Solutions to mine closure in Outokumpu

Markku Tykkyläinen

Mining is a resource-based industry which typically leads to the establishment of communities whose existence and living conditions are bound to the natural resources which are being extracted. Most mining sites, villages, and towns, are born and die in conjunction with mining. There are numerous examples in Finland of mining sites which once flourished but which are now only small rural villages or have totally disappeared. Outokumpu, however, represents a different category of mining community - one that is the outcome of an attempt to guarantee permanency and reasonable living conditions in spite of the fluctuations of mining and the eventual closing-down of mines. There are several reasons for this. First of all, mining has been going on for over seventy years and the Outokumpu mines have been fairly large in their time. The mining community has expanded to form a town, albeit still strongly dependent on mining. Outokumpu is also a service centre for the surrounding area and its transport connections are reasonably good. Thus it is perceived as a locality capable of surviving mine closure, and, therefore, as a suitable target for regional policy measures. When it became evident that the economic base of the town would collapse with the closing down of the mines, measures to create growth in other sectors were accordingly introduced. Smoothing of the effects of the closure became the authorities' second aim. This chapter analyses these attempts to adjust to economic restructuring and evaluates the success of the measures employed in Outokumpu. Since the closing-down of the mine is still in progress, we can look further at what the future of Outokumpu may be and what will be the probably outcomes of the present policy.

Tykkyläinen, M. (1992). Solutions to mine closure in Outokumpu. In C. Neil, M. Tykkyläinen & J. Bradbury (Eds.), Coping with closure: An international comparison of mine town experiences (pp. 169-191). London; New York: Routledge.

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Book chapter
Solutions to mine closure in Outokumpu