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Tikkurila products chosen by Talvivaara mine
Opened in October 2008, the Talvivaara mine is one of Europe’s largest sulphide nickel deposits. The mine also intends to produce copper, zinc and cobalt.
Right from the start of the project, Tikkurila Oyj helped to plan the painting of the plant buildings’ steel structures and the coating of floor surfaces. Tikkurila epoxy paint was applied to the steel structures and the floors coated with Tikkurila epoxy screed.
Talvivaara mine is located in a vast, 61 sq km area in Kainuu, Northern Finland. The plant buildings alone cover a total surface area of 20 sq km. There are 60 large steel-framed plant buildings in the area, which required 8000 tonnes of steel framing in all.
Epoxy paint suitable for mine climate
Normek Oy was the contractor responsible for the steel frames of the large Talvivaara plant buildings. The company’s industrial paint shop applied Tikkurila epoxy paint to over 5000 tonnes of supporting steel frame structures, and to steel tubing and working platform structures.
A combination of new generation low-solvent epoxy paints, anti-rust pigmented Temacoat SPA Primer, and mechanical and chemical stress-resistant Temacoat GS 50 topcoat was used to coat the steel structures.
According to Normek project team leader Jukka Vuori, the coating used has to be exceptionally resistant to corrosion and the demanding conditions caused by the industrial mine climates at Talvivaara.
Solvent-free epoxy screed withstands severe abrasion
Kotek Oy from Kokkola, Finland applied coating to about one square hectare of concrete flooring in the Talvivaara plant buildings. The company chose the totally solvent-free, self-levelling Temafloor 6000 epoxy screed, as the flooring has to withstand chemical stress and severe abrasion.
“Site management in Kainuu demands a creative approach. In the early stages, public utility services were lacking, and we even searched the forests for sources of water necessary for coating work. Eventually, it came in water tank trucks,” explains Pasi Koskinen, CEO of Kotek Oy.
“Thanks to advice and tips from Kari Kyttänen, Tikkurila Business Segment Manager, application of the self-levelling epoxy screed went extremely well. We especially appreciate that most of the products are solvent-free and we got them here on site according to schedule.”
Pohjolan Eurokate Oy has collaborated with Tikkurila for over ten years. Founded in 1992, this company and its eight employees operate mainly in the Finnish provinces of Oulu and Lapland.
”Over the years, we have coated a total of 100,000 to 150,000 sq m of flooring with Tikkurila’s thin, floating and self-levelling epoxy screed”, says CEO Kari Rusanen.
Eurokate Oy coated the floor surfaces in the repair shop, kitchen, cable galleries, various plant facilities, and 15 pumping stations at Talvivaara. Most of the coating was done with solvent-free Temafloor 3000 epoxy screed, along with smaller amounts of Temafloor 4000 grinding epoxy screed and Temafloor PU polyurethane coating.
“Temafloor 220 proved to be a key product for contracts with a tight schedule, as it can be used to prime even moist concrete surfaces”, explains Rusanen.
The company was involved in the Talvivaara project ever since the factory foundation stone was laid. The sheer size of the site overwhelmed Rusanen. The fact that a map of the 61 sq km mine area was necessary to locate the coating contract structures gives some idea of its scale. Up to 2000 people were working on the site at any one time.
“We had good working relations with other contractors, with whom we worked side by side. Contractors agreed work schedules with project management and among themselves. We had to be prepared to be on site and ready at a moment’s notice. It was quite a jigsaw puzzle”, recalls Rusanen.
Talvivaara’s regional impact
Talvivaara project leader Seppo Hänninen is happy with the results.
“We kept to both schedule and budget, and when its knock-on effects are included, the project will provide work for 3000 people in all”, says Hänninen.
At Talvivaara, metals are bio-dissolved from ore in four main stages: quarrying, crushing, biomass dissolution and metal reclamation.
After quarrying and crushing, the ore is collected into 8 metre-high mounds, which are then bio-dissolved for 18 months. Bio-dissolution is a process in which metals are dissolved from ore with the help of bacteria. These bacteria grow naturally in all sulphide ores. Bio-dissolution is also environmentally friendly. The only emission from the process is distilled water that evaporates from the bio-dissolved mound.
In metal reclamation, nickel, copper, zinc and cobalt are precipitated into marketable metal sulphides from the metal-bearing solution emanating from the bio-dissolved mound. The most important of these is nickel. In 2009, around a hundred truckloads of nickel sulphite will leave Talvivaara daily.
Text: Leena Manni-Rantanen, Liaison Manager, Tikkurila Oyj, Industry
Photos: Kari Kyttänen, Business Segment Manager, Tikkurila Oyj, Industry