The Terrafame mine
The Ter¬ra¬fame-owned Talvivaara mine
In March 2012, the Finnish Council of State granted a license to Talvivaara Sotkamo Ltd to recover uranium from ore excavated from the mine in Sotkamo. STUK gave a statement to the Ministry on Economic Affairs and Employment on the uranium production project at Talvivaara and, for example, on the environmental impacts assessment. By its decision No. 3825/2013 of 5 December 2013, the Supreme Administrative Court revoked the Government decision, remitting it for reconsideration by the Government.
On 31 October 2017, Terrafame Ltd., which now operates the mine, submitted an application to the Government on the commencement of uranium production at the mine. In spring 2018, the company submitted its uranium production application materials to STUK, after which STUK drew up a safety assessment on these and a statement to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. If STUK’s statement is in favour in approving the application, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment can submit the matter to the Government for approval. STUK will carry out an inspection at the mine prior to the commencement of uranium production. Production activities can be initiated after the inspection, if STUK gives permission for start-up.
The Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland has granted an environmental permit for a uranium recovery plant by amending Talvivaara’s environmental and water permit (permit decision no. 36/2014/1, Dnro PSAVI/58/04.08./2011, of 30 April 2014.) Similarly, on 18 August 2014, Tukes granted a chemical permit for the uranium plant by amending its permit decision 30114/36/2008 of 6 June 2008.
In addition to a license granted by the Finnish Council of State, commissioning a uranium recovery plant requires permission for start-up from the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Agency.