Our Operations

About exploration

Exploration is the search for new metals. It is done by geologists, who use a variety of tools, including airborne and ground geophysical surveys, rock, moraine and soil sampling, and drilling to explore under the surface.

Copper and nickel are increasingly important for batteries in electric vehicles, and the construction of renewable energy sources that will help nations power the future in an environmentally responsible manner.

The exploration process

The process of exploration can be lengthy, carrying a low chance of success. The process of exploring, finding and permitting a metals project may take over 20 years as few projects pass the necessary tests required to turn into a sustainable operation. Throughout the stages of exploration and development of a project, strict community and environmental guidelines are in place.

Companies begin exploration by obtaining a ‘reservation license’ permitting them to undertake reconnaissance work. This includes making geological maps and taking rock samples. When a prospective area has been identified, an exploration license may be submitted.

Exploration licenses permit more detailed exploration work, including detailed sampling and diamond drilling. Drilling is used to collect a rock sample from beneath the surface to assess a prospective area. Then, geologists can make models of the subsurface and determine if it is likely that higher metal concentrations exist. Exploration licenses usually contain several targets, of which only the best are drill tested.

The below image details the exploration process (Image taken from the tukes website).

Project Progress Timelines

November 2019: Lunkkaus and Savukoski reservations granted

January 2020: Community meetings in Pelkosenniemi and Savukoski

Summer 2020: Field program, including drone magnetic survey in Pelkosenniemi and Savukoski

July 2020: Pisa reservation granted

September 2020: Peräpohja Copper field program

November 2020: Käyläselkä reservation grant

December 2020: Reposelka 1-3, Mukkavaara 1-2 exploration license applications in Pelkosenniemi and Savukoski municipalities submitted to tukes.

February 2021: Community meetings in Savukoski, Pelkosenniemi, Salla and Kemijärvi

April 2021: Meetings with municipal leaders in western Lapland

May 2021: TUKES decision on exploration license applications (Reposelkä 1,2 and 3, Mukkavaara 1 and 2) in Pelkosenniemi and Savukoski

June 2021: Geological mapping program begins in Pelkosenniemi and Peräpohja

June 2021: Community meetings in Pelkosenniemi and Savukoski

August 2021: Geophysical surveys in Pelkosenniemi and Savukoski

September 2021: Lunkkaus and Savukoski reservation expires

September 2021: Pyytövaara, Rahkvaara, Sadinvaara, Siulionpalo, Murtoselkä, Reposelklä 4,5,6 applications in Pelkosenniemi and Savukoski submitted to tukes.

October 2021: Ground geophysical surveys in Reposelkä exploration license areas

November 2021: Percussion drilling in Reposelkä exploration license areas

February 2022: Community meeting in Pelkosenniemi

February 2022: Ground geophysical surveys in Tervola

February 2022: Diamond drilling in Reposelkä exploration license areas

May 2022: Community meeting in Tervola

June 2022: Geological mapping program begins in Tervola

June 2022: Drone magnetic survey in Tervola