The Saarikylä soapstone deposit is the largest and most compact talc deposit in Europe
The Suomussalmi soapstone deposits are part of the Kuhmo greenstone belt. The greenstone belt began to form almost three billion years ago as a result of active volcanism at the centre of an ancient continental plate. Rapid magma movement ensued and fire and flint poured out of volcanic craters. Minerals then crystallized from magma while ash and clasts solidified and petrified, forming various volcanic rocks. These rocks eventually sunk deep into earth’s crust and recrystallized in high pressure and temperature. Today, they are called greenstones, which is Kainuu’s provincial stone.
The mineral resources at Suomussalmi comprise of four separate deposits (Haaponen, Kivikangas, Sivusuvanto, and Kivisuvanto). The Haaponen deposit is being developed for talc production by Nordic Talc while the Kivikangas deposit has been used for soapstone quarrying for over twenty years. In addition, resources of the Kivisuvanto and Sivusuvanto deposits have been explored by core drilling.
According to the JORC (2012) Code, the Haaponen deposit has an indicated mineral resource of 22.3 million tonnes at an average talc grade of 44.4%. The mineral resource estimate is based on core drilling down to 80–160-meter depth, depending on the extent of the drillholes, and trenching and test pits for flotation test sampling. We see potential to increase the estimated mineral resource to 30 million tonnes with additional drilling.
Based on flotation testwork conducted on Haaponen talc ore, the quality of the talc concentrate is suitable for production of talc products. Wall rocks at the deposit have a very low sulphur content, significantly reducing the environmental impact of mining operations. Open pit optimization has been conducted on the Haaponen deposit, and a mine plan has been prepared based on the optimization. Rock quality has been studied with rock mechanics testing and modelling and the results are utilized for risk assessment and management in mine planning.
|Core drilling (m)||2 860||5 540||3 360|
|Resources (Mt)||22,3 Mt|