Talvivaara Mining Company, Finland


A major toxic leak beginning in November 2012 at Europe’s largest nickel mine in north-eastern Finland has become an environmental disaster. The mine is located in Talvivaara and owned by Talvivaara Mining Company Plc. The leak was from a gypsum waste pond, which was contaminated with nickel, uranium and other toxic metals. The mine discharged huge amounts of toxic effluent into the nearby surroundings and lakes. The extraction of heavy metals has resulted in pollution with the uranium concentration in the effluent rising to up to 200 times its normal level in the bottom and surface waters.

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Basic Data
NameTalvivaara Mining Company, Finland
SiteTalvivaara Finland
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mineral ore exploration
Uranium extraction
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsWith a planned annual production of approximately 50,000 tonnes of nickel, Talvivaara has the potential to provide 2.3% of the world's current annual production of primary nickel by 2012.

Talvivaara is anticipated to produce metals for a minimum of +60 years.

First metals production in October 2008.Full scale production started in Q1 of 2009. Annual uranium production is estimated at 350tU (ca. 770,000 pounds), corresponding to approximately 410t (900,000 pounds) of yellow cake (UO4) (Source: www.talvivaara.com)
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected PopulationLocal population within a 100 km radius of the mine
Start Date01/06/2006
Company Names or State EnterprisesTalvivaara Mining Company from Finland
Solidium from Finland
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersGreenpeace

Finnish Association for Nature Conservation
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Project StatusIn operation
Development of AlternativesFinnish Association for Conservation of Nature and Greenpeace have called for the mine to be closed.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The mining operation, which began operations back in 2008, has been plagued by all manner of reversals: heavy financial losses, crushing debt, major leaks causing environmental damage and most recently, criminal charges related to its poor environmental record.

Talvivaara Sotkamo went bankrupt in November 2014, and it is bound for liquidation. EJOs remain concerned about the clean up operation.

Moreover, Audley Capital Advisors LLP, a UK-based investment firm, has entered into a conditional asset purchase agreement to acquire the assets of Talvivaara Sotkamo Ltd from its Bankruptcy Estate. At the same time, the State of Finland, has entered into an investment agreement with Audley. The purpose of the agreement is to re-establish the operations and continue the business of the Talvivaara mine on a viable, long-term basis with the establishment of a new mining company.

Ministry of Employment and the Economy

Press release 050/2015


Sources and Materials

Talvivaara seeks cancellation of UK Shares
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Talvivaara’s Corporate Reorganisation
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Funding, environment issues dominate Talvivaara AGM
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Talvivaara – A Finnish Environmental Crime Company
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Talvivaara Sotkamo uranium byproduct recovery project, Kainuu province
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Talvivaara revealed a gap in the system
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Finland: London mining company accused of "serious environmental crime"
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Talvivaara Mining Company
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Finnish Association for Nature Conservation
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District court decision on Talvivaara Sotkamo bankruptcy
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Eye on the Arctic » North - Radio Canada International
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Talvivaara mine: environmental disaster in Finland:
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Ministry of Employment and the Economy Press release 050/2015
[click to view]

Other Documents

Talvivaara Protest Talvivaara Protest in Helsinki November 14th, 2012
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Meta Information
ContributorTimothy Bedford, Oulun Lyseon lukio. [email protected]
Last update23/03/2015