Rupert Resources’ Ikkari preliminary economic assessment envisages a two-year payback of US$405 million of capital expenditure on a significant new gold mine in Finland’s north.
The Canadian-listed junior’s PEA uses a US$1650/ounce gold price and 5% discount rate to calculate an after-tax net present value of $1.6 billion and internal rate of return of 46% on a 22-year surface and underground mine producing more than 4.2 million ounces of gold at an average all-in sustaining cost of $759/oz ($596/oz during the 11-year initial openpit phase).
The plan sees about 30Mt at an average grade of 2.1 grams per tonne mined from the openpit in the first 11 years of production, feeding a conventional 3.5Mtpa milling and CIL processing plant, for 220,000ozpa average output. Gravity circuit gold is expected to account for about one-third of initial production.
The proposed mine transitions to sub-level caving underground after 11 years, with the former Pahtavaara operation owned by Rupert – re-developed as an openpit and long-hole stop underground mine – also expected to contribute an 11gpt concentrate for final processing at the new Ikkari plant from year 12.
“This PEA study indicates exceptionally high-margin and meaningful returns on a robust project,” Rupert CEO James Withall said.
“In only three years, we’ve gone from discovery hole to a preliminary study outlining an after-tax NPV of $1.6 billion, anchored by Ikkari.
“What excites us is that we still have room to grow at Ikkari and other satellite targets that we will be drill testing this winter. We have a real opportunity to not only advance Ikkari as outlined in our PEA, but systematically develop a cornerstone asset in a significant new gold camp over time.”
Rupert will undertake further heavy drilling in the coming winter season to strengthen and extend project resources to support a feasibility study.
Rupert’s Ikkari PEA study work was led by the mining consulting arm of US-based Tetra Tech, with support from International Resource Solutions (resource estimation), Axe Valley Mining Consultants (mining), SRK (geotechnical/hydrology), Grinding Solutions (metallurgy), Paterson & Cook (tailings) and Envineer (environmental).