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Reward to the amateur geologist who discovered the gold deposit

It all started when he caught sight of something glittering underneath the snow. One sunny August day 32 years later, the Finnish amateur geologist Pentti Jämbäck was rewarded with a diploma and a check of 10,000 euro for his discovery – which marked the start of the Laiva mine. “I felt that I was onto something big”, he says.

- One of the proudest moments of my life, said a moved Pentti Jämbäck as he received the diploma from the hand of Lennart Schönning, Chairman of the Board, during the opening ceremony of the Laiva mine.

-I’ve waited a long time for this to come true, he continued.

Pentti Jämbäck is a dedicated amateur geologist and the pick has always had a natural place in his rucksack during his trips into the forests of Raahe. This was also the case on this special winter’s day in 1980, when he was out skiing in the company of his dog. The dog caught the scent of a badger and disappeared among the trees.

Looking for the dog, Pentti Jämbäck suddenly caught sight of something glimmering on a bit of rock that was sticking out of the snow. As usual, he took out his pick, managed to free a small lump of rock and took it home. Pentti Jämbäck has been a keen amateur geologist ever since the 1950’s and the first time he was rewarded for a mineral discovery was as early as 1957.

-I told my wife that this time I was on to something big. I could sense that there would be a major gold deposit there, he says.

The piece of rock was analysed – and Pentii Jämbäck proved to be right. It was gold. Outokumpu acquired the mining rights, Nordic Mines took over 6.5 years ago and made a thorough mapping out of the area. The examination showed that the Laiva deposit is one of the biggest gold deposits in the Nordic region. In August 2012, 32 years later, the mine was officially opened.

-The only thing I didn’t count on was that I would have to wait for so long before it became a mine, he says.

Despite the fact that he will be 80 next year and has gone through five by-pass operations, Pentti Jämbäck is still out in the forests as often as he can. And he still carries the pick with him.