The 6,111 hectare Kutuvuoma project area is located 35 km SE of the 4.7 million ounces Kittila Gold deposit owned by Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (“Agnico Eagle”). Kutuvuoma hosts a high-grade, shear zone hosted gold deposit that was discovered in the mid-1990’s by Outokumpu Oy, while exploring for base metals. Outokumpu drilled 47 shallow core and reverse circulation drillholes totalling 3425 m, testing Kutuvuoma approximately 175 m horizontally and 150 m vertically. Dragon Mining Oy (Dragon) acquired the property from Outokumpu in 2003 as part of a large property and data package and aside from compilation and reconnaissance mapping no other exploration activities were conducted.
Access to the property is very good, with forestry roads extending from paved highways providing access to the otherwise forested and undeveloped property areas. A regional airport with daily flights to and from Helsinki is located in Kittila. Topography is low and characterized by generally rolling hills with relief of less than 150 m.
Geology and Mineralization
Bedrock geology at Kutuvuoma is dominated by east to southeast trending Paleoproterozoic volcanic-sedimentary sequences of the Central Lapland Greenstone Belt (CLGB) Savukoski Group and currently defined gold mineralization on the property occurs in association with sulphide-bearing quartz vein arrays, with disseminated sulphides in altered, albitic, silicious meta-mudstones and meta-igneous rocks as well as in sulphide matrix breccias. The main deposit at Kutuvuoma occurs as a moderately west-plunging zone localized along a south dipping, sheared graphitic unit within sheared and altered Savukovski Group country rocks. These include komatiites as well as graphitic-sulphidic schist, fine grained meta-sandstone and thin interbedded marble. The mineralization is associated with sulphidic quartz vein arrays and silicified meta-sediments and remains open in all directions. Free gold is common in the quartz veins.
Select high grade gold intercepts documented in historic reports include:
|Drillhole||From (m)||To (m)||Length (m)||Gold Grade (g/t)|
True widths are estimated to be 75-90% of core lengths
Majority of samples collected at 1.0 m intervals
Most economically important gold deposits of the CLGB occur in direct proximity to the metallogenically important “Sirkka Line” that is centered along the course of the Sirkka Shear zone (SSZ), a major south dipping thrust fault system showing northeast transport that has been mapped for over 120 km along an east-southeast trend within the CLGB. This shear zone is characterized by numerous sub-parallel splays that also host important, structurally focused gold mineralization such as that present in the Pahtavaara deposit, located 30 km east of Kutuvuoma, and the Saattopora deposit, located 30 km northwest of Kutuvuoma. A set of north-south trending strike-slip shear zones that depart northward from the SSZ are also important regional controls to gold mineralization, the most important of these currently being the Kiistala Shear Zone that hosts the previously mentioned Kittila deposit which contains gold resources slightly exceeding 4.7 million ounces.
The Kutuvuoma property covers 6.5 km strike length over a prospective geological sequence with mineralized structures which has been only partially explored with geochemical and geophysical surveys extending a strike distance of circa 1.5 km. A number of gold anomalies remain untested.
A shallow trenching program conducted at the Kutuvuoma project during fall 2014, has identified new gold mineralization, up to 650 m east and 360 m west of the main deposit. Trench 2, situated 90 m east of the deposit assayed 4.7 g/t Au over 8 m including 10.0 g/t Au over 1 m. Trench 8 situated a further 560 m east returned 3.1 g/t Au over 5.6 m, including 10 g/t Au over 1.0 m. Trench 4 located 360 west of the main zone assayed 5.3 g/t Au over 4 m including 11.6 g/t Au over 1 m. Trenching was hampered by deep overburden prohibiting reaching bedrock in many places, however, despite this the trenching program successfully extended the Kutuvuoma trend to over 1000 m in length and it remains open in both directions. These trenching results extend to within 100 m of the western property boundary with the newly acquired Tepsa claims, where gold in till anomalies appear to extend the mineralized trend to over several kms.
The mineralization consists primarily of pyrrhotite, pyrite and lesser chalcopyrite sulphide breccias and sulphide bearing quartz veins and quartz breccias within quartz-carbonate altered, meta-sedimentary and meta-volcanic rocks.
The new mineralization occurs in the same stratigraphic/structural position as the main Kutuvuoma deposit, thus demonstrating good lateral continuity.
