The purpose of the exploration activities is to increase the geological knowledge of an area. The exploration process includes the following phases.
The Initial phase includes collection of geological, (aero) geophysical and geochemical basic material, as well as deposit maps and descriptions of old mineral localities. The information is obtained from in particular the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU). With that material available, potential areas of similar mineral formation models are determined and areas for regional exploration work are selected. Contact is also made with local prospectors for possible future common efforts.
Phase 1 is the start of the regional exploration work, with activities such as tracing for mineralized, loose boulders within the preferred areas. In conjunction with that, the known mineralizations within the area are examined. For interesting mineralizations, exploration permits are applied for. The exploration work normally includes geological mapping and ground geophysics, resulting in drilling of some test boreholes. In some cases, the investigations are complemented with ground geochemical surveys. If the information from the test boreholes is positive, the exploration passes on to Phase 2.
Phase 2 comprises sparse drilling, primarily to establish the extension of the mineralization, called inferred mineral resource. If it has a length of at least 400-500 m, the exploration passes on directly to Phase 3.
Phase 3 consists of dense drilling, aiming at establishing a mineral deposit categorized at least as an “indicated mineral resource”. During this phase, an exploitation concession is also applied for from the Mining Inspectorate.
Phase 4 starts with further dense drilling, for calculation of a “measured mineral resource”. A preliminary mining plan and probable concentration procedure are prepared, an environmental impact study and profitability calculations are performed and an application for mining is submitted.
Phase 5 includes financing and start of mining.