Rupert puts focus on Finland gold expansion
Rupert Resources Ltd. [RUP-TSXV] on Monday released some results from the start of its 2022-23 exploration program. The company also provided an operational update related to the advancement of its multi-million-ounce Ikkari gold discovery at the 100%-owned Rupert Lapland Project in Northern Finland.
Ikkari is part of the Rupert Lapland Project, which also includes the Pahtavaara gold mine, mill, and exploration permits, plus concessions, which are located in the Central Lapland Greenstone Belt. Pahtavaara operated between 1996 and 2014, producing almost 450,000 ounces of gold, and still contains an inferred resource of 474,000 ounces, according to a NI 43-101 technical report released in April, 2018.
Rupert’s Finland properties are adjacent to the Kittila gold mining operations of Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. [AEM-TSX, AEM-NYSE], which holds a 9.9% stake in the junior.
Rupert recently reported a maiden inferred resource estimate for Ikkari of 49 million tonnes at 2.5 g/t gold or 3.95 million ounces. It said the estimate is based on 36,000 metres of drilling that was completed by the end of June, 2021.
The 2022/2023 work program, as of August 2022, is expected to include 72,800 metres of drilling. Around 30,000 metres will be allocated to Ikkari infill and project drilling with the balance divided equally between Ikkari extension and satellites, and regional exploration across Rupert’s 634 square kilometre land position targeting additional discoveries of scale.
Rupert is particularly focused on near-term resource additions over the upcoming winter drilling season to ensure these can be included in future economic and environmental assessments and the eventual permitting application for the project.
A key milestone for Rupert will be completion of a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) planned for the fourth quarter of 2022. The PEA is expected to include an updated mineral resource estimate for Ikkari incorporating 37,000 metres of additional drilling.
Meanwhile, the company said hole #122180, which returned 32.5 metres of 2.2 g/t gold from 571 metres, has extended mineralization in the east by approximately 110 metres in the downdip direction, beyond the limits of the current estimate.
The intercept included 1.0 metre at 11.3 g/t and 0.7 metres at 17.3 g/t demonstrating some of the high-grade characteristics that are common to Ikkari.
Rupert shares advanced on the news, rising 1.3% or $0.05s to $4.01 The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $6.77 and $3.78.
Ikkari is located 30 kilometres from the town of Sodankyla and is accessible via a 30-kilometre tarmac road as well as 5.0 kilometres of forestry gravel roads.
The deposit was discovered using systematic exploration that initially focused on geochemical sampling of bedrock/till interface through glacial till deposits of 5.0 metres to 40 metres thickness. No outcrop is present, and topography is dominated by low-lying swamp areas.