Mine and mine operations
Mining is done dominantly from the underground mine but a small open pit has been planned to access the ore body near the surface. Taivalhopea Joint Venture mined 2 570 meters long decline from surface to a depth of 350 meters and 2,2 meter diameter vertical ventilation shaft extending to ca. 330 meters depth from surface. Both of these are still in use and are the backbone of the mine operations. Horizontal access tunnels have been mined to orebodies and mine infrastructure has been constructed to support operations. This includes electric network, dewatering and drill water pipelines and installions, modern communucations network and ventilation with the heating of air during the winter months.
Underground mining is conducted by longitudinal bench and fill method. The stopes will be back-filled with a rock fill. The sublevel interval is 20 meters and the stope dimensions are typically 30 to 50 meters (in length) and 5 to 20 meters (in width).
The open pit mining has been started from the outcropping mineralization. In the later years, push back of the pit walls will allow the deepening of the open pit. According to the current mine plan, the final depth of the open pit will be ca. 45 meters. The mining is done by a conventional drill and blast, load and haul method.
Mining is conducted by the mining contractor, Tapojärvi Oy, under the supervision of the Sotkamo Silver geology and mining personnel.