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Mining in Finland

The significance of mining 

Mining is important for society, as it produces mineral concentrates for industrial use. As a provider of raw materials necessary for industry, mining is an enabler of our modern lifestyle.  Recycling and the circular economy alone are not enough to meet the growing demand for industrial raw materials. Mining products are used in many sectors of society, such as water treatment, cosmetic products, thermal insulation, the manufacture of glass and porcelain, and the production of the electronics that we use every day. 

We create value with our operations by also transforming natural resources into wealth that, as an investment target, withstands the fluctuations of world politics and brings wealth and well-being to Finland. Gold as an investment target and source of wealth has not lost its value over the centuries. 

Mines and the environ­ment

The environmental impacts of mining can be reduced significantly by engaging in sustainable mining operations. This means, for example, good planning throughout the life cycle of mining operations, from exploration to production and aftercare. The mining industry in Finland is regulated by the Mining Act and a number of other laws, such as the Environmental Protection Act.

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The benefits of mining

The benefits of mining extend to society as a whole – and not just because of the minerals it produces. The mining industry has an important employment impact. In Finland, mining is often practised in less populated areas. Mines create jobs and industry in the local communities.  Mining also ensures security of supply in crisis situations. In Finland, it is possible to produce all the metals that are critical to security of supply. 

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Research and development projects promote sustainable business operations 

The mining sector continuously develops processes that save the environment and improve water and land use. Key research and innovation partners include VTT and the Finnish Environment Institute. Research is also carried out on a wide scale in natural sciences, geology, engineering and other fields in universities, research institutes and companies.  

The development projects aim to reduce water consumption and tailings at mines by recycling process water and reusing solid waste that contains minerals. New methods for better land use planning have already been developed, and biochar-based life cycle management methods are being developed for the closure of extractive waste areas. Biochar is a good cover material that binds the surface of the extractive waste area and reduces environmental impacts by facilitating the greening of the site.