About the Region

Lapland is the largest and northernmost region of Finland with an area of 100,367 km², which is 25.7% of the country’s total. In the south it borders the Northern Ostrobothnia region, in the west Sweden, in the north and west Norway and in the east Russia.

Lapland is home to about 180,000 people, or 3.3% of Finland's population, making it the least densely populated area in the country. The biggest cities in Lapland are Rovaniemi, which is the regional capital, Tornio and Kemi. The cornerstones of the region's economy are the steel and metal industry, the mining industry, forestry, tourism, agriculture and reindeer husbandry. The energy sector will also play an increasingly important role in the region’s economy in the future. The value of Lapland’s export is annually about 7% of Finland’s total export. 

 

The Mining and Metallurgy Industry

Due to its mineral potential, Lapland has become one of the most prominent regions for the extractive industries at the global level. The ore resources in Lapland are amongst the richest in the whole of Europe. Many new mines have been opened and other ones are currently being planned. Mining is especially extensive in the Kemi region and in Kittilä, Sodankylä and Kolari. Tornio is globally renowned for its extensive steel industry, for which additional investment plans have been drawn up.

The Lapland region is rich in gold, which is being extracted in the Kittilä mine, also known as the Suurikuusikko mine, which is the largest gold mine in Europe. Around 8000 kilogrammes of gold are mined in the Kittilä mine each year. The Pahtavaara mine is another gold mine where significant quantities of gold is extracted. Nickel, copper, gold, platinum and palladium are extracted in the Kevitsa mine. In 2017, around 7,911 thousand tonnes of ore were extracted in Kevitsa. The Kemi mine is the only chromium mine in the European Union. Currently, the mine extracts 2.4 million tonnes of chrome ore per year.

MINERAL RESOURCES IN THE REGION

MINERAL DEPOSITS

Kittilä mine, also known as Suurikuusikko mine, is located 36 kilometres north-east of the city of Kittilä. Exploration began in 1986, and production started in 2008. The Suurikuusikko mine is Europe’s largest gold mine and is composed of two open pits. The Kevitsa open-pit mine is located in Sodankylä in northern Finland. The operation, which comprises a mine and a concentrator, went into operation in 2012. The ore concentrates are supplied to their own smelting plant in Harjavalta and to external customers. The Kemi mine is the largest underground mine in Finland, with an annual production capacity of 2.7 million tonnes of ore. The purpose of the Kemi mine in the long production chain from chromite ore to stainless steel, is to produce concentrates from ore as raw material for the manufacture of ferrochrome at the ferrochrome plant located in Tornio. The Pahtavaara mine is an open-pit gold mine located in Sodankylä. The gold depositsa were discovered in 1985 and by 2014 around 10.86 tonnes of gold had been extracted from the mine. 

ACTIVE MINES IN THE REGION

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 776811 — H2020-SC5-2017.