Finland has a long mining history and its terrain is highly prospective for base and precious metals. A large number of mines were operated in the past by companies such as Outokumpu Oy and Rautaruukki Oy, producing copper, zinc, nickel, cobalt, lead, gold and iron. Today, with the exception of Outokumpu’s Kemi chromite mine, all larger mines are operated by international companies such as Agnico Eagle Ltd and New Boliden AB. Today, Finland mines important quantities of copper, nickel, zinc and gold, as well as industrial minerals such as talc, phosphate and limestone.
After Outokumpu Oy withdrew from the mining business in the 1990’s, mining activity in Finland was at a low level. In recent years, however, there has been a revival, so that today several major mines are operating, such as Agnico Eagle’s Kittilä mine (gold) and New Boliden’s Kevitsa mine (copper, nickel, cobalt, platinum, palladium, gold).
Recent years have also seen a big increase in mineral exploration and a number of important discoveries have been made e.g. the Sakatti copper-nickel deposit (Anglo American Ltd) and the Rompas gold deposit (Mawson Resources Ltd). It is expected that further exploration will result in more discoveries, especially with the use of modern technology, particularly geophysics.
Arctic Minerals’ projects in Finland
Through its subsidiary, Norrbotten Exploration AB, Arctic Minerals has acquired a large exploration database from another company which has ceased exploration in Finland. This database includes extensive geological, geochemical and geophysical data for large areas of central Finland and southern Finnish Lapland.
The company will use this database, as well as data from the GTK (Geological Survey of Finland) to locate new ore deposits. This program of data interpretation is being carried out by Finnish contractors and will help identify specific targets for follow-up prospecting.
In central Finland Arctic Minerals has exploration reservations covering 4,265 km2 of the Raahe-Ladoga belt (sometimes known as the “central Finland Ore Belt”). These reservations are mainly in the area between the currently producing Pyhäsalmi copper-zinc-pyrite mine and the formerly-producing Vihanti zinc-copper mine (closed in 1992). The exploration targets in the Pyhäsalmi-Vihanti area are copper and zinc with associated lead, silver and gold.
In the Peräpohja belt, situated north of Kemi, the company has 1,469 km2 of exploration reservations. The target metals in this area are copper and gold.