The Orivesi Gold Mine (“Orivesi”) is located 180 kilometres north of Helsinki, immediately to the west of the Orivesi township in the Pirkanmaa Region in southern Finland.
Orivesi was initially in production between 1994 and 2003, resuming operations in 2007. During these two periods, Orivesi has produced in excess of 500,000 ounces of gold in concentrate, with ore processed through the Vammala Plant, 80 kilometres to the southwest.
Orivesi occurs within the Proterozoic Tampere Schist Belt and represents a metamorphosed palaeo-epithermal deposit. Gold mineralisation is found in vertical pipe-like lode systems that are located in a broad zone of hydrothermally altered rocks that extends over an area of 50 hectares. The lode systems display depth extensions ranging from tens to hundreds of metres.
As early as the 1940’s mining activities were carried out on the present-day mine site, when sericite was quarried for use in ceramic insulators and other items.
The Orivesi gold deposit was discovered in 1982, as a result of a research project by Lohja Oy and the Department of Geology from the University of Helsinki. Outokumpu Oy ("Outokumpu") purchased the rights to the gold deposit in 1990 and conducted technical and feasibility studies over the next four years, including test mining in 1990 and 1993. Orivesi was officially opened in 1994 and Outokumpu continued operations until the sale of the mine to Dragon Mining in late 2003. Dragon Mining recommenced mining in 2007.
Orivesi was initially in operation between 1992 and 2003 producing 422,000 ounces of gold from a series of near vertical pipe-like lodes at Kutema down to the 720m level. Dragon Mining acquired the operation in late 2003 and recommenced mining in July 2007 initially on remnant mineralisation associated with the Kutema lode system above the 720m level. Two of the five principal lodes at Kutema continued below the historical extent of the decline at the 720m level and this area has been the subject of a program of staged development and production stoping down to the 1205m level between January 2011 and January 2018. Mining from the Sarvisuo lodes, 300 metres east of Kutema commenced in April 2008 and has been conducted from the 240m to the 620m level. The main decline is now at the 1205m level at Kutema, whilst gold mineralization has been identified down to the 1300m level.
Orivesi Gold Mine
The Proved and Probable Ore Reserve at Orivesi totals 43,000 tonnes @ 6.5 g/t gold for 9,000 ounces as at 30 April 2018. In addition to site specific mining, metallurgical, cost and revenue factors, the reserve estimates used a gold price of US$1,280 per ounce and a EUR:USD exchange rate of 1.18.
The Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources for Orivesi as at 30 April 2018 and a reporting cut-off grade of 3.0 g/t gold are 220,000 tonnes @ 6.3 g/t gold for 43,000 ounces. The Mineral Resource represents material from the Kutema and Sarvisuo lode systems and is inclusive of Ore Reserves.
For further information on the Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources for the Orivesi Gold Mine refer to the Reserves and Resources page.
Orivesi operates under an Environmental Permit granted in 2006. Dragon Mining applied to the Regional State Administration agency of Western and Inner Finland (“AVI”) for an extension of the permit in 2010. This application was rejected by the AVI in December 2015 on the basis that the conditions for granting the Environmental Permit extension were not met in the Company’s application.
On 13 June 2018, the Company announced that the Vaasa Administrative Court rejected both the Company´s and PIR ELY’s appeals against the rejection of the new Environmental Permit for Orivesi. On 11 July 2018, the Company and PIR ELY each submitted a Leave to Appeal, and an Appeal, to the Supreme Administrative Court in Finland in relation to the rejection of the Company’s new Environmental Permit for Orivesi. The Company has received legal advice that the grounds for submitting the Leave to Appeal and Appeal are strong, given:
emissions at Orivesi have been progressively reduced each year;
the Company complies with existing Environmental Permit conditions at Orivesi; and
Administrative Court and AVI did not properly consider the effect of permit conditions and impacts on the environment.
The rejection by the AVI is not binding until the appeals process has been exhausted, until then Orivesi can continue to operate under its current Environmental Permit.
The Company maintains a contiguous tenement holding at Orivesi covering 148.50 hectares. It fully encompasses the hydrothermally altered domain that hosts the two known lode systems, Kutema and Sarvisuo.
Underground diamond core drilling at Orivesi continued during 2018, with 55 holes completed for an advance of 4,956.10 metres. Campaigns included:
Each campaign yielded a series of significant intercepts, the results from the campaign targeting the inner area at Sarvisuo West defining an 80 metre extension to the primary target at Sarvisuo West, at high-grades commensurate with results from earlier exploration drilling. This near vertical gold bearing zone remains open below the 420m level and is located in close proximity to existing underground development.
Highlight results from the 25 hole program that targeted the inner area at Sarvisuo West.
Exploratory activities at Orivesi are currently on hold, pending a decision on the Leave to Appeal and an Appeal submitted by each of the Company and the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of Pirkanmaa to the Supreme Administrative Court in Finland in relation to the rejection of the Company’s new Environmental Permit for the Orivesi Gold Mine by the Western and Inland Finland Regional State Administrative Office (‘AVI”).