Irish prospector Karelian Diamonds eyeing Finland mine

Irish prospector Karelian Diamonds is eyeing the prospect of developing its first commercial diamond mine in Finland after acquiring a mining permit from local player A&G Mining for €150,000.

Karelian — a sister company of Conroy Gold and Natural Resources — is solely-focused on the Finnish market, but its licences are mainly concentrated on the Russian border region.

The deal with A&G gives it rights to the Lahtojoki diamond project in the centre of the country.

The Irish firm will make an initial payment of €50,000 with the remaining €100,000 reliant on whether or not Karelian decides to progress the mine plan within the next two years.

A&G will also receive a royalty payment should said mine become commercial.

The financing of a new mine is likely to cost between €20m and €25m.

Karelian chairman Professor Richard Conroy said that early estimates suggest “quite a few relatively small, but jewellery quality diamonds” at the site, where a profitable small mine could be built relatively quickly thanks to the surrounding infrastructure.

He added that the company would likely take a final decision on the mine within the next six months.

“The acquisition of the Lahtojoki diamond pipe mining permit complements our existing licences and is a major step forward for our diamond programme in Finland,” he added.

Earlier this month, Karelian raised nearly €320,000 in a share placing in order to fund projects, including Lahtojoki, and general working capital needs.

Karelian’s share price was down marginally yesterday.


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