September 19, 2022 – Rupert Resources is pleased to report drilling from the start of its 2022-23 exploration program and provide an operational update on advancing its multi-million ounce Ikkari gold discovery at the 100% owned Rupert Lapland Project in Northern Finland
Ikkari has a maiden National Instrument 43-101 mineral resource estimate of 49 million tonnes (“Mt”) at 2.5 grams per tonne gold (“g/t Au”) for 3.95 million Inferred ounces (see Sept. 13, 2021 press release) 1
James Withall, CEO of Rupert Resources commented “We are in the unique position in our industry of having delineated the 4Moz Ikkari maiden resource less than two years out from the first discovery hole. We continue to add to our understanding of the Ikkari’s value and future potential through the PEA work, metallurgical data continue to support extremely beneficial metallurgical characteristics previously released, coarse grind size, >95% recovery which underpin the potential for a low-emission, high margin operation. Building on the achievements to date, drilling has recommenced, focussed on expanding the limits of the Ikkari resource and at regional targets to demonstrate further opportunities in the emerging Central Lapland gold belt.”
2022-2023 Exploration Program
The 2022/2023 work program, as of August 2022, is planned to include 72,800m of drilling. Around 30,000m 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 634km2 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.
Rupert is pleased to report results from the first hole of the 2022/2023 drilling season targeting extensions of mineralised zone in the east from previous holes.
- #122180 – 32.5m of 2.2g/t Au from 571m (500m vertical) extending mineralisation in the east by approximately 110m in the downdip direction, beyond the limits of the current resource estimate. The intercept included 1m at 11.3g/t and 0.7m at 17.3g/t demonstrating some of the high-grade characteristic common to Ikkari
Further infill drilling results from Ikkari that were received after the cut off date for the current resource update, demonstrate the broad, robust grades which the deposit delivers, including:
- #122115 – 34.2m of 7.1g/t Au from 99.8m and 27m of 4.3g/t Au from 143m
- #122111 – 23.0m of 4.4g/t Au from 89.0m
- #122102 – 86m of 1.2g/t Au from 199m in the west
A key milestone for Rupert will be the completion of a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) planned for Q4 2022. The PEA will include an updated mineral resource estimate for Ikkari incorporating 37,000m of additional drilling (2021 maiden resource based on 36,000m of drilling).
2022-23 Development Program
Fourth round metallurgical test-work will commence this month. Approximately 1 tonne of samples along with 6m3 of site water have been shipped from Ikkari. These tests will provide further data for the feasibility study stage of the project. This follows the third-round test-work in early 2022 that reiterated potential for overall gold recoveries in excess of 95%. Furthermore, the test-work continues to demonstrate the potential for a coarse grind size which should have a significant positive impact to site power requirements. All the results to date continue to demonstrate a simple, highly efficient processing route for gold doré production is possible at the project.
Environmental monitoring and permitting
Rupert continues to progress key base line and monitoring programmes to enable timely completion of the Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) and permit application stages. Initiatives include:
- 12 shallow monitoring bores have been drilled along with four deep wells. These wells are equipped with continuous data monitors using the 4G comms network available, providing information to our consultants in the UK. A second phase will see an expansion of this programme providing the further data for feasibility studies and life cycle monitoring.
- Fourth year of baseline surface water monitoring, flora and fauna surveys
- Ongoing bulk waste rock and tailings waste characterisation test work
- EIA program design for pre-approval by Finnish authorities in Q4 2022.
- Desktop studies underway to fully understand the emissions profiles of mine plans and processing routes to allow consideration as part of future trade-off studies.
Completed 2021-22 Exploration Programs
Our completed 2021/22 program, as of July 2022, included a total of 80,817m of drilling, both Ikkari and regional. Infill drilling at Ikkari continued to return significant intervals of gold mineralisation, in places, at higher grades than estimated in September 2021’s maiden resource estimate. Of note, as part of infill drilling, Hole #121160 returned a record 103m of 8g/t Au from 155m in the central section of the resource (see Feb. 1, 2022 release). Rupert is also pleased with regional target drilling that included the following highlights:
- Discovered a new mineralised zone 500m north of Ikkari and 500m south of Heinä Central (see Aug. 17, 2022 press release)
- Drilling demonstrates both the satellite potential at Heinä Central, located 1 kilometre (km) north of Ikkari, and highlights associated high-grade copper potential with multiple intervals including copper grades in excess of 1% (see Nov. 29, 2021 press release)
- New drilling at Heinä South, 1km northwest of Ikkari, has yielded further bonanza gold veins (quartz-carbonate) (See March 16, 2022 press release)
New drilling from Ikkari
Hole #122180 was drilled in the eastern part of the Ikkari deposit and is the deepest hole on this section of the deposit. The hole intersected the mineralised zone at >500m vertical depth and the intercept of 32m of 2.2g/t Au provides robust continuity, extending the mineralised zone to depth (figure 2, table 2 for details of other mineralised intercepts within this hole). Even further east than this hole, #122142 intersected 7.1m of 4.3g/t Au from 183m and on the easternmost section drilled to date, #122138 intersected 16m at 1.1g/t Au from 486m (385m vertical). Neither of these sections have been drilled to the same depth extent as the intercept of 32m of 2.2g/t Au in 121180, and follow up drilling to depth on these sections is planned as a priority. Other drill holes in the eastern extent of the deposit, reported here (#122122, #122133 and #122138), are not as well mineralised, but are considered likely to have missed a potential mineralised plunge to the east and north. Further drilling in this area is planned for the upcoming drilling season.
Other drilling reported here comprises predominantly infill holes that support the resource, with key results from the central part of the deposit continuing to reflect the excellent continuity of the high-grade zone in this section. For example, #122115 intersected 34.2m of 7.1g/t Au from 99.8m and 27m of 4.3g/t Au from 143m and #122033 intersected 32m of 2.8 g/t Au from 406m (including 2m of 7.7g/t and 2m of 17.7g/t Au) and 26m of 1.6g/t Au from 461m.
In the western part of the deposit, infill drill further confirmed previous drilling from this area with results from the main mineralised zone including #122102 that intersected 86m of 1.2g/t Au from 199m and 10m of 3.5g/t Au from 515m, and #122051 that intersected 23m of 2.1g/t Au from 387m.
Full release including tables and images