A significant deposit of rare earth metals found in Finnish Lapland

A significant deposit of rare earth metals found in Finnish Lapland

Permanent magnets are needed in e.g. electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, consumer electronics and the defense industry.

“Europe’s goal is to be a carbon-neutral continent by 2050 [rare earth metals] are essential in realizing the green transition. comment Jani KiuruDirector of raw materials at the Finnish Mineral Group.

“The transition from fossil fuels to the use of renewable energy sources and to a genuine circular economy cannot be achieved without new mines.”

The deposit could also satisfy more than 20 percent of the demand for the raw material, phosphate, needed in the manufacture of fertilizers. The deposit was known to contain high phosphate concentrations, but none of its previous owners had investigated its rare earth potential before the scoping survey launched by the Finnish Mineral Group in 2021.

The state-owned company bought the mineral deposit from the Norwegian company Yara in 2020.

“Sokli has surprised us with its versatility. This is a worldwide significant deposit of rare earth metals. There are a few hundred in the world that are geologically similar, but much smaller. And Sokl has an unusually large variety of metals,” Mr. HeinoFinnish Mineral Group’s mining project manager, told Helsingin Sanomat on Thursday.

The state-owned company believes that the deposit has much greater potential for rare earth metals than the recently discovered deposit in Kiruna, Lapland, Sweden.

In addition to iron, phosphate and rare earth metals, the deposit contains niobium, hafnium, tantalum, manganese, vermiculite, zircon, copper, silver and uranium.

Matti HietanenThe CEO of Finnish Minerals Group said that the goal of the scoping study was to answer two questions: is it possible to implement economically profitable and environmentally sustainable mining operations in Sokl.

“Based on the research, both goals are achievable,” he told Helsingin Sanomat.

The company estimates that the establishment of the mine would require an investment of around 1–1.5 billion euros. The construction of the mining infrastructure could begin at the beginning of the next decade, if the conclusions of the scoping study are confirmed by additional studies and the permit processes are started.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Source: The Nordic Page

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