Integrated Annual Review 2012 Annual Financial Report 2012 Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Regional overview  
 

6.3.1 Arctic Platinum Project, Finland

Salient features
Overview
  • Copper, nickel, gold, platinum and palladium project
  • Located in northern Finland

Mineral Resources
209 million tonnes containing:

  • 2.4 million oz platinum
  • 9.8 million oz palladium
  • 1,034 Mlb copper
  • 438 Mlb nickel
  • 0.8 million oz gold

Development stage

  • Pre-feasibility

Scheduled start of production

  • 2017

Ownership

  • 100% Gold Fields owned

Material sustainability issues

  • n/a

Key stakeholders

  • Ranua, Tervola and Rovaniemi communities
  • Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency or “Tukes” (mining licensing authority)
  • Ministry of the Environment

Progress in 2012

Key points:

  • Confirmation of substantial new mineral inventory at Suhanko North
  • Platsol® risk review completed and amenability tests ongoing
  • Robust outlook for external platinum and palladium market
  • Updated Mineral Resource and stage gate decision for project scheduled for mid-2013

Greater Suhanko Project

In December 2012, we completed the Greater Suhanko prefeasibility study, which included the Suhanko North deposit – following the completion of a prefeasibility consolidation study in 2011 on the Konttijarvi and Ahmavaara deposits. The study was aimed at improving the overall financial profile of the project through the identification of additional resources, a full review of the process design and infrastructure, and the optimisation of mining schedules. With the study now fully completed we will evaluate the results to determine the optimal means through which, to capture the inherent value of the project.

As part of the prefeasibility study, by March 2012 we completed 30,000 metres of initial exploration drilling at Suhanko North. This successfully defined an additional
74 million tonnes of Mineral Resources at a grade of 1.63 g/t 2PGE+Au.

Geological and mine planning work at the Suhanko North deposit has confirmed that this substantial mineral resource can be added to the Greater Suhanko project. This has the potential to significantly increase the resource and mining flexibility of the project.

Platsol®

During the year, we continued hydrometallurgical test work to assess the suitability of Platsol® processing technology for delivering enhanced onsite metal recovery. During the third quarter, an independent panel of experts completed a technical risk review on the amenability of Platsol® for treating the Suhanko project ore. This indicated the technology could be successfully implemented and that there were no serious flaws.

Marketing studies are under way to determine downstream product marketing strategies. During 2012, this included discussions with six major European base metal/PGE refiners to explore potential synergies and terms of business.

External platinum and palladium market

During 2012, Gold Fields commissioned independent studies into the external platinum and palladium markets. Both studies confirmed strong external markets – as well as robust project economics.

The first study by South Africa-based Hochreiter found that – had the project already been in production – it would be the third cheapest producer on a cost-plus capital expenditure basis. The study also forecast a strong outlook for palladium (which constitutes approximately 75% of the production of the project) over the next five years.

The second study, by UK-based SFA Oxford, forecast that the platinum and palladium markets will be in deficit by 2015 and estimated that as a result, prices would be robust towards the end of the decade.

Outlook

Following the evaluation of the pre-feasibility study during 2013, our next step is to decide on whether to proceed with a full feasibility study for the project.

Licence to operate

Environment

In March 2012, we submitted our amendment to the valid Suhanko Environmental Permit (i.e. for the inclusion of the Platsol® hydrometallurgical process and associated plant infrastructure) to the Finnish environmental authorities. In addition, we submitted an application for a new water permit which was subsequently approved by the authorities in Finland. It requires construction activities to commence in early 2015 and to be completed by 2018.

The final proposal for the Greater Suhanko project Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was submitted to the Finnish coordinating authority in December 2012. Baseline environmental data collection on Suhanko North for inclusion in the amended EIA is ongoing.

Communities

Community issues relating to the project are limited – with the main concern of local communities being the desire for the deposit to be swiftly brought into production to the benefit of the local economy. Community engagement activities are limited to consultative meetings, in support of the EIA process. The first of these meetings (held in October 2012) did not result in any objections.

Political context

The project is located in a traditionally strong and stable operating environment with a sound mining regulatory framework. We are monitoring the government’s examination of a potential new tax on mining activities in 2013 – although early indications suggest this will not materially affect the project.

Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Overview 2012 - Arctic Platinum Project, Finland

Technical Short Form Report 2012: Exploration and Growth Projects