Talvivaara Mining Company Plc: Talvivaara’s metals recovery plant has received permit to re-start
Talvivaara’s metals recovery plant has received permit to re-start
Talvivaara Mining Company Plc ("Talvivaara or the "Company") has received the permit from the Kainuu Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment ("Kainuu ELY Centre") to re-start the metals recovery plant at the Company’s Sotkamo mine. The metals recovery plant has been temporarily suspended since 4 November 2012 following the gypsum pond leakage and related risk analyses and steps taken to ensure the safety of operations.
As a result of the gypsum pond leakage and the preceding unusually rainy summer, Talvivaara has had to store excess water in the mine area. Re-start of the metals recovery plant will improve the mine’s overall water balance, as metals are removed from process solution through metals precipitation and post-neutralization. In conjunction with the re-start of the metals recovery plant, Talvivaara will also commission the new reverse osmosis -based water treatment plant. The reverse osmosis technology enables the Company to achieve a nearly closed circuit water circulation system, which in turn allows a significant reduction in or complete stoppage of raw water intake into the process.
In assessing the re-start conditions of the plant, the Company and Kainuu ELY Centre have also received a statement from an independent expert on operational safety of the gypsum ponds. While the plant is in operation, waste material from iron precipitation and post-neutralization will be directed to gypsum pond sections assessed to be secure, and simultaneously excess water will be removed from these sections to reduce overall stress.
Talvivaara has on 8 November 2012, 13 November 2012 and 19 November 2012 provided the Kainuu ELY Centre with clarifications on metals production process control in order to receive the re-start permit. In addition to these clarifications, the re-start permit received today is based on the combined inspection conducted on 19 November 2012 by the Kainuu ELY Centre, the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) and the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK). Based on risk assessments undertaken in conjunction with evaluating the re-start permit, the Kainuu ELY Centre also requests the Company to take certain separately determined steps relating to water balance and dam safety improvements, monitoring and reporting.
Talvivaara expects to re-start the metals recovery plant during the remainder of the week, by 25 November 2012. The Company will update its production guidance for the full year 2012 during the week commencing 26 November 2012 and as soon as possible following re-start of the plant.
Talvivaara Mining Company Plc
Talvivaara Mining Company is an internationally significant base metals producer with its primary focus on nickel and zinc using a technology known as bioheapleaching to extract metals out of ore. Bioheapleaching makes extraction of metals from low grade ore economically viable. The Talvivaara deposits comprise one of the largest known sulphide nickel resources in Europe. The ore body is estimated to support anticipated production for several decades. Talvivaara has secured a 10-year off-take agreement for 100 per cent of its main output of nickel and cobalt to Norilsk Nickel and entered into a long-term zinc streaming agreement with Nyrstar NV. Talvivaara is listed on the London Stock Exchange Main Market and NASDAQ OMX Helsinki and is included in the FTSE 250 Index. Further information can be found at www.talvivaara.com.
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