Last update:
2021-05-11

Kylylahti Mine, Polvijärvi, Finland

Located in Northern Karelia, the mine obtained local support and was mainly seen as something positive despite its social and environmental impacts. Now, after the mine closed down, the mining company still has to restore the area.


Description:

Kylylahti was a medium-sized multi-metal mine in Eastern Finland. It was located in the rural municipality of Polvijärvi, which has about 4.500 inhabitants, situated 2 km from the municipality center. Kylylahti was an underground mine with a 113 hectares mining area positioned in the historic mining district of Outokumpu [1]. The main production of Kylylahti was copper, zinc, and gold. With less volume, it additionally produced cobalt and nickel [2]. The Kylylahti mine was founded in 1984 by Outokumpu Ltd Exploration. However, the mine did not start its operations until 2012, then owned by Altona Mining Ltd. By 2014, Kylylahti was acquired by the Swedish company Boliden Ltd. In 2015 the name changed to Boliden Kylylahti Ltd [1]. At the end of the year 2020, the mine closed down [3][4].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Kylylahti Mine, Polvijärvi, Finland
Country:Finland
State or province:North Karelia
Location of conflict:Polvijärvi
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral processing
Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Specific commodities:Copper
Gold
Zinc
Cobalt and Nickel
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Kylylahti is an underground mine with a mining area of 113 hectares located in the rural area of the municipality Polvijärvi in Eastern Finland. The Kylylahti ore was founded in 1984. It was planned that in 2007 the mine would start. However, because of the global economic and financial crisis, the mine was not built until 2010 and the mining activity did not start until 2012. The operation includes the mine in Polvijärvi and an enrichment plant in Luikonlahti at Kaavi, about 43 km from the mine area, where the ore is transported [1].

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Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:30/10/2006
End of the conflict:30/12/2020
Company names or state enterprises:Boliden from Sweden
Outokumpu Ltd Exploration from Finland
Altona Mining Ltd from Finland
Relevant government actors:Polvijärvi municipal council
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Negotiated alternative solution
Strengthening of participation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Even if there were social and environmental impacts, the mine obtained local support and was mainly seen as something positive. Now, after the mine closed down, if justice is going to be served depends on whether the mining company successfully implements a restoration plan for the area.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] T. Mononen and R. Sairinen, “Mining with social license: Case study of Kylylahti mine in Northern Karelia, Finland,” Extr. Ind. Soc., no. March, pp. 0–1, 2020.

[5] A. Stedman and K. P. Green, “Fraser Institute Annual Survey of mining companies 2017,” Fraser Inst., p. 100, 2018.

7] M. Kröger, “The global land rush and the Arctic,” in The GlobalArctic Handbook, Springer, 2019, pp. 27–43.

[9] T. Mononen, “Der Bergbau und seine Auswirkungen auf Umwelt und Gesellschaft,” vol. 154, no. 1, pp. 61–68, 2018.

[2] J. F. Devlin, Social Movements Contesting Natural Resource Development. Routledge, 2019.

[6] M. Lassila, “The Arctic mineral resource rush and the ontological struggle for the Viiankiaapa peatland in Sodankylä, Finland,” Globalizations, 2020.

[10] R. K. Suunnittelu, K. C. Oy, E. Unionilta, P. Ymp, and H. Kivikirves, “Pro – Polvijärvi ry ; liike puhtaamman Polvijärven puolesta,” pp. 1–16, 2008.

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[3] Global Mining Review, “Boliden announces 4Q20 results,” 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.globalminingreview.com/finance-business/12022021/boliden-announces-4q20-results/. [Accessed: 28-Apr-2021].
[click to view]

[4] Yle Uutiset, “Kylylahden kaivoksen ja Kaavin rikastamon toiminta on loppunut – malminetsintä alueella jatkuu,” 2020. [Online]. Available: https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-11719356. [Accessed: 28-Apr-2021].
[click to view]

[14] Boliden, “Boliden Summary Report Kylylahti 2019,” 2019.
[click to view]

[8] Boliden, “Metals and Innovation for the Future. Annual Report 2016.,” 2016.
[click to view]

[11] Mine Closure, “Luikonlahti.” [Online]. Available: https://mineclosure.gtk.fi/luikonlahti/. [Accessed: 29-Apr-2021].
[click to view]

[12] Mining Data Online, “Major Mines & Projects | Kylylahti Mine.” [Online]. Available: https://miningdataonline.com/property/1057/Kylylahti-Mine.aspx. [Accessed: 29-Apr-2021].
[click to view]

[13] Boliden Group, “Metals for long-term value creation: 2017 Annual Report,” p. 124, 2017.
[click to view]

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Last update11/05/2021
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