Visual observations from the Mustavaara vanadium mine area 32 years after it's closure. The mine was operational from 1976 to 1985.
At the end of the 1970s, the mining company was the largest producer of vanadium pentoxide in Western Europe and globally significant. At its best, the mine employed more than 300 people.
In 1985, the world market price for vanadium had become economically unprofitable due to oversupply. In connection with the mine, there was a crushing plant, an enrichment plant and a plant for the separation of vanadium.
I knew the mining area was still there, but I had never been there until the fall of 2017 when I decided to see what the closed mining area looks like today. I was a bit surprised about the views. I went to the area several times over three weeks.
The open-pit is a fenced area with no access, but otherwise, you can walk freely in the area. All buildings have been demolished; the area is landscaped and cleaned over the years.
An environmental permit has been granted to the area to re-open the mine.