Keliber submitted applications to the Regional State Administrative Agency for Western and Inland Finland (AVI) for environmental and water management permits for the Rapasaari mine and the Päiväneva concentrator.
The mine and the concentrator form an essential part of the lithium province of Central Ostrobothnia, for which an environmental impact assessment (EIA) was conducted in 2020. The ELY Centre for South Ostrobothnia issued a reasoned conclusion on the EIA report on 29 March 2021. The activities covered by the permits are located in the municipalities of Kaustinen, Kokkola and Kruunupyy.
The Rapasaari mine comprises an open pit and, at a later stage, underground mining. In addition to ore extraction, mining activities include the extraction and stockpiling of waste rock as well as the treatment and discharge of water from the area. The concentrator in Päiväneva processes ore into spodumene concentrate. In addition to mineral processing, activities include tailings ponds and process water treatment. Keliber’s applications for environmental permits for the mine and the concentrator are in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act (527/2014). In addition, an application for a water management permit in accordance with the Water Act (587/2011) will also be made to grant the use of water from the river Köyhäjoki.
“We have now reached the important stage of applying for permits for the concentrator and our second main mine area in Rapasaari. We would like to thank our neighbours, partners and the authorities for their constructive and good cooperation,” says CEO Hannu Hautala.
“We are pleased to have submitted the permit applications to the authorities on time and according to schedule. We will continue to develop our operations and efforts to reduce the environmental impact throughout the project’s life cycle. In the autumn, we welcome everyone to our public events, where we will be talking about the progress of the lithium project,” says Environmental Manager Kari Wiikinkoski.
Keliber aims to become the first European company to start the production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide in 2024. Construction of the infrastructure and production facilities is scheduled to begin by mid-2022.
“Lithium is an essential raw material in batteries that enable the electrification of transport and thus contributes to climate change mitigation. Demand for responsibly produced European lithium hydroxide is growing rapidly. This means jobs and financial success for Central Ostrobothnia and, more broadly, for the Finnish battery cluster,” says Hannu Hautala.