Kalvinit runs the exploration work and evaluation of the ilmenite deposits in Kälviä area in Finland. Industrial mineral ilmenite is used in various branches, for example the ilmenite concentrate can be reworked to titanium oxide (TiO2) which is used in many ways, e.g. as colour pigment in paint, toothpaste, and sun lotion.
Since 1997, Kalvinit Oy has engaged in exploration, development work and evaluation of ilmenite deposits in the Kälviä area East of Kokkola in central Österbotten. Since inception, the company performed two major test-mining trials at the Koivu and Kaire deposits, totalling 24,000 tons in co-operation with Sachtleben Pigments Oy. The mined material has been used for process tests and to ensure product quality. The parties have been engaged in extensive co-operation with respect to, aside from test deliveries, technical process development, market information and financial support.
17 000 tonnes ilmenite ore waiting for loading to test beneficiation.
A Finnish steel company Ruukki Oyj, previously Rautaruukki Oyj, found ilmenite mineralisations from the Kälviä area through magnetic airborne surveys in the beginning of 1970s. After a couple of years exploration work Ruukki, however, choose to close the project. In 1992 Geological Survey of Finland resumed the studies together with Kemira Pigments Oy, a subsidiary to the Finnish quoted industry group Kemira Oyj. The aim was to study the possibilities of replacing the imported ilmenite concentrate with domestic raw material.
In 1997 Ministry of Trade and Industry invited Kalvinit to study the conditions and develop the mineralisations, which Geological Survey of Finland had discovered, to a commercial project. After studying the conditions and taking the project further, Kalvinit acquired the claims protecting the deposits. Kalvinit has carried out a vast study programme in Kälviä area after that. The major part of these studies has been made in cooperation with Kemira Pigments and Outokumpu as well as with the consults like Micon International and Gridpoint Finland. In addition, Kvaerner International made the process design for the pre-feasibility study compiled in 2001.
Since 2002 Kalvinit has had Outotec Oyj as technical cooperative partner. Outotec has e.g. provided project competence in advanced process technology and mining, carried out studies and research around beneficiation tests as well as evaluated product prices and mineral resources. Outotec Oyj has examined the costs of processing of ilmenit to titanium slag and pig iron as a possible next step in the development of the project. The raw material for the smelter is pellets made of ilmenit concentrate. Outotec’s calculations shows that it could be possible to make slag with about 80% of TiO2 content. Also it seems that high quality chloride grade slag can be made. The results of this Informative Study are interesting but preliminary and uncertain. Therefore this will not lead to immediate action.
Kalvinit’s ilmenite deposits are situated in western Finland, in Kälviä.