“Rantasalmi is a property we picked up in southeast Finland in 2002 to 2003. It’s in a gold area that was just recently discovered, in the late 1980s, by the Geological Survey of Finland. We did a number of limited drilling campaigns in the past to prove up the geological model. We’ve got a lot of other things on our plate, but we’ve got back around to redrilling that project now to bring it up to indicated resource and explore around the area. On Rantasalmi there’s four known gold occurences—Pirilä 1, Pirilä 2, Osikonmäki East and Osikonmäki West. We’re just drilling Osikonmäki East at the moment. It’s a shear-hosted gold deposit, which is in the class of intrusive-related—generally speaking most of these things are. There’s quite a strong base metals component to a lot of these projects. They’re gold that’s mostly free, associated with shear zones and quartz-vein systems, with variable amounts of copper associated with them.”
“There’s been quite a bit of drilling in the past on the project, but a very poor understanding of the geology and the relationship of the shear zones. We spent a lot of time developing that geological model, and we’re starting to get to the point where it’s quite predictive, and we’re very pleased with these recent hits in the new lode system. That was predicted by the model. Overall, there are these high-grade lode systems that are associated with the main shear system, which runs between 1 gram per tonne and 3 g/t gold generally, which is your background. Then you have these high-grade shoots, which plunge along the shear. At the moment, we’re not specifically targeting these veins; we’re just drilling it out on 40-metre centres of the main shear zone. Later on, we’re going to come back and specifically target these high-grade areas to better define them. They have run 5 g/t to 15 g/t in grade, and that’s the kind of system that’s interesting, because you’ve got a bulk-tonnage, open-pit-type target, plus you’ve got underground potential.
We’ve got a target of around a million ounces—the magic number—to develop on that property—David Pym
“We’re just going to keep drilling this thing at the moment. We’ve got 5,000 metres planned in the first phase. The deposit’s open in all directions. We just want to get an idea of the size of it and drill up the main part to indicated resource status. But also, there’s a number of these shear systems that we’ve identified, which haven’t had any exploration at all on them yet. Literally zero exploration. So, we need to follow up and keep adding to the property as a whole, as well as developing specific projects.
“We have an operating nickel mine which is spinning off cash flow for us at the moment. We’ve got another gold project next to that, Kopsa, which is first on the production side, which we’re looking at developing. Rantasalmi is one of our project areas about 250 kilometres from our nickel mine. So we’re quite a long way down the road of joint venturing this property. We’ve got a target of around a million ounces—the magic number—to develop on that property. It’s got a combination of historical and inferred resources of about 220,000 ounces at the moment, so that’s a good starting point. But bringing it up to anywhere over 500,000 ounces is an effective size for us to develop an open pit mine there. Five hundred thousand is an easy target from where we stand at the moment; a million ounces is still a long way away. I think we’ll be able to bring the resource up to the half-million ounce stage by the end of next year easily. We can make a decision on where to go then.
“But we are basically aiming to develop it in joint venture, because we’ve got our own nickel mine to run and Kopsa to bring onstream by 2013. Kopsa is only about 15 kilometres from our nickel mine. So there’s the potential to share facilities. For instance, we can use the same tailings area. It cuts down on permitting and construction time. And we’ve got three or four other advanced gold projects that we will work on intermittently as we get time to develop them.”
View Press Release Summary
View Company Profile