In mid-2014 Aurion started a gold exploration initiative in the Central Lapland Greenstone Belt (CLGB) of Northern Finland. Aurion’s initial acquisition was the purchase of the Kutuvuoma and Silasselka projects from Dragon Mining Oy (Dragon), (see press release dated May 26th, 2014). Subsequently, Aurion independently acquired additional mineral tenements throughout the CLGB and current total land holdings are now approximately 70,000 hectares.
Kutuvuoma is a high grade gold project which was discovered by the state mining company Outukumpu Oy during regional base metal exploration in the 1990’s. It conducted limited exploration drilling over a distance/depth of < 200 m outlining a small resource (eg. 7.2 g/t Au over 19 m). It subsequently sold the project to Dragon’s predecessor Polar Mining in 2003, who conducted only very cursory exploration since. Kutuvuoma occurs along a multi-km structural-stratigraphic trend associated with the regional Sirkka Shear Zone. Numerous geochemical and geophysical targets coincide with this trend along strike from the main zone of mineralization.
Silasselka was discovered by the state mining entity Otanmaki Oy in the 1960’s. Exploration at that time was focused on base metal exploration. Several high grade vanadium-iron-titanium deposits were discovered along a 15 km long trend. No exploration has been conducted since and no gold exploration is documented. It lies north of and along trend with the Hanhimaa Shear Zone which hosts numerous gold occurrences to the south. It was acquired by Dragon in 2010 by staking.
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.
The CLGB is a highly prospective, underexplored Proterozoic greenstone belt that hosts many gold, base metal, magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE prospects and deposits, including Agnico’s Kitttilä Gold Mine (Reserves as of Dec 31 2013, 4.7 Million ounces grading 4.8 g/t Au per Agnico 2013 annual report), First Quantum Minerals Ltd.’s Kevitsa Ni-Cu-PGM mine (Reserves as of Dec 31 2012 of >400 Mt 0.3% Ni, 0.4% Cu and 0.54 g/t combined Au-Pt-Pd per First Quantum Ltd. 2012 annual report) and the recently discovered Sakatti Ni-Cu-PGE deposit owned by Anglo American Plc (1-2 % Ni, 1-2% Cu, 0.5-1.0 g/t PGE, >100 million tonne (Anglo American Plc FEM Mining Conference presentation Nov 3 ,2011)). The CLGB is located approximately 850 kilometers north of the Finnish capital of Helsinki.
Finland consistently ranks in the top three in the Fraser Institute’s top mining destination survey and is one of the most underexplored stable jurisdictions in the world. It is important to note that Finland only opened its border to foreign mining investment in the mid-1990s, prior to which all mining and exploration activities were conducted by state entities.
Access to all the properties 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. The entire CLGB is covered by a thin veneer of glacial till with generally less than 1.0% outcrop.