Bankrupt mining firm Talvivaara Sotkamo might need another bailout from the government.
Previous funds transferred to keep the Kainuu mine ticking over while new owners are sought are now running low.
The Kainuu nickel mine Talvivaara, which filed for bankruptcy last year after financial and environmental problems, may need more government money. Talvivaara Sotkamo, the firm that runs mining operations, was granted 60 million euros in state aid last November in order to keep the site viable while new owners are sought.
Those funds are now running low after several surprise outlays, according to Mika Lautanala of the Economic Affairs Ministry’s Talvivaara office.
“There have been a few maintenance and repair expenses, things we’ve had to buy,” said Lautanala. “The last one was a 1.7 million euro environmental insurance bill, which they had to pay to the local Economic Development, Transport and Environment Agency. When there are enough of these kind of small outlays, the expenditure really mounts up.”
The ministry reckons that a new proposal for funding will come before parliament this spring—before parliamentary elections scheduled for 19 April. Lautanala declined to put a precise figure on the mine’s funding needs, but said it would be around the same as the amount received in November—60 million euros.
Lautanala said he expected the money to be granted, because without it the site will not be maintained. Waste water in and around the mine will not be treated and dealt with, and could leak out into watercourses for which the mine does not have permission.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Arctic mining – unexpected social negatives for Inuit women, Radio Canada International
Greenland: Greenland, Alaska elections bolster Arctic resource extraction, Blog by Mia Bennett
Norway: Svalbard coal mine cuts 100 jobs to reduce costs, Barents Observer
Russia: Novaya Zemlya: From nuke testing to lead-zinc mining in Russian Arctic, Blog by Mia Bennett
Sweden: Artists boycott market in Arctic Sweden over mining conflict, Radio Sweden
United States: Alaska – Judge temporarily halts EPA process on Pebble Mine, Alaska Dispatch