Silver Mine - History
Picture. Ore specimen from Silver Mine.
When the earlier mining permit for the Silver Mine expired in 2005 Sotkamo Silver (before the change of the name: Silver Resources) applied for and was assigned to the exploration permit for the area, and founded the company in 2006. Silver Mine has a history that stretches back to 1980 when researchers from the University of Oulu found silver on the shore of a small lake. The local paper company Kajaani Oy applied for an exploration permit in 1980 and conducted exploration from 1981 to 1988. The first exploration hole drilled showed 100 meters long cutting with a silver ore body.
Kajaani Oy and Outokumpu Oyj made a joint venture agreement in 1988 for the development of the silver deposit and started to build a tunnel down to the mineralisation. 2,6 kilometres long tunnel and approximately 350 metres long ventilation shaft were built between 1988 and 1990 which was approximately 60 million SEK invested. After conducting a feasibility study and technical design analyses for mining in 1991, the project was put down due to low metal prices. Silver price at that time was approximately 4 USD per troy ounce. The price had been between 5 and 10 USD per troy ounce since the project started. Silver prices stabilised at more than 5 USD per troy ounce in 2004, but by then both Kajaani and Outokumpu had changed their focus away from industrial mining. Outokumpu cancelled exploration and project development activities within their own mining projects following a strategic decision to dismantle all mining activities in the late 1990s.
Discovery of the deposit
The first indications of the Ag-Au-Zn-Pb mineralisation at the Silver Mine site were found in 1980 when a research group from the University of Oulu found several Ag-Au-Zn anomalous glacial boulders along the dry shoreline of the small lake. The University of Oulu exploration team followed up boulder indications by percussion drilling and obtained samples from the bedrock-moraine interface together with small rock chip samples from the bedrock. Results from the percussion drill sampling campaign revealed the sub-cropping mineralisation ca. 500 meters up ice direction from the boulder discovery site. Diamond drilling followed up the percussion drill sampling, and the very first diamond drill hole intersected the mineralisation in spring 1981.
Kajaani Oy enters the play
In October 1980, Kajaani Oy secured mineral rights over the Silver Mine deposit by claim reservations. In January 1982 two claims were granted. They cover the today known Silver Mine Ag-Au-Zn deposit and its immediate surroundings. A successful fast-track exploration was followed by a diamond drilling campaign during 1981-1989. The surface drill campaign was successful in delineating 40 metres to 100 meters wide mineralisation which has a strike extent of 550 metres and continues to at least 650 metres below the surface.
Sotkamo Silver started the development again
In 2005 earlier owners let the mining concession lapse. The same year the owners of Sotkamo Silver Oy applied for a claim reservation over the property. In 2006 Sotkamo Silver applied for the previously presented claims over the Silver Mine deposit, and they were issued in May 2007. Since 2006 has been developed the Silver Mine deposit with a clear vision to start the construction works of Finland's first silver mine in 2017.
The first NI 43-101-compliant mineral resource estimate was completed in 2007.
In March 2009 Sotkamo Silver Oy filed the official documents regarding the application of a Mining Concession Permit for the Silver Mine Ag-Au-Zn-deposit at The Ministry of Employment and The Economy. The Mining Concession Permit was approved April 2011.