Exploration drilling started at Sokli
Solid baseline data reduces research costs and impact on the environment.
11. September 2023
Geological drilling started at Sokli on 5 September. Two contractors will work round the clock in 12-hour shifts until the end of October.
“People have questioned the need to drill new holes at Sokli when the area’s mineral resources have been explored for decades. Drilling is needed because the findings of previous surveys are limited to certain types of ores and raw materials. Our surveys aim to explore the Sokli mineral deposit and the feasibility of mining operations comprehensively, covering all the potential ore bodies and raw materials at Sokli. Further drilling and studies are required on Sokli’s large deposit for geological mapping purposes,” says Project Director Pasi Heino.
The results of our scoping study at Sokli show that it could produce not only phosphate and iron but also various rare-earth elements (REE), which are essential in the transition to using renewable energy.
Geophysical methods pinpoint drilling locations
Before starting the exploration drilling, geomagnetic measurements were carried out during the winter when the area was accessible by skis and snowmobiles. In September, the DroneSOM project coordinated by Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) will collect gravity and electromagnetic data in the area using drones.
Various geophysical measurement methods can be used to map the bedrock, enabling more accurate planning of current and future drilling programs. Solid baseline data is useful in the optimisation of drilling, which in turn reduces the costs and impact on the environment.
The levels of surface and ground water are also measured within the mining concession regularly throughout the year, and ground penetrating radars (GPR) have provided data for water-table depth and ground-water flow determinations. During the summer, electrofishing and other scientific methods were used to sample the fish populations of local water bodies, and botanical surveys were undertaken to map the local flora and vegetation.
Keeping the stakeholders informed
The Sokli mining concession covers just over 1,000 hectares of land. No access restrictions have been set for the area, so people can go there to hunt, fish and pick berries. Local stakeholders, such as reindeer herding cooperatives, have been informed about the start date of drilling in advance.
Several environmental aspects need to be taken into account in exploration drilling. The required drilling program has been submitted to the relevant authorities. Onboarding will also be provided to the contractors about the unique conditions at Sokli and all the relevant security and responsibility aspects.
More information about Sokli mining project
Pasi Heino, Project Director, Sokli mining project
firstname.lastname(at)mineralsgroup.fi, +358 50 5535 032
The mission of Finnish Minerals Group is to responsibly maximise the value of Finnish minerals. We manage the State’s mining industry shareholdings and strive to develop the Finnish value chain of lithium-ion batteries. Through our work, we contribute to Europe moving towards electric transport and a more sustainable future. www.mineralsgroup.fi