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"The battery industry has potential to become Finland's new success story"

Mineral exploration and development company Beowulf Mining (AIM:BEM) has announced its involvement in a Finnish cooperation network for battery manufacturing.
"The battery industry has potential to become Finland's new success story" "The battery industry has potential to become Finland's new success story" "The battery industry has potential to become Finland's new success story" "The battery industry has potential to become Finland's new success story" "The battery industry has potential to become Finland's new success story"

Beowulf is developing the Aitolampi graphite project

The network includes existing and new entrant raw material suppliers in Finland's emerging battery manufacturing industry in the cities of Vaasa and Kokkola.

Beowulf, with its Aitolampi graphite project, will join the world's largest cobalt refinery and battery chemicals producer Freeport Cobalt, nickel metal and nickel chemical producer Nornickel, nickel, zinc, cobalt and copper producer Terrafame and future lithium producer Keliber.  

They will join with Nordic energy technology cluster EnergyVaasa, which accounts for almost a third of Finland's total energy technology exports.

Cantor Fitzgerald Europe director of metals and mining research, Asa Bridle said in a note Wednesday that by joining a national network of battery material suppliers, Beowulf was continuing "to establish a useful position for itself in Finland as the country looks to develop a vertically integrated battery manufacturing industry".

Beowulf has been exploring and evaluating Aitolampi and expects to produce a maiden JORC resource on the property this year followed by a scoping study.

Bridle said test work on graphite from the project had shown it would potentially be suitable for use in lithium ion batteries, as well as in more traditional applications.

The cooperation network was officially announced Tuesday by GigaVaasa, the extensive battery factory project launched by Vaasa just over a year ago, with the Kokkola region also playing an important part with high quality raw material refining and battery chemistry-related research.

"The battery industry has enormous potential to become Finland's new success story," it said.

The network's aim is to obtain international investment in the Finnish battery cluster that will cover the whole value chain, from mineral reserves, to cathode and anode material production for battery chemical, and the eventual production ad recycling of battery cells and batteries.

A large area in Vaasa is being planned for battery factories, with construction work possibly starting this year.

Vaasa mayor Tomas Häyry said there were discussions ongoing with battery manufacturers in the US, Asia and Europe.

"Finland now has a unique opportunity to be involved in the growth and active development of this new field of industry," he said.

In Kokkola, the Kokkola Industrial Park is already Northern Europe's largest inorganic chemical industry cluster, with Freeport's cobalt refinery already operating in the area and plans to locate Keliber's lithium refining chemical plant there.

Finland also offered competitive factors such as the price of clean electricity, labour skills, productivity, training and moderate salary levels.

Business Finland head of industry Vesa Koivisto said Finland had "good prerequisites to succeed in the tight competition for battery-factory locations in Europe".

 This requires close national and regional cooperation between the different operators … Our common goal is to gain a significant foothold in Europe for batteries manufactured from Finnish raw materials in Finland," he said.