At the company’s Poroaita zinc-lead-copper prospect located approximately 6.5 km southeast of Kutuvuoma, four samples collected from old trenches assayed 0.7 g/t Au to 11.8 g/t Au and 0.6 to 12.6% Cu. The Poroaita prospect was discovered and drilled in the 1980’s by the Finnish Geological Survey (GTK) and returned up to 1.8% Zn, 0.9% Pb and 0.14% Cu over 7.9 m from a 6-hole/450 m long drill program. It lies within a 10 km long trend parallel to the Kutuvuoma trend that has never been systematically explored for gold. No work has been conducted since the 1980’s.
The 2015 field program entailed trenching, prospecting, mapping and rock and soil geochemical sampling. The best results came from Trench K15-02, a 310m2 excavation located 370 m west of the Kutuvuoma Main Zone, where a total of 31 individual 0.85m to 3.0m long channel samples were collected, with assay values ranging from 0.39 g/t Au to 63.1 g/t Au. The best length weighted average intervals reported were 6.5 g/t Au over 9.8m, including 11.3 g/t Au over 3.0m, 21.7 g/t Au over 3.0m, including 63.10 g/t Au over 0.9 m and 3.20 g/t Au over 10.9m, including 5.0 g/t Au over 5.6 m. The T2 excavation made approximately 100m east of Kutuvuoma Main, assayed on average 4.93 g/t Au over 10.94 m including 35.0 g/t Au over 1.2 m.
Prospecting approximately 1.6 km to the west and along strike of Kutuvuoma has identified a new zone of similar style of mineralization over a distance of approximately 400 m. The area is generally overburden covered, but 51 grab samples from outcrop and subcrop assayed up to 21.2 g/t Au, including four samples assaying 5.5, 11.6, 14.8 and 21.2 g/t Au. A 48 sample, orientation, B-horizon soil survey (100m spaced lines, 25 m spaced samples) was conducted over this new prospect with individual soil samples assaying up to 1.1 g/t Au. This mineralization also lies 500 m southeast of a 1.5 km long Au-in-till geochemical anomaly with individual tills assaying from up to 1.3 g/t Au.
The Kutuvuoma trend has very few natural bedrock exposures, however, with a limited amount of exploration work (and time in the field) trenching, soil sampling, base of till sampling and prospecting has defined an open-ended mineralized trend greater than 5 km long where only limited drilling was conducted in the past, over a distance of 175 m and to a depth of 175 m at the Kutuvuoma deposit.
Mike Basha, President and CEO of Aurion commented: “We are very encouraged to have encountered such a robust and extensive gold system early in this program at Kutuvuoma. We are looking forward to a very busy and exciting 2016, as we move this project forward aggressively with our partner B2Gold”.
The 2015 field program was fully funded by B2Gold Corp. (“B2Gold”), under an agreement whereby B2Gold can earn up to an undivided 75% interest from Aurion in a project area of approximately 25,000 hectares in Northern Finland by completing $15 million in exploration expenditures, a positive feasibility study and issuing 550,000 B2Gold shares (see Aurion news release of January 20, 2016 for details). Fieldwork focused primarily on the high grade Kutuvuoma and Ahvenjarvi gold projects, and comprised mechanical trenching, geological mapping, prospecting, surface geochemical sampling and metallurgical testing.
Five widely spaced trench excavations were completed over a distance of approximately 1,250m with all encountering the Kutuvuoma mineralized horizon. A total of 255 saw-cut channel samples were collected. Length weighted average assays of these sampled intervals are summarized in Table 1 below.
|Table 1: Length Weighted Average Gold Assays - Kutuvuoma Trenching Program|
|Trench ID||Width (m)||Grade (g/t) Uncut/Cut||Comments|
|K15-01||3.10||0.78||450 m W of Kutuvuoma Deposit|
|K15-02||9.82||6.47||370 m W of Kutuvuoma Deposit|
|and||3.77||4.82||Longitudinal sample (E-W)|
|K15-03||6.85||0.33||275 m W of Kutuvuoma Deposit|
|K15-04||1.00||9.96||100 m W of Kutuvuoma Deposit|
|T2||10.94||4.93/3.30||100 m E of Kutuvuoma Deposit|
|K15-05||3.00||0.16||800 m E of Kutuvuoma Deposit|
Under terms of the agreement, Aurion can earn a 100% interest in the Kutuvuoma and Silasselka properties through payment of 6 million common shares of Aurion, and expending €1,000,000 (Euros) over the three year agreement period. Dragon will retain a 3% Net Smelter Return (NSR) royalty for both properties and Aurion’s interest is conditionally assignable. The entire NSR can be purchased at any time on or before the sixth anniversary of the purchase agreement through a single payment of €4,000,000 to Dragon, or 1% after the 10th anniversary for the same amount.