Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Europe largest gold mine to be opened in Finnish Lapland

The largest gold mine in Europe is to be opened in Finnish Lapland. The Canadian mining company Agnico-Eagle has decided to start excavation of a gold deposit in the Suurikuusikko area of Kittilä.
The topsoil is already being removed from what will be an open-pit mine. The construction of a gold refinery is also scheduled to begin this summer. Test drilling has been going on in the area since 1998.
The Suurikuusikko deposit is known to contain at least three million ounces of pure gold. Geologists say that there could be even more gold ore deeper in the ground. The world market price of gold has been rising recently; one ounce, which is about 31 grammes, is currently worth more than 600 US dollars.

The mine is expected to help create more than 200 jobs in the area for at least 13 years before the deposit is exhausted.
Heino Alaniska of Agnico-Eagle, says that preparations to open the mine have been underway for a long time. He was hired by the Canadian company a year ago. Previously he had worked in Sodankylä as the local head of the Pahtavaara gold mine, owned by the Swedish company Scan Mining.
"Opening the mine requires many kinds of construction and road work, which will employ at least 300 people for about two years. In addition, the company will hold an event in a couple of weeks to recruit people to work at the mine", says Kittilä’s municipal mayor Seppo Maula.
Kittilä has also mapped out properties for housing for outsiders moving to the area to work at the mine. Kittilä gets most of its revenue from tourism, and the gold mine is seen as an effective way of diversifying the business structure.

Two years ago Agnico-Eagle acquired ownership of the shares of the Swedish Riddarhyttan Resources, which had previously studied the Kittilä deposit. Since then, the company has spent nearly EUR 10 million on test drilling and other studies.
"Opening the mine has hinged on finding the right refining method", says deputy CEO Ebe Scarcest, who visited the area in December.
The gold in the deposit is not in nuggets visible to the naked eye, which could be extracted mechanically by panning or sluicing. The ore in question requires more complicated refining methods. Original plans were for a method involving the use of bacteria, but Agnico-Eagle opted for a more traditional pressure method, which is more expensive, but it is also more environmentally friendly, as it uses less cyanide. -source

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Value Stocks Below 5 Dollars said...

I would have to say that gold has gone a little bit to far in price.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 11:50:00 PM  

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