Norden Crown acquired the project in 2016 from royalty-streaming company EMX Royalty Corp. (NYSE:EMX), which owns 10.79% of Norden and holds an uncapped 3% net smelter return royalty on future production at Gumbsberg.

A BHT discovery in Sweden isn’t as big of a surprise as one may think. Sweden has a long and distinguished metal mining history dating back more than 1,000 years and remains, hands down, the largest iron ore producer in the European Union today while ranking amongst the top producers of base and precious metals too. Speaking to the quality and continuity of the mineralization, Sweden turns out this production from just 12 active metal mines.

Gumbsberg, a sprawling project covering more than 18,300 hectares (183 square kilometers, or a little bigger than Washington, D.C.), is situated in a district with dozens of historic mines and a mining history stretching back to medieval times when the Östrasilverberg Mine dominated for centuries as the biggest silver mine in Europe.

While advancements were made during the medieval era to take mines deeper than ever before, mines still didn’t go deep compared to today and the process of following mineralization was archaic, with tunnels tending to meander. Norden has brought state-of-the-art technology to Gumbsberg that has identified multiple zones of mineralization at prioritized targets. For instance, at the Frederiksson target, exploration in 2021 included drilling, geological mapping, sampling, and a high-resolution magnetic geophysical survey.

Assays from drilling last year delineated up to 13.60 meters of 6.05% Zn, 1.39% Pb, and 43.20 g/t Ag. Other cuts were similar, such as 10.35 meters grading 5.24% Zn, 1.84% Pb, and 43.85 g/t Ag and 8.15 meters at 3.83% Zn, 0.503% Pb, and 18.13 g/t Ag.

This new data in combination with historic data is the scaffolding for generating 3D models of the mineralization at the Fredriksson target, which Norden management believes occurs within a massive magnetic anomaly extending over 21 kilometers at Gumbsberg.

“Broken Hill Type deposits have the potential to yield large tonnages from comparatively small drill footprints due to the high density of the mineralization,” said Patricio Varas, President and CEO of Norden Crown, in a press release last year. That speaks volumes to what could be hosted in a large anomaly like that of Frederikkson, much less the other targets and complete Gumbsberg Project.

Varas knows a thing or two about significant discoveries and mine development. During his 35+ years in the mining industry, he has many accomplishments under his belt. These include founding Western Potash Corp. (discovered and developed the world-class Milestone Mine in Saskatchewan), being integral to the discovery of the Santo Domingo Sur copper-gold deposit in Chile and working as a project manager for Kennecot Canada during the discovery of the Diavik Diamond mine.

On the point of copper and gold, Varas will be looking for a repeat there with Norden’s Burfjord Copper-Gold Project in northern Norway where a 9-hole 2,208-meter drilling program was completed late in 2021 along with geophysics work pinpointing new drill targets for this year.

Shares of Norden Crown Metals are back on the upswing after a recent pullback giving technical traders as well as longer-term fundamental investors a potentially attractive entry point, especially when the company puts out further updates on their Gumbsberg project.