Finland says no bailout for state-owned, troubled Talvivaara mine

The troubled Talvivaara nickel mine operations (pictured above) won't be receiving bailout help from the government, Finland announced Wednesday. (Laura Tolonen / Yle)
The troubled Talvivaara nickel mine operations (pictured above) won’t be receiving bailout help from the government, Finland announced Wednesday. (Laura Tolonen / Yle)
The Finnish government announced on Wednesday it does not plan to bail out the beleaguered state-owned mining company Talvivaara.

Economic Affairs Minister Olil Rehn pledged 144 million euros of state funds to finance the shutdown. But there are continuing efforts by the company to raise the funds privately.

Economic Affairs Minister Olil Rehn said Talvivaara’s nickel mine operations in the municipality of Sotkamo would be shut down.

Rehn said the likelihood of the mine becoming profitable were slim due to the current low market price of nickel.

“Keeping it going would be like gambling taxpayer money with the future of nickel prices.” Rehn said on Wednesday afternoon.

The firm has claimed that allowing the mine to fail would cost the state up to five hundred million euros.

Difficult past

The Talvivaara company, which is run by the state-owned firm Terrafame, is behind some of the worst environmental disasters in Finland’s history.

The firm has also been caught up in a number of fraud cases and sought an injection of 200 million euros of public funds this and next year, in order to stay in business.

The 144 million euros pledged on Wednesday will be used toward keeping the mining operations going until it can be safely shut down.

Further tax money is thought likely to be required when the actual shutdown process begins.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Canadian province of Quebec announces plan for northern development, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  Finland to save Talvivaara mining operations, Yle News

Norway: Production uncertain beyond Q2 at iron-ore mine in Arctic Norway, Barents Observer

Sweden: Relocation of Arctic town underway in Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States:  Alaska – Judge temporarily halts EPA process on Pebble Mine, Alaska Dispatch


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