Karelian Diamond Resources has announced that the exploration permit received for the Lahtojoki South ore exploration in Finland is now legally valid.

The permit is of specific interest to Karelian Diamond due to its close proximity to the Lahtojoki deposit, which is situated in the Kaavi region of Finland.

Covering around 28.8ha, the granted exploration permit comprises the area where kimberlite boulders were revealed.

These boulders were discovered to the south-west of the Lahtojoki diamond deposit. They extend more than 400m up-ice from the boulder discovery site, said Karelian Diamond.

According to the company, the nature of the boulder material showed that they are from an undiscovered kimberlite.

In August 2017, the company conducted a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on the Lahtojoki diamond. The PEA demonstrated the economic existence of the deposit.

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By GlobalData

Karelian Diamond Resources chairman Richard Conroy said: “I am very pleased that this exploration permit near to the Lahtojoki diamond deposit has become legally valid, enabling the company to proceed with its exploration plans for the area.

“The possibility of a new diamondiferous kimberlite discovery close by further increases the overall attractiveness of the Lahtojoki Diamond Deposit.”

The company hopes to develop the Lahtojoki diamond deposit as Europe’s first diamond mine, operating outside Russia.

In February 2019, the company secured a diamond exploration reservation situated in the Liperi region of eastern Finland from The Finnish Mining Authority (TUKES).

In the same year, TUKES granted a reservation situated in the Salla region of northeastern Finland to Karelian Diamond.