The roots of the production plant date back to 1977, when the Geological Survey of Finland discovered a substantial ore deposit. Outokumpu Oy started to examine the deposit in the 1980s. The deposit was deemed to contain too little ore to be profitable for commercial purposes. This was due to the level of technological development at the time. Mining operations were started on 1 October 2008 by Talvivaara Kaivososakeyhtiö Oyj, which later went bankrupt.
In 2015, Terrafame was founded and the company acquired the industrial, which had ended up in a difficult situation. Thanks to the new owners capital support, a turnaround has been achievedarea that is unparalleled in the industrial history of Finland.
Terrafame started its commercial activities producing nickel-cobalt and zinc intermediates. The company made its first copper intermediate deliveries in late 2017.
The company assessed its strategic options during 2017. One of the options was to focus on the production of metallic nickel for stainless steel production and the development of the related processing chain. However, the production of chemicals for electric car batteries seemed to be an even more interesting option.
In October 2018, the company decided to focus on the manufacture of battery chemicals. Terrafame has many strengths as their producer. The market outlook for battery chemicals was already strong with the demand for electric cars starting to grow worldwide.
The decision to build a battery chemicals plant marked a significant step upwards in the processing chain for the company.
In June 2021, Terrafame started the ramp-up of the battery chemicals plant. The historic turnaround began to prove successful in the autumn of 2021, when the company entered into its first large-scale cooperation agreement with an international car manufacturer on the supply of battery chemicals. In accordance with the agreement, Terrafame supplies the Renault Group with nickel sulphate to more than 200,000 electric cars per year.