Winner of gold competition “Kultakisa Kakkonen” encourages to optimism and hard work in exploration
Last summer saw a gold rush in the Karelian Gold Line as Endomines organized a second layman gold competition, this time titled “Kultakisa Kakkonen”. The competition sparked vast interest and exceeded all expectations.
By the end of the competition period, a total of 140 samples were received, and the organizers were positively surprised by the diversity and promising quality of the samples. Another unexpected outcome was that the Gold Line proved worthy of its name also in its less-known zones. It was especially rewarding to see how the competition became the talk of the town and inspired people to go out and explore this special area.
After the completion of the laboratory assays, the much-awaited results of the competition were revealed in January. The first place and the grand prize of 2,000 euros went to Mr. Juha Turpeinen from Lieksa.
Endomines’ geologist Mr. Jani Rautio and CEO Ms. Saila Miettinen-Lähde, together with Endomines’ major shareholder Mr. Kyösti Kakkonen (on the right) congratulate Mr. Juha Turpeinen, the winner of Kultakisa Kakkonen (second from the right).
Enthusiasm for rockhounding began at an early age
Mr. Turpeinen took on geology as a hobby already in his childhood years.
“When I was eleven years old, we had a geologist from the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) visit our school and give a presentation on ore exploration. We marveled at the sample rocks he brought with him and got very into the subject. Inspired by the class, we immediately ordered the free rock kits from GTK. I also went to the local blacksmith and bought an old forge hammer so I could break the boulders.”
Searching for, breaking, and studying rocks with friends was a fun pastime for young Juha. Over the years, other things got in the way and he dropped the hobby for a long time, but the memory of these rockhounding trips remained strong. He rediscovered his passion for geology in the 2000s and continued his childhood hobby.
“I have participated in other exploration challenges, too. As soon I saw the ad for Kultakisa Kakkonen in the newspaper I decided to enter this competition.”
“I searched the Endomines website for information on which parts of the Karelian Gold Line had already been surveyed. I aimed to find zones with no previous indications of gold and then carefully examined the trenches, roads and clear-cut areas in these zones.”
Because of his success in past exploration competitions, Mr. Turpeinen believed he had good chances also this time. Even so, winning the competition was a big and very delightful surprise.
The allure of the special metal
“What makes gold such a special metal is that people always get a gleam in their eye when you tell you have discovered some. Gold may not be as crucial a raw material as zinc, copper, or nickel, for example, but it’s still an alluring metal and retains its value. Unlike other metals, gold also sparks the interest of non-rock enthusiasts.”
Mr. Turpeinen intends to continue exploration in the spring once the snow has melted:
“I can’t help but keep on breaking rocks, it’s like a disease that’s getting more and more severe. I just have to see what’s inside. Luckily, there’s no shortage of rocks, and there’s always something new to find,” Mr. Turpeinen laughs.
Mr. Turpeinen would like to see a less pessimistic attitude from professional geologists towards his hometown Lieksa. It was there that he found his personal favorite exploration spot in 2017: a rock mass containing copper, zinc, gold, and silver. This discovery intrigues him because it is special due to its rock type and multiple minerals.
“A geology hobbyist has to be hard working and optimistic, and to venture out into new, unstudied regions. This is the only way to find new deposits. When you go out in the wild, you never know what you will find,” Mr. Turpeinen sums up his thoughts on ore exploration.