Outokumpu has updated its estimates on the proved ore reserves and mineral resources of the Kemi mine in Finland. The proved ore reserves have significantly increased compared to earlier estimates, and are now altogether 50.1 million tonnes instead of the earlier estimated some 33 million tonnes.
The 50% increase in the proved ore reserves is based on new underground drillings made below the old Surmaoja open pit. Based on these underground drillings Outokumpu has made a new excavation plan and started the preparations for the underground production in the Surmaoja ore body. The target is to begin the ore excavation in 2015. This does not require major investments, since the proved ore reserves are within the reach of the current, already expanded infrastructure.
In addition to the proved ore reserves, the updated estimates show that the mineral resources of the Kemi mine are altogether 97.8 million tonnes. The grade of the mineral resources is 29.4% Cr2O3 and that of ore reserves is 26.0% Cr2O3. The mineral resources are estimated to the depth of one kilometer, but seismic measurements indicate that mineralization continues even further downwards.
Says CEO Mika Seitovirta: “The significant increase in the proved ore reserves is very positive development. We have just finished the expansion of the ferrochrome production to double its capacity, and we can now utilize these increased proved ore reserves in the expanded production. Chromium is a strategically important raw material for us, since it makes steel stainless. Our own chrome mine and ferrochrome production give us significant competitive advantage.”
The Kemi mine is the only chrome mine in the European Union. The ore deposit was found by a local diver in 1959, and the production at the mine started in 1968. The mine produces chrome concentrate for Outokumpu’s own ferrochrome works. Outokumpu is currently ramping up the expanded capacity of its ferrochrome production. Currently Kemi mine produces 2.4 million tonnes of ore per year.
Proved ore reserves and mineral resources are classified according to the Fennoscandian Review Board standard.