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Wed, 10 Apr, 2013 12:42:29 AM
Talvivaara terms situation not much alarming
FTimes Report, April 10


The government vigilance department is actively collecting information about the leak that developed in a gypsum pond of a Talvivaara nickel mine in eastern Finland early Monday.
The authorities are ready to take immediate measures, if necessary, to minimise environmental or other hazards caused by the leak, said a government press release Tuesday.
Top officials of the ministries concerned are also monitoring the situation and the authorities will meet to take a decision in this regard, if needed, the release said.
The Talvivaara management claims, although the adverse impact of the leakage is lower than what is feared, measures have been taken to contain the leaked water in the mining area, reports News agency STT.
Talvivaara, however, is yet to control the water completely.
Environment Minister Ville Niinistö has visited the spot to see the company activities first-hand, STT reported on Tuesday.
The minister said the water should be controlled immediately as the spring was about to begin and ice would be melting soon.
If the reservoirs are not brought to their normal state, the wastage situation could worse for a long time, Niinistö told STT. 
Talvivaara water management director Maija Vidqvist, however, did not sound worried about the upcoming spring, because the problems in the mining area could be overcome in the winter.
The director told STT that the leakage was being removed quickly from the mining area to the south, using extra pumps. 
YLE reported that Talvivaara commissioned a report from the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) on a gypsum pond leak that occurred last autumn. 
According to the YLE report, Chief Executive Pekka Perä indicated that the report had been completed but the company did not want to release it. But, he said, the report would be disclosed in spring.
The Kainuu Centre for Economic Development, Transport and Environment (ELY Centre) is responsible for monitoring environmental and dam safety at the Talvivaara mine. The centre has inspected the mining site and it will provide situation awareness information to the government, said the government press release. 
The Kainuu ELY Centre will be provided with all necessary support for monitoring the situation. The centre is also responsible for making public authority communications about the incident.
The mining operator is responsible for ensuring that its activities comply with the conditions enshrined in the environmental permit granted by the authorities concerned. 
The leak developed early Monday in a gypsum pond, forcing Talvivaara to shut down mining operations to prevent water pollution by the leakage.
An environment official said the amount of wastage being released through the leak was much higher than they had estimated initially.
Radiation samplers Talvivaara mine is a surplus of water in the southern place of landing, Korte pond dam next to the Sotkamo 9 April 2013. The mining company Talvivaara anticipates that the mine gypsum pond leak has been plugged up during the night. Mine is currently being enhanced leak sealed. Photo- Lehtikuva
Talvivaara sources said on Monday that at least 7,000 cubic metres of waste water was oozing through the leak an hour, although on Tuesday morning they estimated that the leakage would be only 2,000-3,000 cubic metres per hour.
A similar leak had appeared in November last year. That time the Kainuu ELY Centre required that Talvivaara's hydrologic balance and pond capacity was to reach a level within the next few months enabling the company to manage the spring 2013 run-off and exceptional hydrologic circumstances. It was also required that measures were to be taken with regard to pond safety and handling and management of waste water from the gypsum pond.
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