|Date of loan:||4 Apr 2012|
|Customer:||Boliden Mineral AB|
|Amount in EUR:||EUR 40 million|
|NACE sector / loan type:||Manufacture of basic metals|
The EUR 40 million loan has been provided for financing the expansion of the Garpenberg mine in Dalarna, Sweden, to increase the mining company's production of ore.
The investment project includes a new concentrator, new shafts and underground facilities as well as an upgrade of the infrastructure.
Garpenberg's current annual capacity is 1.4 million tonnes of ore. When the new facilities become operational in 2014, ore production will gradually increase from 2 million tonnes to 2.5 million tonnes per year by the end of 2015. At the same time, the production cost per tonne of ore will decrease by around 25 per cent.
Boliden is a leading European metals company. The main metals are zinc and copper. The operations are conducted in two business areas: mines and smelters.
The expansion of the mine will increase ore production and improve infrastructure in the mine area, which will lead to more efficient transport and less noise.
The main long-term environmental risk of the mining operations is diffuse leakage of contaminated water to soil and water. The risk of breach of any of the dams containing process water is another important risk of the mining operations. Noise and ground vibration in the surrounding villages will be an issue, but noise measurements and modelling show that the noise levels at the closest residential buildings will decrease due to the fact that the active industrial area will be moved further away. Vibrations will not be above legal limits. Other issues include emissions of particulates and other airborne emissions. The expansion will also alter some smaller watercourses in the mining area.
Discharges of metals to the recipients are not expected to increase although the production increases. Discharges of nitrogen and organic matter will increase proportionally to the production increase unless measures are taken. However, Boliden will introduce nitrogen removal as well as removal of organic matter and thiosulfates. The technique reducing organic matter and thiosulfates will also have a positive effect by reducing the levels of certain metals. The expansion of the mine and the building of the new concentrator will decrease the amount of emissions to the air per produced tonne, but will increase the total amount of emissions to the air.
Due to the expansion of the mine underground, an increased amount of groundwater needs to be pumped out. The draw-down of the groundwater table due to this will affect individual wells at a distance of up to 2 km from the mine.
Dam safety investments are a vital part of the overall performance of the Garpenberg mine. Boliden operates a dam safety programme in accordance with the Swedish power industry's guidelines. The measures applied today at the Garpenberg mine are in accordance with Best Available Techniques (BAT) as defined by the European Union. Reclamation and closure plans for the Garpenberg site is updated at regular intervals. The update includes new cost estimates. Closing of the phased out concentrator is part of the closure plans for the overall site.
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