Sakatti, with its metal concentrations of platinum group metals (PGMs), copper, nickel, cobalt, and others, may be the site of the next greenfield project of diversified Johannesburg- and London-listed mining company Anglo American.
Located in central Lapland in Finland, Sakatti’s polymetallic orebody is aligned to the critical minerals priorities of Finland and the European Union (EU).
Sakatti is set to be a remotely operated, low-carbon underground mine with an electric mining fleet.
No reference was made to whether or not that electric mining fleet will be of the battery electric vehicle variety, generally used in underground environments, or the Anglo-developed green hydrogen electrified kind, which is being advanced at the opencast Mogalakwena PGMs operation in South Africa.
But already stated is that it will use technology and mining methods that create zero waste and enable high degrees of water recycling, an approach which underpinned the environmental impact assessment (EIA).
Moreover, in developing Sakatti, Anglo intends building on what it has learnt from its development of the Quellaveco copper mine in Peru as well as what it is learning at its current Woodsmith crop nutrients project in the UK – particularly in terms of minimal surface footprint and using technology and innovation to deliver even better sustainability outcomes.
In the words of Anglo Crop Nutrients CEO Tom McCulley, that means being “out of sight, safe, reliable, and catering to our customers and society’s needs”.
“I’ve just come back from Sakatti. It’s in a remote part of the world. It’s designed as the next generation of Future Smart mining… contributing to a sustainable supply of critical minerals to support the energy transition in Finland and the EU,” Anglo projects and development director Alison Atkinson told this week’s sustainability performance update, covered by Mining Weekly.
The reference to remote operation implies personnel sitting on surface and directing peopleless operations underground.
“I’m pleased to say that the relevant authorities in Finland have approved the EIA. This is a fantastic achievement and a major milestone for the project, reflecting the true collaboration of all involved.
“We will continue to drill over the season to refine the modern approach we must and will take in developing this mine,” said Atkinson.
“We will take our time on this early-stage development. Detailed study, not only of the mine itself, but in its implementation and operations will be critical to delivery. After all, it’s the upfront detailed development that sets the foundation of this asset for decades to come.
“We will also continue to build the project delivery capabilities as the rigour and discipline in executing a high confidence plan well is as fundamental as the support of the stakeholders and neighbours, in addition to those skilled partners we will work with, to construct and implement our plans.
“Great projects are done brilliantly when that is in place alongside mature design and robust plan.
“We’re replicating, continually learning, and approving our approach as we go and putting it into practice at scale across the other parts of the portfolio.
“We believe this is a competitive advantage for us and a fundamental part of our journey to sustainable mining. Delivering on our ambition is crucial as we have to produce the metals and minerals needed for the energy transition and the ongoing economic development in a responsible way, because that is the only way,” Atkinson emphasised.
Source: Mining Weekly