Project of the Week: Ikkari, Rupert Resources
25 May 2021
This week I chatted to James Withall, CEO of Rupert Resources (TSXV:RUP), a gold-focused Canadian explorer with her eyes set on Finland; a top-tier European mining jurisdiction with a history of precious metal production. Exploration is currently focussed on high-grade gold discoveries at it’s 100% owned Pahtavaara licence – the most recent of which is the Ikkari Prospect. Rupert controls 451 km2 of prospective land along major regional structures in the Central Lapland Greenstone Belt (CLGB), a region peppered with high-grade gold occurrences, and host to Agnico Eagle’s Kittila Mine (Europe’s largest gold mine) just 50 km to the NW (Figure 1).
It is worth pointing out here, that although the licence includes a fully permitted mine and mill, new gold prospects in the west of the licence (Area 1) are the focus of recent exploration. This is where the Ikkari prospect is found.
The geology of the Central Lapland Greenstone Belt has drawn comparison to both the Abitibi gold belt and the Kalgoorlie goldfields of Western Australia, and as such, Rupert believes that they are looking at an orogenic gold system.
First of all, we have the structural controls on the mineralisation found. The property is intercepted by three stages of faulting, with the second stage forming a system of regional-scale fracture and fault zone (Figure 2). This zone includes the 25 km structural corridor in Area 1, home to some fantastic drill results. Rupert’s geologists believes that this shear zone likely acted as a fluid flow conduit, and therefore has potential to host mineralisation along strike. Exploration at Area 1 has been predominately focused on marine and ultramafic-derived sediments. At the Ikkari prospect, gold mineralisation is associated with strong pyrite-silica alteration with high-grade areas are found in albite-sericite-pyrite zones – all characteristic of orogenic gold. Finally – and somewhat important in this industry – is the presence of gold! The most recent drill results from Ikkari have been the best to date with grades of up to 8.9 g/t Au over 23 m and 4.4 g/t over 188 m.
Mineral occurrences were first discovered in the region in the 70s and 80s by GTK with geochemical mapping, as well as extensive airborne geophysics both by GTK and previous landowners. Exploration by Rupert was initially comprised of a review of the extensive geophysical data coverage and some re-flying of their own magnetic and gravity surveys of the licence. Careful compilation of the geophysical data identified targets for reconnaissance base of till (BoT) sampling which early on was proven to predict hard-rock gold anomalies with good accuracy (three of the first four drill holes in Area 1 in Spring 2019 yielded gold mineralisation). BoT anomalies continue to define drill targets with good results, as diamond drill holes sunk by the company have a 75% hit rate for gold grades over 0.4g/t Au.
So far, drilling has been focussed on Area 1 as previously mentioned, and each phase appears to have been successful in expanding size and grades across it (Figure 3). An exciting upside to the drilling results is that mineralisation remains open in all directions, as Agnico Eagle’s nearby mine has mineralisation extending to 2,000 m below surface. This would compliment Ikkari’s current extent at least 300 m depth and 650 m along strike. This indicates that the team at Rupert will remain busy the rest of this year completing the 60,000 m of drilling planned to define more ounces!
The rest of the current drill program will cover new targets along strike from Ikkari on the NE-SW trending shear zone, where BoT sampling has identified potential further hard rock anomalies. However, Rupert CEO James Withall has indicated that the company will prioritise areas where drill results present significant opportunity for large-scale mineralisation and return on investment over discoveries which don't initially meet the Rupert's hurdle rate of NSR of >$2billion.
Rupert Resources are moving fast and plan on releasing a maiden resource for the Ikkari Prospect by the end of the summer 2021 field season. The team at Rupert believe that they have uncovered one of the most significant gold discoveries of the current cycle and are vigorously searching for more of the yellow stuff. As demonstrated by their most recent financing agreement, which was announced last week, with a total value of C$42.4 million to be used for their ongoing exploration.
That’s all from me for now, but come back next week for more insights into the most exciting junior mining projects out there!
All information in the above article sourced from Rupert Resources’ website and materials contained within, as well as personal communication with James Withall (CEO, Rupert Resources).
Sources and extra reading:
Pahtavaara Licence overview:
Recent drill results from Ikkari (April 20, 2021):
Ikkari geology walkthrough with Rupert Resources Exploration manager Dr. Charlie Seabrook: