Decision to build a vanadium plant at Raahe one step closer
Mustavaaran Kaivos Oy (MKOy) is now entering the feasibility study stage; the decision to build a new vanadium plant at the port of Raahe is scheduled for end 2016.
MKOy is entering the final feasibility study stage involving process optimization, engineering and design of the plant and related infrastructure. For this purpose, contracts have been awarded to several international engineering companies and equipment providers. The feasibility study phase is to be completed by end 2016. The important progress made over the past few months has been possible with a EUR 3.5M loan from Tekes as announced last October.
The new vanadium plant to be built will be the first of its kind to recycle slag to produce ferrovanadium alloy for the steel industry, pig iron for the foundry industry and various mineral products for the construction and cement industries. The raw material slag is a by-product from SSAB’s steel plants in Finland and Sweden.
In parallel with the process design, MKOy continues the funding negotiations. Good progress is made on arranging the remaining financing amongst industry partners, investment funds and financial institutions both in Finland and abroad. The next funding round is scheduled to close in April.
Results of a long-term research work and know-how
The innovative slag cleaning process is the culmination of several decades of work on slag smelting-reduction from several previous projects, e.g. IPBM and VILD led by SwereaMEFOS. The main industrial partners in these projects were SSAB (including former Ruukki) and LKAB. The VILD project was funded by MISTRA – the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research and the industrial partners. MKOy has further advanced the technology by adding its know-how on vanadium gained from the Mustavaara vanadium-iron-titanium deposit research work.
The major efforts and investments over the past 10 years by all parties involved have now reached the point where the vanadium recovery by a smelting-reduction process is proven at pilot-plant scale. This important milestone was achieved last year at the testing facilities of SwereaMEFOS.
“We are determined to overcome the remaining hurdles and turn the Clean Slag Project into a successful innovative slag-recycling industry, contributing to a circular economy for the Finland of tomorrow”, says Jukka Pitkäjärvi, the CEO of Mustavaaran Kaivos Oy.
Mustavaaran Kaivos Oy
Jukka Pitkäjärvi, Managing Director
Asemakatu 37, FI-90100 Oulu, Finland
+358 44 488 7200
Mustavaaran Kaivos Oy was established in 2011. The company’s mission is to re-establish vanadium production in Finland initially by extracting vanadium from the by-products of the steel industry and subsequently by re-opening the Mustavaara vanadium mine in Taivalkoski, northeastern Finland.
Vanadium is an essential metal in the rapidly expanding production of high strength construction steels with superior quality and lower weight compared to traditional steels. World-wide demand for vanadium is expected to double over the next 10 years.