Canadian gold exploration and development company Rupert Resources has unveiled Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) results for its fully-owned Rupert Lapland project.

Located in Northern Finland, the Rupert Lapland project includes the company’s Ikkari gold discovery and Pahtavaara mine and mill.

The PEA upgrades Ikkari’s Mineral Resource Estimate with 84% ounces added to the Indicated resource category, and defines a cohesive deposit with consistent high-grade gold.

It delivers an after-tax Net Present Value (NPV) of $1.6bn, with 46% Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and payback after two years, at a gold price of $1,650/oz.

The project’s estimated life of mine (LOM) is 22 years, which includes a recovered gold of 4.25 million ounces with an average annual production of 200,000 ounces.

The PEA suggests open pit mining at Ikkari in the first 11 years, followed by underground mining at both Ikkari and Pahtavaara operations.

The open pit operation is expected to support an average annual production of 220,000 ounces in the first 11 years of operation.

Rupert Resources noted that the project is expected to have lowest quartile all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $759/oz over LOM, and $596/oz during open-pit operation.

Rupert Resources CEO James Withall said: “This PEA study indicates exceptionally high-margin and meaningful returns on a robust project. The results are a testament to both the quality of the asset and our technical team. In only three years, we’ve gone from discovery hole to a preliminary study outlining an after-tax NPV of $1.6bn, anchored by Ikkari.

“What excites us is that we still have room to grow at Ikkari and other satellite targets that we will be drill testing this winter.

“We have a real opportunity to not only advance Ikkari as outlined in our PEA, but systematically develop a cornerstone asset in a significant new gold camp over time.”