FinnCobalt (aka Vulcan Hautalampi Oy) is a private Finnish company which owns the ground and all mining rights of the Hautalampi Cobalt-Nickel-Copper Mine. The Hautalampi Mine is located in Outokumpu town and has been previously known as the Cobalt-Nickel parallel of the historic Outokumpu (Keretti) Copper mine. Outokumpu Oyj developed the Hautalampi Mine from 1985 to 1986: 11 kilometres of diamond drilling, a boxcut, 2.1 kilometres of drifting, including the decline and the ventilation rise, was done but the project was ceased due to a sudden collapse of the cobalt price. The project was further developed between 2007 and 2009 by drilling an additional 10 kilometres and preparing a complete Feasibility Study.
The current NI-43-101 compliant mining reserve is 2.2 Mt @ Ni 0.38%, Co 0.10%, Cu 0.32%. The production plan is based on a 7-year underground mining operation with an average annual mining rate of 350 000 t @ 0.4% Ni, 0.3% Cu, 0.1% Co via an existing underground decline.
An upside potential is great – an unmined, historical resource of 0.5 Mt @ 3% copper has been identified in the pillars of the old Outokumpu copper mine. In addition, some 5.4 Mt of the Co-Ni exploration target has been identified from the historical core logs.
The deposit has an Environmental Permit and Mining Concession in force and will be, after a short construction period, ready to start production.
This autumn FinnCobalt will be drilling for metallurgical samples. The aim of the metallurgical test work is, together with Outotec Oyj, to develop a process to produce battery grade Co- and Ni-chemicals from the concentrates produced from the Hautalampi deposit.
The recent cobalt price increase has clearly improved the project economics and the company is working on financing options.