Kinross Gold has signed a $9.5m binding farm-in agreement with Sakumpu Exploration to earn a 70% stake in the latter’s 83km2 of non-core gold tenements in Finland.

Sakumpu Exploration is a fully-owned subsidiary of Australia-based S2 Resources.

As per the agreement, Kinross Gold will earn the stake in four exploration licence and licence applications contained in the land package. The acreage is located in the Central Lapland Greenstone Belt (CLGB) in northern Finland.

Under the terms of the deal, Kinross Gold has to meet a minimum expenditure requirement of $3.5m on exploration campaign at the tenements during the first three years. Of this, a minimum expenditure of $1.5m is required to be spent by the Canadian miner within the first 18 months.

The tenements comprise two distinct blocks called Home and Palvaanen/Mesi.

During the farm-in period, the Canadian miner will be the operator of the blocks and will be responsible for meeting all amounts needed for maintaining them in good standing.

In the case of Kinross Gold making a discovery under the farm-in agreement, S2 Resources will have the option to retain a 30% stake in it as a joint venture (JV) participant.

S2 Resources will retain its full ownership of the licences, spread over 498km2, that host its core assets – the Aarnivalkea gold and Ruopas core nickel-copper targets. The company said that its near-term exploration activity will be focused on the two targets.

S2 Resources CEO Matthew Keane said: “This transaction will expedite exploration on a group of highly prospective licences, whilst allowing S2 to focus its funds on advancing the Aarni’ and Ruopas targets.

“Securing prospective tenure in the CLGB is becoming increasingly competitive, particularly with the recent exploration success of Rupert Resources (RUP.V) and Aurion Resources (AU.V).

“As such, we see this Agreement as a win-win outcome for both companies and we look forward to working with Kinross”.

The company also revealed that it is considering various strategic options for the remainder of the 159km2 of ground position it has in CLGB.