Tapojärvi made history in Italy: End-of-waste status for the use of slag from stainless steel production
Vesa-Matti Leiviskä, 26, who previously worked as Commercial Specialist and now holds the post of Business Unit Manager of Mining Services believes in strong growth in the industry. Demand for metals and high price levels will increase the need for mining services and investment in the sector to facilitate the green transition to be completed by 2035. The green transition supports economic restructuring and the building of a carbon-neutral welfare society. The sustainable growth program is accelerating solutions to reduce emissions in Finland and elsewhere in Europe.
“Recycling and the circular economy are one of the opportunities to produce metals and minerals to combat climate change, but these alone are not enough. The shortage of raw materials is already a reality. Metals are needed and need to be excavated in order to successfully achieve the green transition. The global need and demand for the mining industry are constantly increasing and this is also reflected in the prices of metals”, Leiviskä tells.
In addition to the metal and mineral shortage, changes in the introduction of new mining technologies are at the heart of the ongoing mining transition. More and more mines operating in Europe have announced that they will move towards carbon neutral production. The sector is rapidly welcoming new technologies that reduce the environmental impacts and emissions of mines.
“As a provider of mining services, we need to be able to do the work in a safe and high-quality way, utilising new solutions. It is no longer necessarily enough for a contractor to make a reasonably-priced tender, rather we must be able to be a partner that meets all customer requirements, and operates in accordance with the requirements. In practice, this means substantial investments and commissioning new technologies and equipment. In order to survive the competition, companies providing mining services have to switch to carbon neutral alongside their partners”, Leiviskä adds.
“As a provider of mining services, we need to be able to do the work in a safe and high-quality way, utilising new solutions.
At Tapojärvi, this can be seen concretely, for example, in the work done by the technology team. The team continuously monitors developments in technologies, such as electric and battery machines, and the potential for hydrogen use. New prototypes are being introduced all the time and Tapojärvi is a potential tester of these. All new purchases will take technology and emissions into account. In connection with each fleet purchase, consideration is also given to the possibility of using alternative fuels.
“In the tender calculation, each case is considered as unique. Through efficiency, we always seek the best possible way of working and a price that takes into account qualitative factors, such as elements impacting safety and the environment.”
Currently, there are a couple of potential contracts on the business unit manager’s being calculated. In addition, he monitors the efficiency, development, and profitability of existing work sites. Indeed, Leiviskä chuckles as he says that wherever money is involved, he is also involved.
“A developing company must continuously improve its qualitative measurement and operating methods, which are impacted by operational efficiency, safety, machinery operating hours and service intervals, and the need and availability of a skilled workforce. The coronavirus pandemic and war in Ukraine has made it difficult, among other things, to access equipment and components, and e.g. explosives.
Equipment delivery times have increased significantly. For example, the delivery times for new, large open pit machines could even take years, and even these time estimates should not necessarily be trusted. The availability of explosives, support materials and concrete also affect the production and calculation of mining services.
“Market monitoring and price developments constantly have an impact on operational production and profitability calculations, which is why these need to be monitored”, says Leiviskä while deliberating cost-effectiveness.
Despite the challenging global political situation, Vesa-Matti Leiviskä sees the role of Tapojärvi in the production of mining services as being on a good level, and growth is also evident.
Tapojärvi has established itself as a service provider for underground mines. The long alliance agreement, which began at the turn of the year in Siilinjärvi, also strengthens Tapojärvi’s position as a provider of open pit services. The alliance model with Yara is also a fine example of the courage to act in this sector, developing traditional contract examples.
Tapojärvi also inspired great interest in Sweden, and there are a few potential projects in Norway where cooperation is seen as an opportunity.
“We have been requested for a number of infrastructure projects, but we have not yet been involved in these. At present, our strategy is to produce mining services and the circular economy.”
Although Tapojärvi is regarded as being a good alternative in the eyes of customers, good market position cannot be taken for granted. Leiviskä considers that there is still much room for development and growth.
“When talking about high-quality mining services, the customer’s first point of call should be Tapojärvi. To that end, I am working to achieve that objective by this decade at the latest.”
Name: Vesa-Matti Leiviskä
Education: Master in Business Administration. He is also currently studying to be an engineer in mining and machinery technology.
Work experience: Worked in various circular economy and mining projects in Tapojärvi and as a commercial expert for three years. Started work in June as Business Unit Manager for Mining Services.
Strengths: Understanding the overall picture and context. Can make connections and give an overall picture of these. Manages details and understands the impacts of these on the entireties. Never gets bogged down, rather constantly seeking development.
What makes Tapojärvi an interesting employer?
Fairness. An employer that provides possibilities. Tapojärvi provides space for the strengths of the experts and their own way of thinking. You are not put into a box and told to stay put, Tapojärvi wants you to think outside the box and develop both yourself and the company even further.