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Arctic Platinum, Finland

Palladium-Platinum Project in Finland targeted for divestment

100% attributable to GFI


APP consists of three project areas named Suhanko, Narkaus and Penikat. The projects are located in southern Lapland in Finland, approximately 50km south of the city of Rovaniemi, which is the regional capital with excellent infrastructure and services. A network of well-established roads exist in the area with all-year access to the port of Kemi. Finland is a mining-friendly jurisdiction with a skilled workforce and favourable tax regime.

Project ownership

The total APP project area, inclusive of applications and tenement renewals, amounts to 16,062ha across the three project areas The registered lease holder is Gold Fields Arctic Platinum Oy (GFAP) which is a subsidiary of Gold Fields Finland Oy. Both companies are 100% owned indirect subsidiaries of Gold Fields.

The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (TUKES) awarded a five-year extension to the validity of the Suhanko mining licence (ML1) which was originally awarded to GFAP on 29 May 2006. ML1 covers the Konttijärvi and Ahmavaara deposits of the Suhanko project and the infrastructural areas required for ore and minerals processing. The decision by TUKES became legally valid on 11 October 2016.

There has been no commercial mining of these deposits. The locations were originally explored by Outokumpu Oy up to January 2000, which was the start of the Arctic Platinum Partnership agreement between Gold Fields and Outokumpu. Gold Fields was the operator and in 2003 acquired 100% of the partnership and registered GFAP as the operating company in Finland. From 2005 to 2008, GFAP entered into an acquisition and framework agreement with North American Palladium Limited (NAP) and this option agreement expired in 2008, when NAP elected not to follow its rights. Gold Fields assumed full management and control of GFAP from 1 September 2008.

Regional geology

The Suhanko and Narkaus Cu – Ni – PGM deposits are hosted by the 2.44Ga-old layered mafic intrusive rocks of the Portimo complex. All the intrusive rocks, including the Penikat intrusion, are intruded into the Archaean Basement and are exposed along or close to the erosional contact with the overlying Perapohja schist belt.

Project Geology

The Suhanko deposits, and the Suhanko North discovery, are palladium-rich zones of stratiform platinum group elements (PGE) – copper – nickel mineralisation at the base of the Konttijärvi – Suhanko intrusion. The zones range from 10m to 60m in thickness and are laterally continuous for 900m at Konttijarvi to 2,600m at Suhanko North. The platinum group minerals occur in association with base metal sulphides chalcopyrite > pyrrhotite > pentlandite. Analogous geological deposits are the Platreef of the Bushveld complex (South Africa), the Roby Zone at Lac des Isles (Thunder Bay, Canada), and Federova in the Kola Peninsula (Russia).

PGE mineralisation at Narkaus and Penikat occurs as reef-type deposits, which subcrop beneath glacial till on ground held by GFAP for 11km at Narkaus and 10km at Penikat. The reefs are developed along the contact between gabbroic footwall rocks and overlying ultramafic pyroxenite and peridotite stratigraphic units. Offset-style copper-rich mineralisation also occurs at Narkaus in granites of the Archaean Basement with the best developed example being the Kilvenjarvi deposit.

Exploration process

All exploration and resource definition has been by diamond core drilling, with logging and sampling undertaken by GFAP employees under supervision of an experienced Finnish management team. Assaying for platinum, palladium and gold was completed by fire assay with Pb collection and ICP – OES finish. Base metals and sulphur were analysed by aqua regia digest followed by an ICP – OES finish. Routine QA/QC procedures have been adopted throughout with external audit of the exploration procedures, assay database and geological modelling. The table below lists the DD drilling metres completed by different companies during respective periods.

No further work was undertaken in 2016

Year Company     DD metres  
1981 – 1999 Outokumpu     73,294  
2000 – 2005 GFAP     205,790  
2006 – 2008 NAP     43,437  
2008 – 2015 GFAP     135,087  
Total metres       457,608  

Level of study

Feasibility-level studies have been completed for a 10Mtpa open pit mining operation at Konttijarvi and Ahmavaara followed by sulphide flotation to produce concentrates for sale to smelters. In 2011 and 2012, these studies were expanded to include the Suhanko North deposit and recovery of metals from a bulk concentrate by pressure oxidation and the hydrometallurgical Platsol® process.

Geological modelling and scoping-level open pit optimisation studies have also been completed for the SK Reef deposits and the Kilvenjärvi offset deposit at Narkaus. No open pit or underground mining studies have been completed at Penikat for the SJ and PV reef-style deposits.

Social licence to operate

GFAP currently holds valid mining, environmental and water management permits for the Suhanko ML1 project area. These permits allow for open pit mining of the Konttijarvi and Ahmavaara deposits and the flotation concentration of the ores at a rate of 10Mtpa. In order to provide for possible implementation of the Platsol® metal recovery process, and to include the discovery of the Suhanko North deposit, GFAP completed an expanded environmental impact assessment (EIA) process in early 2014. The permitting authority approved the expanded EIA and Natura 2000 assessments in 2014. The associated land use plan was approved and ratified by the Ministry of Environment on 13 January 2016.

Mineral Resources

No new exploration, geological modelling or metallurgical testing was completed during 2015 that would change the technical Mineral Resources estimation input parameters. As a result, there are no changes to the Mineral Resources from the previous year.

Arctic Platinum Project: Open Pit Shell Constrained Mineral Resources Reported at 1.0g/t 2PGE+Au cut-off

Class Tonnes
Measured 46.90     0.16   0.41   1.68   0.24   0.10     237   624   2,527   245   106  
Indicated 69.90     0.11   0.31   1.28   0.22   0.09     254   686   2,886   340   139  
Inferred 91.70     0.10   0.38   1.50   0.22   0.10     295   1,107   4,429   450   194  
Total 208.50     0.12   0.36   1.47   0.22   0.10     786   2,417   9,842   1,034   438  

Competent persons

Internal technical reviews have been conducted by the Competent Persons as listed, who are full-time employees of Gold Fields Limited and working for Corporate Development.

M Botha
VP Strategic Projects

BSc (Hons) MSc Geology. MAusIMM (226388)

33 years of experience in exploration, open pit and underground mining and project development and evaluation in Africa, Europe, South America, North America, Australia and Russia. Commodities: gold, platinum, palladium, copper and nickel. He has been actively involved in the exploration and development of the APP since the start of exploration in 2000. He is the lead Competent Person and is responsible for the overall accuracy, standard and compliance of the declaration.

A Trueman
Chief Resource Geologist

BSc Geology (Hons). PGeo, APEGBC 149753 and MAusIMM CP 110730

25 years’ experience in mining, exploration and resource evaluation on projects in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, South America and North America. Commodities: gold, copper, silver, coal, bauxite, PGEs and uranium. He is responsible for Mineral Resource estimation and reporting.