As the price on gold has reached record heights, the Barents Region brings its noble riches to the fore, BarentsObserver reports.
Gold is produced in several parts of the Barents Region. In Norrbotten and Västerbotten gold has been mined for years. The Swedish metals company Boliden operates production at the Aitik mine (Norrbotten) and the Boliden Area (Västerbotten). The combined annual production in these two mining areas amounts to about 3.5 tonnes of gold.
The Swedish mines have been producing gold over a relatively long time, although their output is significantly smaller than Finland’s. Lapland is considered as the number one goldminer not only in the Barents Region, but also in Europe.
According to Agnico Eagle, the Kittilä mine is the largest gold-producing mine in Europe. Commercial production began in 2009 and has been growing considerably ever since.
Figures from Patchwork Barents show an increase of annual output from 2.7 tonnes in 2010 to 5.7 tonnes in 2012. In 2013, however, gold production at Kittilä went down to 4.8 tonnes.
The downturn may have been caused by the company’s change of mining method. In November 2012, Agnico Eagle ended its open-pit mining operations at Kittilä. Since then, operations involved underground mining only, the company informs.
As for future prospects for Kittilä, Agnico Eagle is optimistic. Production growth is expected over the next three years.
To read the full story, go to BarentsObserver.