Opportunities for VMS Exploration in Finland

Copper Investing
finland flag

Finland continues to be an attractive mining jurisdiction for its rich VMS deposits.

Finland has a well-established reputation as a jurisdiction with rich mineral resources, mining-friendly policies and sophisticated infrastructure. The country also hosts rich polymetallic volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits, which represent one of its most significant resource advantages.

These characteristics arguably make Finland one of the most promising European targets for both mining investment and VMS exploration, and prospective investors would do well to understand the country's overall mining landscape.

VMS deposits: A brief overview

Rich in metals such as copper, zinc, lead and silver, VMS deposits can be found all over the world and possess several distinct characteristics that make them particularly valuable from a mining perspective.

First, VMS deposits generally occur in clusters, with the discovery of one mineral-rich resource often preceding the discovery of others. VMS deposits also tend to be well suited to low-cost open-pit mining, if initially discovered mineralization occurs close to the surface. Lastly, VMS deposits tend to possess deep reserves, with a single deposit capable of producing for more than 50 years. Examples of this occur in Canada, Portugal, Spain and Finland.

These characteristics are all connected to how a VMS deposit forms: through deep-sea volcanic activity. Underwater volcanic vents known as black smokers expel mineral-rich hydrothermal fluids into the ocean, and the metals precipitate and settle onto the seafloor. This process, continuing across tens of thousands, even millions of years, may result in multiple high-density mineral deposits centered around the volcanic vents.

Finland’s jurisdictional advantage

Finland has been regarded as one of the most attractive mining jurisdictions in the world.

In 2017, the country even ranked as the top target for mining investment, owing to a winning combination of rich mineral reserves, a stable sociopolitical climate, efficient permitting and competitive tax rates. Finland's established mining infrastructure and extensive clean energy resources are also immensely beneficial, reducing upfront capital costs while making it far easier for mining companies to maintain sustainable operations.

Despite its advantages, the overall perception of Finland as a mining jurisdiction fell in 2023, ranking 16th in policy attractiveness and 29th in overall investment attractiveness, according to a Fraser Institute report. Concerns about labor availability and the country’s legal system are among the reasons cited by respondents for the decreased scoring for Finland, according to the report. Despite the drop in ranking, Finland is an incredibly promising mining jurisdiction and its advantages, compared to other EU and global jurisdictions, remain unchanged.

VMS deposits in Finland

Finland's geography is incredibly rich in resources, with roughly 47 distinct metallogenic areas containing everything from ferrous and precious metals to critical minerals, rare earths and uranium.

Many of Finland's VMS deposits are concentrated at the country's heart, within the Vihanti-Pyhäsalmi Mining District. Situated at the border zone between the northeastern Archaean Craton and the centrally located Paleoproterozoic Svecofennian Domain, Vihanti-Pyhäsalmi hosts two major VMS deposits.

Named Vihanti and Pyhäsalmi, each of these major deposits is surrounded by a number of smaller satellite deposits. The Pyhäsalmi mine is Europe's deepest base metals mining project. Vihanti ceased production in 1992, while the Pyhäsalmi mine ended extraction of metals in 2023. The mine remains open for environmental oversight and cleanup, sales of pyrite concentrates and government-supported research for mine closure activities.

Finland's major players

Finland's mining sector is booming, with operations maintained by mining and exploration companies of all sizes. Many of these companies operate not just in Finland, but throughout Scandinavia as well, prioritizing resources deemed critical for Europe's clean energy transition. Some of the more prominent companies are listed below.

Rupert Resources (TSX:RUP,OTCQX:RUPRF)

Rupert Resources’ 634 square kilometer Rupert Lapland project in Northern Finland is within the Central Lapland Greenstone Belt, which is part of the Fennoscandian Shield. The shield spans across three other countries — Sweden, Norway and Russia — with about 1,700 known mineral occurrences. The project includes the multimillion-ounce Ikkari gold discovery and the Pahtavaara mine and mill, with a preliminary economic assessment showing 4.25 million ounces of gold to be recovered over a 22 year mine life and a US$1.6 billion after-tax net present value.

Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX:AEM,NYSE:AEM)

With gold reserves of nearly 3.7 million ounces, Agnico Eagle Mines' Kittila mine in Lapland, Northern Finland, is the largest gold producer in Europe. The mine is characterized by mafic volcanic and sedimentary rocks, with a strike length of 25 kilometers along the major gold-bearing Suurikuusikko Trend.

Arctic Minerals (STO:ARCT)

Arctic Minerals holds a 100 percent interest in mining and exploration projects hosted throughout Finland. These include multiple VMS-focused projects situated in Central Finland and Finnish Lapland, all highly prospective for copper, nickel and other battery metals. The company also holds mineral rights to two highly promising projects in Norway.

First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM,OTC Pink:FQVLF)

First Quantum Minerals owns and operates the Pyhäsalmi mine complex. A Canada-based mining corporation, First Quantum positions itself as an expert in unlocking value from complex mineral projects. In addition to Pyhäsalmi, the company owns and operates mining projects in Spain, Mauritania, Zambia, Western Australia, Turkey, Panama, Peru and Chile.

Capella Minerals (TSXV:CMIL,OTCQB:CMILF)

Capella Minerals owns and operates multiple exploration projects throughout Norway and Finland. The company's European assets are focused around copper, cobalt, gold and lithium. In Finland, Capella holds a 70 percent initial interest in both the Northern Finland copper-gold project and the Perho lithium-rare earths project, alongside a portfolio of multiple reservations in Central Finland.

Barsele Minerals (TSXV:BME,OTCQB:BRSLF)

In late 2023, Barsele Minerals merged with Gold Line Resources, Finland's largest mineral rights holder.

According to a press release from Gold Line, this created one of the largest license packages in Scandinavia, covering a total area of 104,000 hectares across Finland and Sweden. Much of this package is focused on the Gold Line Belt, situated on the western edge of the Skelleftea polymetallic VMS belt.

Barsele also maintains 45 percent ownership of the Barsele project in Sweden, which contains both intrusive-hosted and gold-rich VMS deposits. Agnico Eagle holds the remaining 55 percent interest.

Avrupa Minerals (CVE:AVU)

A growth-oriented junior exploration and development project generator, Avrupa Minerals is currently advancing no less than four separate prospects in Finland with its joint venture partner Akkerman Exploration, through the joint venture entity Akkerman Finland. This includes two recently approved applications for copper-zinc targets in the Pyhäsalmi District, Kangasjärvi and Hallaperä. Akkerman holds two other permits in the district, Kolima and Rauha. In addition to its Finnish operations, Avrupa operates a copper-zinc joint venture project in Portugal and owns a partner-operated gold project in Kosovo.

Avrupa's unique growth strategy focuses on attracting well-funded partners to support its exploration and development efforts and building up a portfolio of projects situated in historic mineral belts. Currently, the company has strategic partners in Portugal and Kosovo, while Finland encompasses the bulk of its recent portfolio growth. Avrupa is actively seeking new investors from Europe, Mexico, Canada and the US.

Investor takeaway

Although Finland's reputation as a mining jurisdiction is perhaps not as flawless as it once was, the country nevertheless remains one of the most promising regions in the world for mining and exploration. There is little doubt that, alongside the other Nordic countries, Finland will be instrumental in fueling Europe's transition to net-zero carbon. In the process, investors can expect the region to generate a wide range of investment opportunities.

This INNSpired article is sponsored by Avrupa Minerals (TSXV:AVU). This INNSpired article provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Avrupa Mineralsin order to help investors learn more about the company. Avrupa Minerals is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this INNSpired article.

This INNSpired article was written according to INN editorial standards to educate investors.

INN does not provide investment advice and the information on this profile should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.

The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company. Prior to making any investment decision, it is recommended that readers consult directly with Avrupa Minerals and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.

The Conversation (0)
Avrupa Minerals

Avrupa Minerals Investor Kit

  • Corporate info
  • Insights
  • Growth strategies
  • Upcoming projects


Avrupa Minerals

Avrupa Minerals Investor Kit

  • Corporate info
  • Insights
  • Growth strategies
  • Upcoming projects