The Canadian mining company Belvedere Resources Limited is planning to expand the mining area of its Hitura nickel mine located in northern Finland by more than 100 hectares. According to a company statement “A new 10,000 metre resource delineation drilling programme has commenced, to bring extensions to current mineralisation into the resource base, and to test new areas for mineral potential.”
The company also plans to build a new enrichment sand storage facility. Jukka Nieminen, Belvedere’s managing director in Finland, expects the current enrichment area to fill up in a few years’ time. “We should prepare for it so that the operation can continue, as long as the price is right and there is enough ore,” he says. The investment will amount to several million euros and construction work is expected to take 1-2 years.
Belvedere Resources has its primary focus on nickel, gold, cobalt and copper in Finland. It currently produces 2500 tonnes of nickel in concentrate per year from the Hitura nickel mine and has a number of advanced gold projects in close proximity to the asset.
More permits and rights
Many more prospecting permits and rights for mining operations will be granted this year, according to Tukes, the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency. Tukes decides on the applications filed for permits and rights, and runs the mining register in Finland.
“There will probably be a record number of permits granted this year,” says Terho Liikamaa from Tukes. The number of personnel dealing with applications at Tukes has been doubled since 2011. In 2012 about 130 permits were granted.