air view of minetrain mine during summer in finland

Centria UAS and Pyhäjärvi Callio will commercialize MineTRAIN training for the mining industry and underground construction in the Pyhäsalmi mining area

Centria University of Applied Sciences (www.centria.fi) and Pyhäjärvi Callio (www.callio.info) in cooperation with Oulu Mining School (www.oulu.fi/oms/) have agreed to establish educational cooperation in the Pyhäsalmi Mining Area in Pyhäjärvi. The parties will use the Pyhäjärvi Callio business area at the Pyhäsalmi mine for training purposes, where the underground mining operations will end in June 2022. The Pyhäsalmi mine in the area is Europe’s deepest base metal mine (+1447 m) and includes a network of more than 150 km of mining tunnels as well as underground facilities that are particularly well suited to the future training needs of mining technology and underground construction.

There is a growing need in Finland and around the world for experts in the mining and underground construction industry and for the continuous development of related professional skills, e.g. digitalisation, automation and electrification of mining technology. Training needs will increase in the coming years, for example with the opening of new mines and the establishment of battery plants and energy storage solutions. Finland also has large industrial investments and infrastructure projects that require underground construction know-how.

The MineTRAIN training project, coordinated by the Oulu Mining School and funded by the EIT Raw Materials program, developed mining training for professionals and students in Pyhäsalmi for the past few years. A total of almost 100 Finnish and international students have participated in the project’s pilot courses in two study units of different scopes (Mine Life Cycle and Digital Life of Mine). The need for similar study units is expected to increase in the future. The commercialization and co-operation to be announced now is intended to develop an extensive and international study unit to be offered commercially. At the same time, the foundation is being laid for Finland’s growing needs for the extraction and mining industry and underground construction.

“Pyhäjärvi has the opportunity to form a major international mining training center together with its partners. The conditions at the Pyhäsalmi mine are unique in the world. Challenging and authentic mining conditions provide an excellent framework for practical studies in support of mining theory. Our goal is to attract motivated international students to both lifelong learning and degree-leading education,” says Professor Saija Luukkanen from the Oulu Mining School.

Pyhäjärvi Callio and Centria University of Applied Sciences have signed a cooperation agreement on the commercialization and further development of continuing education in accordance with the MineTRAIN brand. Centria University of Applied Sciences will further develop new training packages in cooperation with Oulu Mining School and sell and market these to students and business professionals around the world.

“In the current situation of strong structural change, the city of Pyhäjärvi and our entire sub-region need new measures to accelerate the region’s economy in order to minimize the lost business effects of the closure of the Pyhäsalmi mine. The training business is an excellent way to utilize the existing mining expertise and infrastructure in the area and at the same time create a new base for employment locally and the vitality of the area more broadly,” says Henrik Kiviniemi, Mayor of Pyhäjärvi.

With the cooperation agreement, Pyhäjärvi Callio offers students and business professionals a unique learning environment with support services, and the role of Centria University of Applied Sciences is to coordinate, further develop and commercialize training in close cooperation with the Oulu Mining School.

“Extensive training activities around the extractive industry serve the Finnish mining cluster and the developing battery industry very well. The aim is to create nationally and internationally significant training activities, the priorities of which can be found in, for example, large-scale facilities related to environmental technology, digitalisation, occupational safety or mine closures. When implemented, such an entity will have a direct impact on work and vitality in Pyhäjärvi,” says Sakari Nokela, Development Director of Pyhäjärvi Callio.

In the near future, Finland will be launching several projects related to the mining and battery industry and industrial infrastructure, which require significant manpower. In addition, the existing process and chemical industries in Northern and Central Ostrobothnia, as well as infrastructure construction, are constantly in need of new employees. The situation and the need for experts will develop further with the start-up of new mines, and the preparation for competence development must begin now.

“MineTRAIN’s training content is being built and commercialized using Centria’s new pedagogical and technological solutions. In practical implementations, the emphasis is on closer cooperation between educational organizations, the Pyhäjärvi Callio business network and partners in preparation for the future. The need for experts in the mining industry and underground construction can be met through close co-operation between training organizations, which means that the continuous renewal of skills will continue in the future,” says Kirsi Vuotila, Training Manager in charge of training at Centria.

The uniqueness of the MineTRAIN training, which will be launched this year, lies in the fact that the Pyhäsalmi mine’s modern environment and state-of-the-art solutions enable the implementation of multidisciplinary training from mineral exploration, mine design, mining, ore concentration all the way to the closure of the mine.

Pyhäjärvi Callio

is a development company owned by the City of Pyhäjärvi, which develops the reuse of the above ground and underground infrastructure of the Pyhäsalmi mine in a contractual relationship with the property owner Pyhäsalmi Mine Oy, including infrastructure management, project development and further lease rights. More information at www.callio.info

Oulu Mining School

is a department in the extractive industry of the Faculty of Technology of the University of Oulu. The importance of research and education in the various fields of mineral exploration and mining has been considerably emphasized in recent years due to increased production of minerals and metals and the establishment of new mines. The Mining Education and Research Unit, Oulu Mining School, significantly strengthens the University of Oulu’s role as an expert in natural resources of the North and sustainable development. Oulu Mining School covers the entire value chain of the mining industry in the fields of geosciences, geophysics, mining technology and concentration technology. More information (www.oulu.fi/oms/)

Centria University of Applied Sciences

is an expert organization of about 4,000 students and 300 employees. The mission of the multidisciplinary and international Centria is to promote the well-being, development and competitiveness of its area of ​​operation through education and research and development. Our strength in our research and development activities is the implementation of services and training based on the needs of our corporate customers. Our campuses are located in Kokkola, Ylivieska and Pietarsaari.

For more information:

Managing Director Henrik Kiviniemi, Pyhäjärven Callio
+358 44 4457701, henrik.kiviniemi@pyhajarvi.fi

Professor Saija Luukkanen, Oulu Mining School
+358 50 4652982, saija.luukkanen@oulu.fi

Development Director Sakari Nokela, Pyhäjärven Callio
+358 40 1809511, sakari.nokela@pyhajarvi.fi 

Training Manager, Centria R&D, Kirsi Vuotila
+358 40 6324341, kirsi.vuotila@centria.fi