A kilometre-long ore lift would make deep ore resources recoverable in Finnish Kittilä. The company Agnico Eagle is also designing a 19-kilometre tailpipe and 210 tailings ponds.
The Kittilä gold mine still has at least 16 years to quarry. said Jani Lösönen, Managing Director of Agnico Eagle Finland Oy. He believes that operations will continue beyond 2034.
A large steel platform descends from a 100-meter high tower. It travels vertically to the earth's crust, up to a kilometre deep.
There, it is loaded, and the pallet returns to the Earth with 15 tons of crushed gold ore. The cargo is unloaded and taken for enrichment.
This is the vision for the largest gold mine in Europe in 2021.
The design of the Kittilä gold mine shaft, ore lift, is well advanced and is expected to be decided by the board of directors of Agnico Eagle's parent company in the coming months.
Transporting ore by lift is much cheaper than driving lorries to the depths and circling over 10 kilometres in winding and hilly tunnels with heavy rock cargo.
“If we build a shaft, we will have access to an ore deeper than a kilometre,” says Jani Lösönen, CEO of Agnico Eagle Finland Oy.
The gap would allow the extraction to be increased from the current 1150 meters to 1400 meters. The depths of the Kittilä gold deposit are up to 1800 meters.
An over 200 football field enrichment sand pool is planned. The mining shaft price tag alone is around EUR 100 million. In total,
The mine plans to increase the annual amount of ore to be enriched from 1.6 million tonnes to two. It requires a larger tailings pond. The mine is currently applying for an environmental permit for a 170-hectare, approximately 210 football pitch.