The 70-meter-high hoisting tower at the Outokumpu Kemi Mine glows today in festive blue illumination against the dark winter sky in northern Finland. The only chromium mine within the European Union has now reached the astonishing achievement of 50 million tonnes of produced ore.
The first 30 million tonnes were excavated from open pit mine, starting in the late 1960s. Since 2003, Outokumpu Kemi Mine has operated underground, and approximately 20 million tonnes were produced from ore mined underground.
”50 million tonnes of ore excavated from Kemi Mine and processed at our concentrators is a remarkable accomplishment. especially in the world of underground mining,” says Jyrki Salmi, head of Kemi Mine, and thanks the personnel for the achievement.
The capacity of Kemi Mine is 2.7 million tonnes annually, and by its production size, it is the largest underground mine in Finland.
250-million-euro-investment in deepening Kemi Mine
At the end of year 2017, Outokumpu started a 4.5-year-long-program which aims at deepening the mine. In this DeepMine program, Kemi Mine’s underground mining activities will deepen from current 500 meters’ depth to a new main level close to 1 kilometer in the beginning of 2020’s.
The DeepMine program moved on to the implementation phase at the end of 2017: the building stage began with earth removals at the area where the new hoisting tower will be constructed. The drilling and excavations related to the hoisting shaft construction will be set in motion in February-March 2018.
Jyrki Salmi, Vice President of the Kemi Mine:
“Mining in the current production depth above the 500-level, has now proceeded to a stage where we need to move the ore production deeper underground. Thus, we have started work to prepare this also in practice so that we can continue ore production at the current annual scale of 2.7 million tonnes.”
Near the level 1000 in the Deep Mine area, Outokumpu will build a new ore handling line with crushers, conveyors and silos, a new hoisting shaft from the surface, and above all, a new main level accompanied with maintenance facilities and warehouses as well as other infrastructure required for production. Visible structures above ground include the new head frame tower of the hoisting system, next to current hoisting tower.