A mine creates long-term well-being for the entire region
The municipality of Sotkamo has outlined its strategy’s key themes to be growing vitality, the well-being of its inhabitants and a reasonable use of resources. Each of these goals is supported by the utilization of our municipality’s five strong areas: travel, ores, agriculture, forestry and berries. I will now zoom in at ores more closely. Finland’s rich soil and high level of expertise offer an opportunity for long-term and profitable business that has a significant impact on the region’s economy.
Finnish Network for Sustainable Mining’s corporate social responsibility report of 2017 summed up the chain of effects as follows: “a mine will create jobs in the area, both directly and indirectly as the mine, its workers and subcontractors need products and services. One job at a mine creates 2.5–3.5 other jobs.” Jobs in the mining industry employ thousands of Finnish professionals, from scientists and people with a technical education to university and vocational school graduates. We are a country of high mining competence.
In Sotkamo, the number one of mining is, of course, Terrafame which is expanding its operations into the production of battery chemicals, i.e. nickel sulphate and cobalt sulphate. According to a previous report by consultancy company Ramboll Finland, Terrafame’s operations have a significant impact on the vitality of the entire region. The effects are also felt more widely. The impact on Kainuu’s employment amounts to 1,500 working years, and the positive effects on the rest of Finland may amount to even 2,800 working years, with the mine in full operation. The production of battery chemicals increases these positive effects even further.
As proof of an optimistic outlook and effective piecing together of competence and resources, Terrafame’s main owner Finnish Minerals Group is also involved in Sotkamo Silver, which is set to start production next spring. The mining industry appears to be going through a new economic boom. Sustainably mined natural resources are needed in a changing energy economy. The pace of the change is signified by the fact that the industry itself describes finding skilled worked to have been particularly challenging.
When it comes to the mining industry, the availability of competent workforce is not the only challenge that needs to be looked at. As described above, there is much competence related to the mining industry that, through subcontractor networks, is more widespread. Looking after the vitality of this entire infrastructure with intelligent business and other policies is important – the network does not serve just one master but supports the development of other industrial sectors as well.
Work results in livelihood for the individual and tax income for the municipality. Sotkamo considers it very important that sustainable well-being can be created within a timeframe that expands much further than a financial quarter. Serving the mining industry caters to society at large – starting from the livelihood of families to regional well-being and the success of Finland as a country. Let us take care of these success factors in the future as well.