Rupert Resources: High Expectations for Europe’s Most Meaningful Gold Discovery in Decades; PEA Soon
Not that we are currently positive on gold, gold miners or gold exploration/development companies, but following our highlight of Marathon Gold on March 19 (link here), we think it is time to highlight one other of our favored names in the exploration/development space, that being Rupert Resources (RUP.V). Since the wholly-owned Ikkari target was identified mid-2020 (located in northern Finland), the follow-up drill results and maiden resource have pointed to this being one of the pre-eminent exploration stories in the gold space, with meaningful drivers in the near-term.
Recall that following a massive May 2020 drill intercept of 1.80 g/t gold over 137m which identified the Ikkari target, the September 2021 maiden resource estimated 49M tonnes grading 2.5 g/t for nearly 4.0M Inferred gold ounces. The Ikkari gold discovery is the most significant in the world over the past few years. Moreover, it is also the largest gold discovery in Europe in the past 30 years with continuity of thick intervals of mineralization well above the global average in terms of grade. Also of note is that the maiden resource was based on “only” 36,000m of drilling just 1.5 years after initial discovery. Not only has the on-going Ikkari infill program reported very strong assay results but in the very near periphery (Heinä, Saitta, Ikkari North) intercepts indicating strong mineralizaion have been identified as well. Late last week, highlight intercepts such as 2.6m of 11.7g/t Au from 8.4m and 16m of 1.1g/t Au from 58m were released from drilling 0.5km north of Ikkari along with highlights of 7.0m of 6.9 g/t Au and 14.0m of 2.4 g/t Au at Heinä, all within a 1.0km radius of Ikkari.
Ikkari North is hidden mineralization that has no surface expression and was discovered using a new deep geophysics survey. Several drill holes have been completed, targeting the anomaly at depth due to restricted access to the near- surface target in wetter summer conditions. The strongest part of the IP anomaly occurs close to surface and will be drill tested this winter as ground condition allow. Further drilling at the Heinä Central target has been focused on delineating mineralization and extending the mineralization. This will be included in the planned resource update due later this year. Preliminary metallurgical testing shows that conventional flotation provides for good copper and gold recoveries.
Versus a peer basket of exploration/development comps, the exploration results speak for themselves:
Along with on-going assay results, there will be numerous drivers for the remainder of 2022 seeing as an 80,000m drilling program is in the midst of execution (we’ll say it again - note the initial maiden resource was completed with only 36,000m). Both infill and extension drilling to grow the Ikkari resource is being undertaken as is an aggressive nearby regional exploration program. Regional exploration is showing the mineral potential of the large Rupert land package with new gold occurrences. The company is working on 5 target areas using the same methodology that led to the discovery of Ikkari. Drilling has recommenced after the summer with rigs at Ikkari and a further regional exploration project, Siikavaara West whilst the summer field team are conducting mapping and sampling across the Jeesio, Sikavaara East and Kuusajarvi project areas. A Preliminary Economic Assessment will be expected to be published by year end, factoring in all this new drilling. This will likely be followed by capital raise, a Pre-Feasibility Study and then a full Feasibility Study in expected short order.
Needless to say such a big gold discovery does not go unnoticed. Senior gold producers with nearby projects in Finland include Agnico Eagle (AEM) with Kittila, Boliden (BOL.SE) with Kevitsa, Anglo American (AAL.LN) with Sakatti, and B2 Gold (BTG) in a JV with Aurion Resources at Helmi. All will be paying close attention. Note that Agnico has a current stake of approximately 15% in Rupert Resources.