PROCESSING

Finland funds state-owned battery metals firm

Finland plans to allocate €450 million (US$511 million) to the state-owned battery metals firm Finnish Minerals Group, in a boost to the firm’s plans to increase domestic minerals processing capacity and strengthen the country’s lithium-ion battery value chain.

 Preparing the secondary leaching area at Terrafame

Preparing the secondary leaching area at Terrafame

A budgetary package worth €450 million to be submitted to the Nordic country's Eduskunta (parliament) in June will include a €300 million mandate for Finnish Minerals to enter into contracts and other investment commitments.

Chief executive Matti Hietanen said the additional funding would enable the company to invest in developing the Finnish battery value chain and mining industry, as well as promote circular economy projects related to them. It plans to build two cathode active material plants.

"The funding would enable us to finalise the co-investment negotiations regarding the establishment of battery materials plants in Finland. We are highly motivated to pursue industrial investments that will support Finland in returning to its path of sustainable growth after the corona crisis," Hietanen says.

Finnish Minerals has conducted an economic impact assessment on construction of the two cathode active material plants with an annual capacity of 50,000 tonnes, creating potentially 300 jobs and generating €200 million in revenue.

The ongoing EIA process involves assessing the environmental impacts of battery material production at three production capacity options: 20,000, 60,000 and 120,000 tonnes per year.

The group is a member of the Battrace project, an initiative to improve the traceability of battery materials and the production processes by which metals are extracted from ore and refined into high-quality raw materials for battery material manufacturers.

Finnish Minerals owns 77% of Terrafame, a multi-metal company producing primarily nickel and zinc by bioheapleaching at its mine located in Sotkamo.

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