The survey of Finland’s battery mineral potential continues

At the start of last year, the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) started a four-year Battery Minerals project. The aim of the project is to assess the potential of usable cobalt, lithium and flake graphite deposits in Finland and to identify new areas where their occurrence is likely. The surveys are part of GTK’s statutory basic research and respond to the growing need for batteries caused by the increase in electronic vehicles and production of renewable energy.

New mining operations are needed for battery production, and Finland is fully capable of meeting this demand. Finland’s unique raw material resources and solid expertise in mining and geology, provide excellent opportunities for becoming a European leader in the battery market.

“In addition to battery minerals, the world’s electrification also significantly increases the demand for traditional metals, such as copper and nickel”, says Perttu Mikkola, project manager of the Battery Minerals project.

Geological surveys and re-analysing old data used for assessment

In the 2020 season, fieldwork will focus on Central Ostrobothnia, the Urjala region between Häme and Pirkanmaa, the area between Leppävirta and Kaavi in Savonia, and in Kitee. More targeted surveys are planned for Pälkäne, Savukoski and Koillismaa (see attached map). The coronavirus pandemic has no significant effect on the planned surveys.

The 2020 survey areas of the Battery Mineral project and the key research issues in terms of their ore potential. Background map ©National Land Survey of Finland.

Survey areas include bedrock mapping, boulder exploration, moraine sampling and bedrock drilling. In addition, the electrical and magnetic properties of bedrock and the density of bedrock are measured by geophysical methods. The methods to be used vary depending on the size of the survey area, the quality of existing data and the mineral of interest. Inhabitants and landowners in each survey area will be notified of the surveys beforehand.

Simultaneously, GTK’s databases and archived samples are analysed to find new potential deposits that are as yet unidentified. Much information can be gathered by processing data collected in GTK’s databases over the decades. However, reviewing ideas and models based on old samples always requires traditional fieldwork and sampling. During the project, 3D geological models will be prepared for the zones most thoroughly surveyed which will facilitate the understanding of the formation and structure of the bedrock and thereby help in identifying the areas at greater depths that have the most mineral potential.

New information about the bedrock can be used in many ways

“In addition to mapping the ore potential, the information can be used, for example, in utilising geothermal heat, assessing the quality of rock material or in the development of nature tourism, for example in the UNESCO Geopark project. Even if the ore potential in the area turns out to be poor, the information collected can always be used”, Mikkola says.

For further information, please contact:
Head of the Mineral Economy Solutions Unit Pasi Heino, tel. +358 29 503 3440, pasi.heino@gtk.fi
Project Manager Perttu Mikkola, tel. +358 40 566 8017, perttu.mikkola@gtk.fi
Website of the Battery Minerals project: http://projects.gtk.fi/akku