Finnish mining and battery chemical company Keliber has said its Syväjärvi, Rapasaari and Outovesi lithium mining areas and the Päiväneva concentrator area have been approved by local councils.
The company said Kokkola City Council and the Municipal Councils of Kaustinen and Kronoby, approved the plans earlier this month. Keliber's construction work is scheduled to start this summer and production in 2024.
The company has environmental and mining permits for the Syväjärvi mining area, which will be the first to be commissioned and where preparatory construction work has been started.
"We are very pleased with the progress of the zoning made by Kokkola, Kaustinen and Kronoby councils and would like to thank local decision-makers, and landowners for their good co-operation. We will continue meetings and an active dialogue also in the future," says CEO Hannu Hautala.
Keliber and Metso Outotec signed an agreement regarding the basic engineering of the Päiväneva concentrator in June 2020. Metso Outotec will design the concentrator process and process equipment for the production flow sheet: ore crushing, sorting, grinding and concentration.
The basic engineering of the concentrator is based on the new location of the concentrator next to the main mining sites. Design criteria include environmental, social and economic parameters which will be incorporated in the solution for the concentrator.
Keliber started preparatory work at Syväjärvi in 2021, including activities such as the removal of overburden, building sedimentation basins and a wetland for overland flow, as well as the construction of roads. Keliber has been granted the mining safety permit, so the mining of wall rock can begin. This will be utilised both as crushed rock and aggregate in building infrastructure, such as the basin structures and foundations and surfaces for roads.
"Syväjärvi's wall rock works very well as material for building infrastructure. Utilising wall rock as utility material for the future mine is both cost-effective and environmentally friendly as the stone supply is nearby. Material efficiency, which is part of the circular economy, has been a part of our operations from the very beginning," says Hautala.
The construction phase at Syväjärvi will last for about two years, during which time about one million tonnes of wall rock will be mined. The rock material will be utilised also in the construction of the Päiväneva concentrator area. Lithium ore production is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2024 and continue for about four years. After that, mining will continue at the Rapasaari mine in the Päiväneva area, and the Syväjärvi mine will be rehabilitated in accordance with a separate plan and the provisions of the environmental permit.