Boliden doubles capacity for the Aitik copper mine
Boliden runs one of Europe’s biggest copper and gold mines in Aitik outside of Gällivare. It is Scandinavia’s biggest open cast mine. In a few years annual production will be 36 million tons of ore. SEK 6 billion has been invested in Aitik thus far, which is among the mines with the highest productivity in Europe.
Most things about Aitik are big. For example, up until now over 450 million tonnes of ore have been shifted since the mine opened in 1968. A new 15,000 square metre ore dressing plant is currently being completed comprising two 32 MW ore crushers.
Despite the fact that copper concentrations are relatively low, modern equipment, expert personnel and energy efficient methods make mining profitable. During 2009 the Aitik mine produced 46,000 tonnes of copper and demand for metals is increasing globally. Raw materials prices have more than doubled over the past year. Thanks to successful prospecting Boliden has now safeguarded ore deposits in Aitik up until the end of 2029.
“Geographically speaking, everywhere is a long way away in Norrbotten, but cooperation and decision-makers are really close at hand. We work closely together with Luleå University of Technology, the municipality and the various authorities. There is a great spirit of cooperation and it’s easy to make things happen here,” says Peter Richardson, the Boliden area manager for Aitik.