Talvivaara Signs Uranium Deal with Cameco

Talvivaara Mining has signed off-take agreements with Cameco Corp. for uranium produced at Talvivaara’s Sotkamo mine in eastern Finland. As part of the agreement, Cameco will provide an upfront investment of up to $60 million to cover construction costs of a uranium extraction circuit in the Sotkamo processing plant, which primarily recovers nickel, zinc and copper from bio heap leach process solutions. Uranium grade in the Talvivaara ore averages 15 to 20 ppm, and uranium concentration in the heap leach solutions is low, at about 25 mg/l. However, Talvivaara has developed a solvent extraction process that can economically extract uranium from these solutions.

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European Nickel Halts Çaldağ Project Over Permit Delays

As nickel prices recover, a mine in western Turkey has attracted attention as the world’s first commercial laterite heap leach operation. The Çaldağ project, near the port city of Izmir, is operated by UK-based European Nickel (ENK). According to the company, a new heap leaching technology developed there has potential to provide a more cost-effective and environmentally beneficial extraction process than conventional HPAL methods.

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Talvivaara Planning Uranium Recovery

Talvivaara Mining Co., which recovers nickel, zinc and copper from bio heap leach process solutions at its operations in eastern Finland, has announced plans to recover small amounts of uranium that also leach out of its ores. Uranium grade in the Talvivaara ore averages 15 to 20 ppm, and uranium concentration in the heap leach solutions is low, at about 25 mg/l. However, Talvivaara reports that it has developed a solvent extraction process that can economically extract about 350 mt/y of U3O8 from these solutions. In the company’s current production process, extremely small concentrations of uranium are deposited in an engineered gypsum pond intended for process precipitations.

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Exploration: Up-Beat Mood in Nordic Countries

Stockholm, Sweden-based Raw Materials Group held its sixth annual exploration and mining investment conference in Stockholm in November 2009. Representatives from Alcaston Exploration, Boliden, Botnia Exploration, Endomines, Gold-Ore Resources Ltd, IGE Nordic, Kopparberg Mineral, Lappland Goldminers, LKAB, Lovisagruvan, Mineral Invest, Northland Resources, and Platina Resources Ltd, all active in the Nordic countries, gave presentations to an audience of analysts and fund managers from the financial communities of Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen and Oslo. 

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