Greenpeace activists protest at site of largest Finnish chemical catastrophe in history

Press release - November 9, 2012
A metal mine in a large pine and spruce forest in Northern Finland leaked highly contaminated water into the surrounding nature at a speed of 5000-6000 cubic metres an hour between Sunday and Wednesday night. Unknown amounts of contaminated are still leaking out of the damaged waste water pool. The water contains high concentrations of nickel and uranium that is toxic, bioaccumulating and radioactive.

09 November 2012

Greenpeacen aktivistit ovat levittivät Talvivaaraa vastustavan ja ELY-keskuksen valvonnan epäonnistumisesta muistuttavan banderollin Kainuun ELY-keskuksen sisäänkäynnin yläpuolelle Kajaanissa perjantaina 9.11.2012.


With at least 600 000 cubic metres of highly contaminated water having leaked out of the damaged pool, and several creeks and lakes completely damaged, Greenpeace activists are today at the spot to take samples of the water and bear witness to a heart breaking environmental damage.

“What we witness here today is devastating. The lands of thousands of lakes has surely lost some of its lakes – and it’s beauty. Standing here by this leak of highly contaminated water, watching it flow in over the rocks, trees and grass just makes my heart ache. Authorities have no answers to what will happen to this area and the rivers in the future or how it will affect the people downstream when it reaches that far,” says Greenpeace campaigner Matti Liimatainen who is leading the sample taking group in the forest. 

“We and the local group demonstrating with us today demand an immediate stop to the operation of the Talvivaara mine and an external expert group to assess the disaster and whether Talvivaara can be trusted to ever operate again.” The disaster started Sunday when the plastic coating at the bottom of the Talvivaara mine waste pool got a large breach, leaving to cover between the poisonous water and the surrounding nature. Greenpeace will announce the results of the analysis next week.

Photos of the activities in Kajaani and Talvivaara, Northeastern Finland 

More information: Juha Aromaa, Communications Manager, phone +358 50 369 6202