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Agnico Eagle Finland Oy’s mineral exploration team is part of Agnico Eagle’s international exploration group. Agnico Eagle also engages in exploration activities in Canada, Mexico, the United States, and Sweden.
Our exploration activities in Europe centre around the Kittilä mine in Finland. Kittilä is Agnico Eagle’s largest gold asset by reserves, with strong expansion potential due to its large resources. The regional exploration focus is on the Kittilä property as well as the Barsele project in northern Sweden, in which the company acquired an interest in June 2015.
More information about our various exploration activities in Finland is contained below. For information on our global exploration activities, please visit our corporate website at www.agnicoeagle.com
At the Kuotko deposit, located on the Kittila property approximately 15 kilometres north of the Kittila mine, drilling is ongoing to infill and expand the existing inferred gold resource of approximately 169,000 ounces (1.8 million tonnes at 2.89 g/t gold) as of December 31, 2015. In addition, new mineralized zones have been identified outside the known resource areas. Metallurgical testing is underway and, unlike Kittila, the gold mineralization is free milling. Upon completion of the drilling, studies will be carried out to assess the viability of mining the deposit as a satellite open pit.
The large Hanhimaa property encompasses a 20-kilometre strike length of the Hanhimaa Shear Zone, which is parallel to and 10 kilometres west of the Kiistala Shear Zone that hosts Agnico Eagle’s Kittila gold mine. The Kiimalaki, Kellolaki and Kiimakuusikko prospects have been identified within the domain of strongly sheared and hydrothermally altered rocks in the northern portion of the Hanhimaa Shear Zone.
Agnico Eagle has an option to earn up to 70% interest from Dragon Mining Ltd.
Former owner Orex Minerals Inc. completed an airborne geophysical survey (MAG and EM) in 2011, and published an historic mineral resource estimate from four mineralized zones on the property in 2012.
In June 2015, Agnico Eagle acquired a 55% interest in the 28,500-ha property from Orex Minerals Inc. (Orex Minerals subsequently transferred its interest in the project to Barsele Minerals Corp.) The exploration program is now operated by Agnico Eagle, which can earn an additional 15% interest through completion of a pre-feasibility study.
Since mid-2015, Agnico Eagle has done trenching and structural mapping, compiled geophysical data, carried out downhole geophysical surveys, and done hyperspectral diamond core scanning, environmental studies and community relations work. From compilation of previous geophysical data, Agnico Eagle has derived a large number of orogenic gold, VMS and SEDEX targets within and nearby the property. Initial drill results were reported in April 2016 from an exploration diamond drill program that had begun the previous October.
Barsele is 20 kilometres from the town of Storuman, at the crossroads of two major highways with regular scheduled freight, bus and rail service. Storuman has schools, motels, restaurants and other support services. The infrastructure at Barsele is very good. Eight hydropower plants and one of Europe’s biggest windmill parks are the major source for electricity in the region, and there is a major powerline running through the property. The communication network includes high-speed internet and cell phone services. There is heavy equipment for construction and road-building purposes. A skilled workforce can be found locally since the project is situated in a region with a long tradition of exploration and mining activities. Exploration work can be done all year round.