Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX: AEM; NYSE: AEM) has purchased approximately 1.5 million common shares of Rupert Resources (TSXV: RUP), thus retaining its 14.9% interest in Rupert on a partially diluted basis. The investment is part of Rupert’s non-brokered private placement of up to 10.1 million shares at a price of $4.70 each for gross proceeds of about $47.6 million.
Rupert intends to use the proceeds from the private placement to fund on-going exploration and development on its properties in Finland.
The company’s flagship property is the 100%-owned Rupert Lapland project that includes the Ikkari gold discovery about 50 km southeast of Agnico’s Kittila gold mine. The Lapland project includes the former Pahtavaara mine and mill.
Late last year, Rupert released the preliminary economic assessment of Ikkari with a net present value (5% discount) of US$1.6 billion and an internal rate of return of 46% – both calculated after taxes. As planned, the project would have an all-in sustaining cost of US$759 per oz. of gold produced. The Ikkari deposit has an indicated resource of 46.4 million tonnes grading 2.5 g/t gold and containing almost 3.7 million oz. plus an inferred resource of 11.8 million tonnes at 1.9 g/t gold and containing 710,000 oz.
Rupert is planning a phased Ikkari mining plan that will optimize near-term cash flow. First will be 11 years of open pit mining, transitioning to underground in years 10 to 23. Ore from Pahtavaara will be mined in years 12 to 24. An estimated total of 4.25 million oz. of gold will be recovered.
The Pahtavaara mine produced 348,996 oz. of gold between 1996 and 2014 from both open pit and underground operations. Underground resources remaining include 1.9 million indicated tonnes grading 3.0 g/t gold and containing 180,000 oz. as well as 5.9 million inferred tonnes grading 2.1 g/t gold and containing 410,000 oz.
The Lapland project has a third mineralized area called Heinä Central. The inferred resource there is 2.7 million tonnes at 1.8 g/t gold and containing 150,000 oz. Neither the Ikkari nor Heinä Central deposits were previously mined.
More details are posted at www.RupertResources.com.