Uranium Mining in Savukoski

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Source: http://www.uraanivoima.com/?p=savukoski

Uranium Situation in Savukoski

Norwegian company Yara's phosphor mine project in Sokli in process

Besides phosphor, there is also uranium and torium in the mine at Sokli. From an article published 17th of April 2008 in regional newspaper Lapin Kansa:

"The ores in Sokli contain 10-100 times the normal levels of the radioactive minerals uranium, torium, radium and polonium. Especially active is the local niobium ore, which contains radioactive material 4000 becquerel to the kilogram (Bq/kg)."[1]

Sokli lies in the upper area of Nuorttijoki river system. The rivers Yli-Nuortti, Soklioja, Tulppiojoki and Sotajoki join into Nuorttijoki. The river's mouth is on the russian side of the border at the Nuorttijärvi lake. To the west of the Sokli area lies the upper regions of the Kemijoki river.

Close to the planned mining area lies the Törmäoja and Yli-Nuortti rivers, and the glades of Ainijärvi, which are all part of the Natura 2000 network. The areas are important for nature tourism. In the vicinity lies the nature park of Värriö and the Urho Kekkonen national park, which is one of the largest natural conservation areas in Finland. Also nearby are several hiking trails, among others the UKK trail. The planned mining area lies on reindeer herding grounds. It belongs to the reindeer herding district of Kemi-Sompio, which is the largest of the reindeer herding districts.

Sokli's location at Nuorttijoki: http://kansalaisen.karttapaikka.fi/kartanhaku/paikannimihaku.html?cx=3595445&cy=7525561&scale=200000&tool=siirra&lang=FI

The application for the Mining enterprise in Sokli, which is in the region of korvatunturi mountain, and by the Nuorttijoki river, is in process, and the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) report is open for comments by anyone. Norwegian company Yara decides about opening the mine in 2009 after the EIA report.

The Sokli mine's EIA -report, which is under process: http://www.ymparisto.fi/default.asp?contentid=283617&lan=fi

Excerpts from the description of the Sokli mine project

There is, among other minerals, fosfate, uranium, torium and radium in Sokli.

"The opencast mining is planned to start in 2012. Additionally being investigated is the extracting and production of the iron minerals found in the ore, and of the niobium ores and the valuable substances (uranium, tantalium?, torium) contained in them, as well as of the vermiculite findings."[2]

About the waste and wastewater of the mine

"In all the solution alternatives, the facilities for ore crushing and pulverizing, and for maintenance and storage, will be constructed. If the ore is also enriched at Sokli (Alt.1 and Alt.3), the enrichment facilities will be constructed either below or above ground.

The processing and storage dam for the mining tailings will be constructed in the valley of the Sotajoki river. The planned dam's area will be 20 km2 and the storage capacity 90 million m3. The dam needed for clearing of the water separating? from the mining tailings, and for regulation of the water being fed into the natural? water system, is also planned to be in the Sotajoki valley.

The estimate for needed water volume capacity for clearing is 5 million m3, and for the regulation 9 million m3, together 14 million m3. The processing water from the mining and enrichment activities is planned to be fed into the Vuohtusjoki river, and from there into the Kemijoki river"[3]

  1. Lapin Kansa (regional newspaper) / Jorma Särkelä 17.4.2008 p. 24: "Sokli vaatisi jatkuvan säteilyvalvonnan" ("Sokli would demand constant radioactivity monitoring")
  2. Lapland Regional Environment Centre: Sokli mining project 2008. http://www.ymparisto.fi/default.asp?contentid=283617&lan=fi
  3. Lapland Regional Environment Centre: Sokli mining project 2008. http://www.ymparisto.fi/default.asp?contentid=283617&lan=fi