Nordic Gold, formerly known as Firesteel Resources, has received written confirmation from Finnish supervisory authority ELY that it has provided all documentation required and can recommence mining and processing operations at its Laiva gold mine near Raahe, Finland. The company reported this was the result of ongoing communications with, and environmental reporting for, the Finnish regulators in the region.

Mining activities started at Laiva in mid-August to establish access and clear working areas. The company has been conducting three blasts a week and has stockpiled 62,000 metric tons (mt) of ore preparing for plant startup. Roughly 15,000 mt of ore has been run through the primary crusher as part of the recommissioning process. With the ELY approval, the mill and plant can now begin operating.

Michael Hepworth, president and CEO, Nordic Gold, said the company can now operate the plant and prepare for processing.

“The plant is being restarted in stages with the grinding circuit now in its final stages of testing,” Hepworth said. “The CIL circuits are ready to operate and will be filled as ore passes through the comminution circuit.

The company plans to pour its first gold on November 27, he added.

Located on the West Coast of Finland, the Laiva mine was previously in production from June 2012 to March 2014 and produced 77,000 ounces (oz) of gold from 2.8 million tons of ore processed at an average recovery rate of 79% to 85%.

The company said it should be able to implement even greater rates of recovery and plant utilization given its recent improvements to the processing circuit, which includes better crushing, leaching, grinding and cyanide recovery processes than in the past. The previous owner (Nordic Mines) was blasting ore and waste at the same time, and using large-scale open-pit bulk methods, which led to significant dilution, and a lower than expected ore grade. Firesteel has a plan to blast ore on a very selective basis to reduce dilution.