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Talvivaara waste water pond still leaking

The fourth back-up pool, built to help contain waste water leaked from a gypsum pond, is expected to be completed by Sunday morning. With this, waste water should no longer be drained outside the mine’s area.

Building a dam at Talvivaara.
Building a dam at Talvivaara. Image: Talvivaara

Despite week-long efforts, the leaks in Talvivaara mine’s gypsum pond have not been sealed up. According to Talvivaara Head of Communications Olli-Pekka Nissinen, the main leak has been plugged, but another smaller rupture has emerged nearby.

“We need a lot of material to patch-up the leaks,” Nissinen commented.

According to Nissinen, it will be Monday before the gypsum pond leak is sealed up .

Another rupture discovered at the start of the week in the northern part of the pond also started to leak again. Filling up a trench, water from this leak has been pumped back into the gypsum pond.

Fourth safety dam nearly completed

The construction of the fourth safety dam continued on Saturday night, with water still being drained outside the mining area to secure the mounting dam. On Saturday, up to 5,000 cubic meters of water per hour was being drained.

The new dam should be completed by Sunday morning. After this, there should be no need to drain water outside the mining area.

Repair and construction work has been going on around the clock at the Kainuu mining site.

A new helicopter from Sweden was expected to come aid in the operations on Saturday afternoon, as the Finnish military chopper previously at hand is being flown to other missions. Helicopters are used to dump neutralizing calcium into the waste water, as well as moving concrete and patching material to leakages.

According to Nissinen, between 150 to 200 people are working on blocking the leaks and building the safety dam.

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Vapputapahtuma Kansalaistorilla.

Opposition parties and labour unions lined up to take down the government’s attempt to create jobs during traditional May Day speeches Sunday. Opposition SDP chair Antti Rinne said the party had an alternative plan to create tens of thousands of jobs this year, while outgoing Left Alliance leader Paavo Arhinmäki accused the administration of a neo-liberal agenda of which Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan would be proud. Trade union confederation chair Lauri Lyly said government’s focus had been on tightening conditions for receiving unemployment benefits.

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