New Laboratory and Office Facilities in Outokumpu for GTK Mintec, a Developer of Sustainable Mining and Circular Economy Solutions
The GTK Mintec pilot plant and laboratories in Outokumpu, operated by the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), will get new office and laboratory facilities. This will facilitate the development of sustainable mining and the circular economy to respond to the challenges of climate change, the green transition and digitalisation.
The solution will replace the old building, which has problems with indoor air quality. The problems have forced GTK Mintec to operate in temporary facilities. The Ministerial Finance Committee decided on the Government’s share of €11 million on 9 September 2021. The final decision of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy is still needed. In addition to this share, GTK intends to invest €4 million in the laboratory’s research equipment and the development of digitalisation. The construction work will start next Spring, and the facilities will be ready for moving in by the autumn of 2023.
”The decision supports the goal of creating a well-functioning and sustainable battery cluster in Finland. The circular economy is becoming an increasingly important theme as the world is focusing on mitigating the climate change and striving to decrease the use of fossil fuels. This news is also important to Outokumpu, as the number of personnel is expected to increase from the present 40 person-years to 60 by 2025,” says Mika Lintilä, the Minister of Economic Affairs.
“This decision will help make GTK Mintec a world-leading pilot testing and research platform for circular economy and mineral processing. We will increase our research capacity and competences to be able to offer environmentally friendly solutions in the areas of circular economy, battery minerals and water management,” says Jouko Nieminen, Head of Unit, Circular Economy Solutions at GTK.
The building developer of the project is Senate Properties, a company responsible for premises owned by the state of Finland. To support the design work, Senate Properties and GTK carried out an impact assessment together to identify all the things that may be affected by the facilities.
“This is not only about facilities. When we renew our facilities, we are also developing our operations and processes at the same time. When we understand all the impacts that the facilities can have, we can reach the best possible end result,” says Sonja Nybonn, Account Manager at Senate Properties.
GTK Mintec, GTK’s minerals and circular economy research infrastructure in Outokumpu, is a unique mineralogy and beneficiation technology laboratory and pilot-scale test plant for mineral processing in Europe. GTK Mintec belongs to the Outokumpu Sustainable Mining Solutions Hub and the North Karelia scientific community and is a part of the new Otaniemi Circular Raw Materials Hub research infrastructure.