Rupert Resources (TSXV: RUP) reported new results from its 60,000 metre drill program in Finland and noted that the latest holes have increased the maximum intersected vertical depth at its Ikkari prospect to 480 metres from 75 metres in the east and to 320 metres from 100 metres in the west.
Ikkari makes up part of the junior explorer’s flagship Pahtavaara project in Finland’s Central Lapland Greenstone Belt and is currently Rupert Resources’ main focus. The entire Central Lapland greenstone belt is hundreds of kilometres long and Pahtavaara makes up between 80 and 100 km of the belt.
Highlights released on Jan. 28 included 3 grams gold per tonne over 121.3 metres from a depth of 110.7 metres (in drillhole 120123) and 70 metres of 1.1 grams gold per tonne starting from 194 metres from surface (in drillhole 120122). Another hole (120100), intersected 2.4 grams gold over 22 metres from 265 vertical metres.
James Withall, the company’s CEO, noted in a press release that a “coherent higher grade component” is “emerging in the central part of the mineralized body” that remains open.
“Importantly, we can continue to drill on a broad spacing given the continuity of these very wide zones of consistent grade,” Withall said. “We are still far from confirming the limits of the discovery and with drilling ramping up to three rigs in Area 1 and a strong balance sheet we are well positioned to increase activity on this best-in-class new grass roots discovery that was made just eight months ago.”
The gold at Ikkari is associated with fine-grained disseminated pyrite within planar quartz-carbonate veins and/or disseminated in the host rocks, commonly as fine-grained visible gold. The host rocks the company have observed so far include sedimentary rocks overprinted by albite-sericite alteration, and strongly foliated chlorite-altered mafic-ultramafic rocks.
Since 2019 Rupert Resources has made six discoveries at its 100%-owned gold project – all of them have been under 10-15 metres of glacial till and within a 5 km by 2.5 km area on the property. The junior explorer discovered them using geophysics and base of till sampling and drilling.
The project, which the company acquired in 2016 for about US$2.5 million, contains the permitted Pahtavaara gold mine and mill on a 300 sq. km. land package that sits about 150 km northeast of the town of Rovaniemi and about 50 km from Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX: AEM; NYSE: AEM) Kittila gold mine. Agnico took a 9.9% stake in the junior explorer in February 2020.
The Pahtavaara project is also situated about 20 km from the polymetallic deposits at Boliden’s Kevitsa nickel, copper, PGM mine, one of the largest mineral discoveries in Finland, and Anglo American’s (LSE: AAL; US-OTC: AAUK) Sakatti copper-nickel-PGM project.
Pahtavaara previously produced more than 420,000 oz. gold over a 16-year period of open-pit and underground operations, and last operated in May 2014. The project has an inferred resource estimate from 2018 of 4.6 million tonnes grading 3.2 grams gold per tonne for 474,000 ounces. The resource estimate used a 1.5 gram gold cut-off grade.
Shares of Rupert Resources closed at $4.29 per share, up 19¢ (4.6%) on the day. Over the last year the junior has traded in a range of 53¢ cents and $6.20. The company has about 165 million common shares outstanding for a market cap of about $709 million.