Perth-based Nordic listed on the ASX in 2022 and just five months later was selected as one of the seven companies that made up the inaugural cohort of the BHP (ASX: BHP) Xplor exploration accelerator.
“That was a great confidence boost for us,” Mr Ross told the Resources Rising Stars Summer Series in Brisbane today.
“We continue to have discussions with them about the potential for future joint ventures.”
BHP isn’t the only potential interested party.
“We’re talking to lots of potential strategic partners, including BHP,” Mr Ross said.
“We’re also getting lots of interest from major carmakers looking to secure supply in that part of the world.”
The Pulju project comprises 240 sq km of ground in Finland’s Central Lapland Greenstone Belt.
The project’s Hotinvaara deposit has a resource of 133 million tonnes at 0.21% nickel and 0.01% parts per million cobalt for 278,530t of contained nickel and 12,650t of contained cobalt.
Hotinvaara also has an exploration target of 275-415Mt at 0.17-0.25% nickel and 76-114ppm cobalt for 459,000-1,032,000t of contained nickel and 21,000-47,000t of contained cobalt.
Nordic completed 15,500 metres of drilling at Pulju last year, which Ross said would pave the way for a resource update by the end of the current quarter.
Nordic says the geophysics at Pulju show similar electromagnetic signatures to Anglo American’s nearby Sakatti deposit, which has a resource of 44.4Mt at 1.9% copper, 1% nickel and 1.46 grams per tonne gold and platinum group elements.
Pulju has 35km of prospective strike.
“We’re in elephant country,” Mr Ross said. “We believe we’re onto mining camp potential here.”
Metallurgical test work is due in the June quarter and a mining processing study is underway.
Mr Ross didn’t shy away from the fact that it’s a tough time for nickel, with the price briefly dipping below US$16,000 per tonne already this year.
He acknowledged the current oversupply situation but said strong demand was coming later this decade.
Finland is already home to two large nickel mines, Terrafame’s Talvivaara and Boliden’s Kevitsa, both of which are of a similar grade to Pulju.
“The value chain for nickel production already exists in Finland,” Mr Ross said.
The Nordic region accounts for roughly 20% of Europe’s planned battery cell production.