EIA report on Terrafame’s water management published 6.4.2017 10:41

  • Opinions and comments regarding the report on the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for Terrafame’s water management may be submitted to the Kainuu Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (Kainuu ELY Centre) until 5 June 2017.
  • As part of the hearing phase, an open meeting for the public will be held at the Kajaani public library on Thursday, 20 April at 18:00 (coffee serving at 17:30).


Kainuu ELY Centre, the coordinating authority for Terrafame’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure, has today announced the EIA report on Terrafame’s water management. After the announcement, the EIA report is available for 60 days on the websites of the environmental administration and Terrafame Ltd. Opinions and comments regarding it can be submitted to the Kainuu ELY Centre by 5 June 2017.

The EIA report is an account of what kinds of impacts different loading scenarios are expected to have on the watercourse areas of Oulujoki and Vuoksi. The report examines loading scenarios for the following routes:

  • Through Lake Nuasjärvi to the Oulujoki water system
  • Through Kalliojoki, Kolmisoppi, Jormasjärvi, Jormasjoki and Nuasjärvi into the Oulujoki water system
  • Through Lumijoki and Laakajärvi to the Vuoksi water system

The impact assessment concerning Lake Nuasjärvi examines two alternate discharge locations (Rimpilänsalmi and Petäisenniska), in addition to the current discharge location. The EIA report also assesses water management in a potential closure scenario of the mine. The report assesses impacts on, for instance, water quality, water ecology, fishing industry, land use, people’s living conditions, well-being and health.


The published report represents the second phase of the EIA procedure

The environmental impacts of Terrafame’s water management are being assessed in the procedure enacted in the Act on Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure.

The EIA report is the second phase of the EIA procedure which assesses the environmental impacts of Terrafame’s water management solutions. The assessment report includes items such as the different alternatives to be assessed, the current state of the environment, the environmental impacts of the alternatives and their materiality, and the comparison of the alternatives. In addition, the report describes the means to prevent and mitigate harmful impacts, among other things.

The EIA procedure comes to a close when the coordinating authority provides a statement on the EIA report to Terrafame within two months of the submission of opinions and statements. The EIA report will later be added to Terrafame’s environmental permit application for water management.


Background information about the Terrafame EIA procedure

In April 2016, the Vaasa Administrative Court issued its decision regarding the discharge pipe into Lake Nuasjärvi and other key environmental permits. The decision required that Terrafame submit its new environmental permit applications to the Northern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency by the end of August 2017.

The Vaasa Administrative Court also changed the discharge pipe’s annual sulphate load quota to 15,000 tonnes and retained the quota of 1,300 tonnes granted to the old discharge routes. The Vaasa Administrative Court announced that a larger discharge quota than detailed in the decision would have required an EIA procedure. As a result, Terrafame started an EIA procedure for water management in autumn 2016.

Continuing the operations and development of the mine is possible within the limits of the decision of the Vaasa Administrative Court. However, water would need to be stored at the mine during years with heavy rainfall. Terrafame wants to ensure environmental security in the area also during years of heavy rainfall, and is thus prepared to apply to the Northern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency for larger sulphate emission quotas than decreed by the Administrative Court in April 2016, if needed.


An open meeting in Kajaani on Thursday 20 April, at 18:00

The EIA procedure is an open process, and citizens and other stakeholders have the opportunity to take part in it. Citizens and other interested parties may now participate in the process by expressing their views on the EIA report to the Kainuu ELY Centre, which acts as the coordinating authority.

An open meeting for the public regarding the EIA report will be held at the Kajaani public library on Thursday, 20 April, at 18:00. The event will begin with coffee at 17:30, after which the public will have the opportunity to express their views on the environmental impact assessment.

The EIA report for water management is available from 6 April until 5 June 2017 for comments and statements in the following places:

  • Kainuu ELY Centre, Kalliokatu 4
  • Kajaani town hall, Pohjolankatu 13
  • Sotkamo municipal government office, Markkinatie 1
  • Paltamo municipality, Vaarankyläntie 7
  • Sonkajärvi municipality, Rutakontie 28
  • online at www.ymparisto.fi/terrafamevesienhallintaYVA

Opinions regarding the EIA report may be submitted to the Kainuu ELY Centre by 5 June 2017 by email: kirjaamo.kainuu@ely-keskus.fi or by mail: Kainuu ELY Centre, PL 115, 87101 Kajaani, Finland, visiting address Kalliokatu 4. An opinion form, to be filled in and sent to the Kainuu ELY Centre, can be found at www.ymparisto.fi/terrafamevesienhallintaYVA.


The EIA report can be downloaded here (report in Finnish).


Further information by email:

Terrafame Ltd., Environmental Manager, elina.salmela@terrafame.fi

Terrafame Ltd., EIA Coordinator Jaana Koivumaa, jaana.koivumaa@terrafame.fi


Media contacts by email:

Terrafame Ltd, Chief Communications Officer Katri Kauppila, katri.kauppila@terrafame.fi


Terrafame Ltd. is a Finnish multi-metal company producing nickel, zinc and cobalt at its mine and metals production plant located in Sotkamo. Our aim is to conduct environmentally sustainable, safe and profitable operations.

Article subjects: EnvironmentTerrafame