Tag Archives: Geological Survey of Finland

Metso and Torngat Metals partner on rare earth processing pilot

Torngat Metals Ltd and Metso have signed a contract for large-volume pilot scale processing of ore, with the focus of the agreement being to pilot test the beneficiation of ore extracted from Torngat’s Strange Lake rare earth project in Québec, Canada.

This project is a critical driver for the electrification value chain, specifically the manufacturing of permanent magnets for electric motors, wind turbines and other low carbon technologies, Metso said.

The process incorporates advanced technologies including X-ray sensor-based ore sorting, magnetic separation and flotation, based on Metso’s proprietary and leading-edge technology. This work is being executed in close collaboration with GTK Mintec (Geological Survey of Finland), the company added.

“We are very pleased to expand this partnership with Metso, not only because of its world leading mineral processing expertise and capabilities, but also because of the values we share in our commitment to enabling sustainability and decarbonisation in our operations and in our communities,” Dirk Naumann, President and CEO of Torngat, said.

The first phase of work will be completed by the end of 2023, resulting in the production of a rare earth concentrate. The next phase of work will use the rare earth concentrate to scale-up and optimise the subsequent process steps to produce a mixed rare earth solution, based on Metso’s expertise in acid- and heat-based minerals processing and purification, it said. Metso will also provide production-scale engineering and offer technology and equipment solutions for future commercial operations with Torngat.

Torngat is a private company developing the Strange Lake project in the Nunavik region of Québec to provide a long-term responsible supply of rare earths required for technologies including electric vehicles and wind turbines.

Metso Outotec supports GTK Mintec’s pilot plant plans with new flotation cells

Metso Outotec is set to deliver new, smart flotation cells to GTK Mintec’s pilot plant in Outokumpu, Finland, as part of the survey’s modernisation and expansion program.

The delivery consists of around 20 pilot flotation machines and additional equipment, with GTK Mintec replacing existing flotation cells at its pilot plant.

The new flotation cells will support the improvement of the monitoring of beneficiation studies and process design, according to Metso Outotec.

“GTK and Metso Outotec promote sustainable and competitive mining technologies,” Stephan Kirsch, President of Metso Outotec’s Minerals business area, says. “We are pleased that GTK chose Metso Outotec’s leading-edge flotation technology for their test facilities.”

Jouko Nieminen, Head of the Circular Economy Solutions unit for the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), said: “The test plant and laboratory in Outokumpu offer mining customers a comprehensive service package. The whole production process needed for a mineral deposit can be tested there on the scale required by the research problem.

“Through the flotation investment, our domestic and international customers can use state-of-the-art technology in research related to battery minerals and circular economy materials, for example.”

Geological Survey of Finland talks up “unique” exploration database

Finland may have only 10 metal mines to its name, but there are plenty more on the horizon, according to Pekka Nurmi, Director of Science and Innovation for the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK).

Speaking on the first day of the inaugural Finland Mine Safari tour for analysts and investors in Helsinki on Monday, Nurmi said there had been some €3 billion ($3.5 billion) of investments in mine development in the last 10 years and there was another €3-5 billion due between 2016 and 2025.

Some of these investments will come at existing mines looking to expand like Agnico Eagle Mines’ Kittila gold mine, Outokumpu’s Kemi chromium asset and Boliden’s Kevitsa nickel-copper operation, but Nurmi sees plenty of new discoveries moving into the development phase too.

He reserved particular praise for Anglo American’s Sakatti copper-nickel-platinum group elements project, some 150 km north of the Arctic Circle, which hosts indicated and inferred resources of 44.4 Mt at 1.9% Cu, 0.96% Ni, 0.04% Co, 0.64 g/t Pt, 0.49 g/t Pd and 0.33 g/t Au.

“It appears to be the best discovery in Finland,” he told analysts, investors and journalists, explaining it was already around one-and-a-half-times the size of the historic Outokumpu copper mine. Outokumpu operated from 1913-1989, producing some 28.5 Mt of ore grading 3.8% Cu during that time.

In addition to development capital, Nurmi said some €60 million had been spent on exploration in Finland in 2017, up from €40 million in 2016.

Explorers have leveraged off the GTK’s exploration database, which includes a complete airborne survey package for the whole country at 200 m line spacing.

“It’s a unique data set,” Nurmi said.

And, surprisingly for a well-known exploration destination, many of the country’s new discoveries continue to come close to surface.

Nurmi said the country has some 4 m of cover on average, with parts of southern Finland already having exposed mineralisation.

The country has traditionally been a hotbed for gold, PGM and base metal exploration, but there are a number of interesting battery mineral prospects being lined up, including lithium, cobalt and graphite.

This include’s Keliber Oy’s lithium project (pictured), Savannah Resources’ Somero and Eräjärvi lithium assets, FinnCobalt’s Hautalampi cobalt-nickel-copper project in the historic town of Outokumpu and Beowulf Mining’s Pitkäjärvi and Aitolampi graphite properties, among others.