Keliber expects 20 years of mining and lithium extraction.
Finnish mining company Keliber recently arranged a well-attended information meeting for the public in the vicinity of the city of Kokkola in central Finland.
Mining is planned at five different locations in Kokkola, Kaustinen and Kruunukylä. The first mine to be opened is located in Syväjärvi in Ullava in Kokkola and is scheduled to be opened in 2021.
It is about an open pit and the pit would be about 8 hectares and 100 meters deep. The planning for Syväjärvi has come the furthest and the mining permit for that area is clear.
In Rapasaari near Kaustinen, it is about both open pit and a regular mine. In total, this is about a 10-15 hectare big area which many companies would dig on. The other mines Outovesi in Kaustinen, Länttä in Kokkola and Emmes in Kruunukylä are an only few hectares each.
The decisive factor in whether it will be mining 2021 is partly how the permit processes go. And partly how the financing issue solves itself.
Before there is any mining operation, a total of EUR 250 million is needed for the mines, an enrichment plant Kaustinen and a factory in Kokkola.
- It pays to manufacture lithium here. We have our own raw material in the mines for at least 13 years. For the remaining seven years, we can buy raw material from abroad, explains Keliber's business controller Niklas Jansson for the press representatives.
The company expects the investment to repay itself within about five years. Who will invest is unclear at this stage. But according to Jansson, there is interest.
- There is interest as long as we have good figures to show, says Jansson to internet magazine Svenska Yle.
According to Jansson, the mining plans are a big thing for the whole region. It is estimated that 800 people will be employed in the construction phase. After that, about 150 people will work in the mines, at the enrichment plant in Kaustby and in the factory in Kokkola.
The mines must first be taken to an enrichment plant in Kaustinen. From there, it will be transported to the company's factory in Kokkola. There, it is processed into either lithium hydroxide or lithium carbonate.
According to the company's calculations, traffic on highway 13 will increase slightly, up to 15 trucks every day will drive back and forth between Kaustinen and Kokkola.
There will be more traffic between the mines and Kaustinen, probably about a handful of trucks an hour.
One of the by-products from the factory will be sand that can be used by other players in a large industrial area in Kokkola.
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