Terrafame receives permit from Finland to mine uranium

7 February 2020 (Last Updated February 7th, 2020 10:44)

The Finnish Government has granted a permit to multi-metal producing firm Terrafame to start mining and refining uranium at an existing mine in the country.

Terrafame receives permit from Finland to mine uranium
Picture of Terrafame’s uranium recovery plant. Credit: Terrafame Ltd.

The Finnish Government has granted a permit to multi-metal producing firm Terrafame to start mining and refining uranium at an existing mine in the country.

In October 2017, Terrafame submitted the permit application for the approval of uranium recovery under the Nuclear Energy Act (990/1987) to the government.

The company already received the necessary chemicals and environmental permits.

In a press statement, Terrafame said: “The process of getting the uranium recovery plant ready for use will take approximately one year, during which time the plant’s organisation will also be built.

“However, as the government decision is subject to appeal at the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland, Terrafame estimates it will take approximately two years until the permit has legal force.”

Terrafame is backed by commodities trader Trafigura.

It intends to make uranium at a mine that has been producing nickel for many years and was earlier known as Talvivaara.

The mine is located in the Kainuu region of Finland.

According to Reuters, Terrafame took over the mine in 2015 after environmental barriers led the mine to go bankrupt.

State-owned Finnish Minerals Group holds a 71.8% ownership of Terrafame while Trafigura’s private investment arm Galena holds 27.6% and Finland-based insurer Sampo holds the remaining 0.6%.

In June 2015, Finland’s Government was reportedly set to invest a further €112m ($126m) in the restructuring of the Talvivaara nickel mine.

Finnish producer Terrafame specialises in the production of nickel, zinc, cobalt and copper at its mine and metals producing plant in Sotkamo, Finland.