Finland: Mining, Minerals and Fuel Resources

Finland is located in northern Europe and borders the Gulf of Finland, Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic Sea. The total area of the country is 338,145 km2, and its population is 5,262,930 as of 2012. The climatic conditions of the country vary from cold temperate to mild subarctic.

The national flag of Finland.
Image Credit: CIA Factbook

The country is awash with natural resources such as iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, and limestone. The country had been one of the strongest economies within the European Union until the global economic slowdown largely affected the domestic demand and exports in 2009. The recession left a deep mark on the country's debt ratio and general government finances, which meant the government remained in the budget deficit for the next few years. In 2010, domestic trade and recovery of exports stimulated economic growth and the country’s GDP increased to $198.2 billion in 2011, compared to $192.7 billion in 2010 and $185.8 billion in 2009.

Overview of Resources

Finland has diverse mineral resources that include zinc, nickel, copper, cobalt, chromite, gold, and rare earth. In 2010, the country’s mineral industry mainly concentrated on industrial minerals, gold, base metals, and platinum-group metals.

The volume of mineral products sold in the local and global markets in 2010 doubled compared to that of 2009. The total sales value reached about $1 billion in 2010, compared to about $613 million in 2009.

The map of Finland. Image Credit: CIA Factbook

Metals

Boliden Harjavalta AB operates two plants, namely, the copper smelter in Harjavalta and the copper refinery at Pori. The production capacity of the smelter is 210,000 metric tons per year (Mt/yr), and that of the refinery is 155,000 Mt/yr.

Dragon Mining owns the Jokisivu Gold Mine, the Orivesi Gold Mine, and the Vammala Production Centre. The Jokisivu Gold Mine located in the southwest of the Vammala Production Centre has nearly 356,300 ounces of measured, indicated, and inferred resource of gold. In 1994-2003, about 13 t of gold was produced from 1.4 Mt of gold ore at the Orivesi Gold Mine. The Vammala Production Centre is endowed with nickel and gold mineralization. Western Central Lapland greenstone belt is considered to be one of the significant regions in Finland for gold deposits. It also has a significant amount of iron oxide-copper-gold deposits

Most of the country’s known deposits of platinum are located in the northern part of the country. Nearly 43 areas in the country have been identified to contain undiscovered deposits of platinum.

In 2011, Belvedere Resources Ltd. of Canada planned to restart the operations at Hitura Mine, which has a capacity of about 2,100 t/yr of nickel concentrates. Talvivaara Mining Co. plc’s nickel project is centered on the Kolmisoppi and the Kuusilampi nickel deposits, one of the largest nickel sulfide resources in Europe.

Industrial Minerals

Nordkalk Corp is the sole producer of wollastonite in Europe as of 2010 reports. The company has launched new high-aspect-ratio wollastonite fillers called Norwoll wollastonite, which is suitable for thermoset and thermoplastic applications.

Fossil Fuels

Mawson Resources Ltd. of Canada has acquired the Nuottijarvi uranium deposit, which has estimated reserves of 2 Mt of uranium ore. In 2010, Talvivaara Mining modified the nickel extraction process at its nickel mine near Sotkamo at a cost of $38.1 million to increase the output of uranium to 350 t/yr.

Investment

Finland is considered as a favorable destination for investment and exploration thanks to its geology, long mining tradition, political stability, and well-developed infrastructure. Exploration for gold in the country is expected to continue at a fast pace in the future. The country’s mining laws and legislation will likely continue encouraging exploration and development. Moreover, the Geological Survey of Finland continues its search for industrial mineral deposits.

The Finland government has imposed a tax on the mining activities in the country as some mining companies failed to follow environmental regulations, according to the recent reports. With the boom in exploration activities and positive government attitudes, the country’s mining sector will likely continue to be strong in the future.

Disclaimer: The author of this article does not imply any investment recommendation and some content is speculative in nature. The Author is not affiliated in any way with any companies mentioned and all statistical information is publically available.

Sources and Further Reading

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the author expressed in their private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited T/A AZoNetwork the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and conditions of use of this website.

G.P. Thomas

Written by

G.P. Thomas

Gary graduated from the University of Manchester with a first-class honours degree in Geochemistry and a Masters in Earth Sciences. After working in the Australian mining industry, Gary decided to hang up his geology boots and turn his hand to writing. When he isn't developing topical and informative content, Gary can usually be found playing his beloved guitar, or watching Aston Villa FC snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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