Nordic Nickel’s new Finland team to drive exploration at Pulju, the world’s newest major nickel sulphide district
Nordic Nickel has appointed a highly experienced operational team led by 38-year mining veteran Vern Langdale to advance the next phase of exploration and development of its flagship Pulju nickel project in Finland.
Nordic Nickel (ASX:NNL) listed on the ASX in 2022 with a portfolio of nickel sulphide exploration assets in Finland’s Central Lapland Greenstone Belt (CLGB).
Despite hosting some of the world’s largest nickel and gold deposits — such as Boliden’s Kevitsa nickel-copper-gold mine and Anglo American’s Sakatti copper-nickel-PGE deposit — this region is significantly under-explored for komatiite/intrusive hosted nickel deposits using modern exploration techniques, unlike more mature belts like Kambalda in WA.
This is a generational opportunity for nickel exploration and “company changing discoveries”, the company says.
Its main game is Pulju, where Nordic Nickel has defined an initial 133.6Mt resource for 278,520t nickel and 12,560t cobalt at the Hotinvaara prospect based on historical near surface drilling only, with Hotinvaara representing just 2% of the company’s highly prospective 240km2 land package.
But this just scratched the surface. A follow-up 22,000m drill program was launched in January this year to test multiple targets at Hotinvaara.
By September, the company had drilled 28 holes totalling ~15,500m with assays confirming and extending the footprint of nickel mineralisation intersected by historical drilling.
These holes returned multiple thick intercepts with hole #1 setting the tone with intercepts like:
Meanwhile, holes #3 and #6 encountered multiple near-surface disseminated sulphide zones as well as discrete zones of semi-massive and net-textured massive sulphides.
Nordic also carried out a prospect-wide moving loop electromagnetic survey during the March quarter that identified numerous additional interpreted EM conductors both within and outside the resource that will be tested by the drill program.
A large-scale drone magnetic survey has also vastly improved on previous regional magnetic surveys providing clearer, higher resolution anomaly definition.
This identified several new outstanding magnetic anomalies across the broader 240km2 project area, with two large-scale anomalies of greater than 2km in strike length identified near the existing Hotinvaara resource.
A step-out hole announced September, 500m from the resource boundary, intersected disseminated sulphides over a width of 123.8m from 306.5m downhole (based on visual logging), greatly expanding the mineralised footprint and enhancing the prospectivity of this magnetic feature.
Assays are pending for several holes, with a resource update to be completed by the end of the year.
Nordic Nickel has now appointed a new in-country operational team to help oversee and drive the next phase of exploration, growth and development at Pulju to support its strategy of becoming a supplier of sustainably sourced and traceable, class-1 nickel sulphides and critical minerals.
It has appointed as its country manager mining veteran Langdale, who has 38 years of experience across a wide variety of roles in mining projects and mines from many countries.
Over the last 17 years he has been involved with building and commissioning mines often in challenging and remote locations in China, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. In 2018 he moved to Finland with Nordic Gold.
Prior to joining the company, he worked as director, operations for Endomines AB at its US and Finnish operations, where he provided support in the re-start of its mining operation.
Langdale has also served as mine manager for Nordic Gold and project manager for Jac Rijk Al Rushaid in Saudi Arabia.
His short-term focus will be to implement the next phase of exploration at Pulju, building on the successful maiden exploration program in 2023, with the dual focus of expanding areas of known mineralisation while also targeting high-grade massive sulphide zones.
He will also manage the preliminary assessment of the Hotinvaara nickel mine project, which includes the ongoing metallurgical test work program.
Nordic also appointed Pekka Tuomela – who has over 20 years in exploration and mining projects in Finland and internationally – as its sustainability and ESG manager for Finland.
“I am delighted to announce these key operational appointments in Finland. With Vern now leading our operations and Pekka managing our stakeholder engagement and sustainability strategy, we are in very good hands,” managing director Todd Ross said.
“Vern is a proven leader with 38 years of significant international mining experience including over 25 years in hard rock mining operations.
“I believe that Vern will be a strong support and leader for our exploration project team in our resource expansion phase in Finland, while Pekka has an impeccable track record in working with local stakeholders and managing all aspects of responsible and sustaining exploration activities.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Nordic Nickel, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.