Finland to open its first silver mine
By Liam Sheasby, News Editor
06 Apr 2018
A Swedish-owned mining firm has finally secured financial backing to begin mining silver and other precious metals, such as gold, zinc, and lead, in eastern Finland, with development work to begin this year and initial production to come in Q1 2019.
The company announced at the end of March that it had raised €46 million to fund the project, comprising of the following segments:
- €13 million 4-year secured bond issued by Sotkamo Silver Oy
- €4 million directed share issue issued by Sotkamo Silver AB
- €5 million 4.5-year convertible bond issued by Sotkamo Silver AB
- €2 million government grant to Sotkamo Silver Oy
- €6 million loan from the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation to Sotkamo Silver Oy
- €16 million liquid assets of the Group as of 31stDecember 2017
The mining site spans 530 hectares in the Hiidenportti National Park and is operated by Sotkamo Silver AB, based a few miles away near Sotkamo. The mineral vein was first discovered in 1980 but it has taken decades for technology to catch up to provide adequate means of safely and efficiently harvesting the metals underground.
The silver mine location near Sotkano, eastern Finland. Image courtesy of Google Maps.
According to Arttu Ohtonen, the chief executive of the Sotkano subsidiary in Finland, 100 jobs will be created at the site and 45 tonnes of silver will be produced per year – of which half will be industrial silver, and the other half will be for jewellery, investment bullion, and other items such as cutlery.
The permit process to operate a mine in the national park began in March 2009. The former operators of the site, Outokumpu Oy and Kajaani Oy, completed the exploration and technical planning. The underground mine access and the ventilation shaft have been completed, the environmental permit has been validated, building permits for the mine have been granted, and the Blaiken concentration plant was acquired in 2015 – providing Sotkamo Silver with the mining equipment and machinery they need to operate the site.
To date 28 million Euros have been spent on the project. Additional revenue has been predicted if the company can attain further drilling rights, which would significantly increase the amount of resources it had access to mine. The image below shows the extent of the region within the national park that contains valuable metals and minerals.
For more information on the project visit the Sotkamo Silver AB website.