Betolar and JA-KO Betoni to develop a low-carbon solution for Keliber’s lithium mine side streams

24.9.2021

Material technology company Betolar and JA-KO Betoni, a company reforming the concrete industry, are assisting Keliber, which is preparing a lithium mine in Kaustinen, Finland, in utilising the massive side streams typically produced in the mining industry. 

Press release
24 September 2021

Tailings produced as a side stream in Keliber’s mineral processing and analcime sand produced later in the lithium production process will be used in concrete production as aggregate at JA-KO Betoni’s plant in Kokkola, Finland. 

The Geoprime® solution developed by Betolar will replace cement used as a binder in concrete production with blast furnace slag produced through a steel industry side stream in Raahe, Finland. Replacing cement will significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Low-carbon concrete can be used, for example, in the structures of Keliber’s mine.

“Significant environmental benefits arise in two ways. Firstly, replacing cement with materials refined from industrial side streams will drastically cut CO2 emissions from the raw material, to as much as one-fifth of current levels. Secondly, the use of side streams as the aggregate for concrete instead of natural rock material significantly reduces the use of virgin natural resources,” says Chief Innovation Officer Juha Leppänen, the Founder of Betolar.

Different side streams, which must be reused or deposited, are produced in mining activities. Most of these side streams are put in a waste rock stockpile at the mining site. Material reuse saves virgin natural resources. From Betolar’s perspective, side stream materials are important future raw material sources whose utilisation in the more extensive industrial scale has only just started.

“We wanted to ensure well in advance that the environmental impact of our lithium mines will be as low as possible. Our future side streams will not only be environmentally safe but will also enable the creation of new products and reduction of the use of virgin raw materials,” says Hannu Hautala, CEO at Keliber.

The concrete industry produces a significant proportion of human produced CO2 emissions. The proportion of cement used in concrete production amounts globally to approximately seven per cent of the CO2 emissions whereas the proportion, for example, of air traffic in normal times amounts to 2–3 per cent. With Betolar’s solution, it is possible to replace raw materials used in the concrete production process in many concrete product groups, which can lead to up to 80% lower CO2 emissions.

“The concrete industry needs new solutions to reduce emissions. Together with Betolar, we are developing several products in which cement is replaced with binders that are considerably less burdensome for the environment. We will invest in the production of new, more environmentally-friendly concrete products in Kokkola, Finland, which will create significant competitive advantage for our industry,” says Jaakko Eloranta, CEO at JA-KO Betoni

Media Inquiries:

For Betolar: Jo Hooke, Gong Communications: Jo.Hooke@gongcommunications.com +44 (0) 20 7935 4800

Jaakko Eloranta, toimitusjohtaja, JA-KO Betoni Oy, tel +358 44 066 5635, jaakko.eloranta@jakobetoni.fi
Hannu Hautala, toimitusjohtaja, Keliber Oy, tel +358 40 712 2432, hannu.hautala@keliber.fi


About Betolar

Betolar is a Finnish materials technology company that offers sustainable and low-carbon concrete production with Geoprime®. The solution converts several previously unused high-volume industrial side streams into a substitute for cement.

Betolar's AI-optimised innovation can significantly reduce CO2 emissions at a competitive cost compared to conventional cement-based concrete manufacturing, leveraging the existing manufacturing processes. Betolar’s mission is to enable the green transformation of various industries globally, especially in the construction, process and energy industries by providing solutions to utilise its unique materials technology.

Betolar was founded in 2016 and  is headquartered in Kannonkoski, Finland. For more information, visit https://www.betolar.com/

About Keliber

Keliber is a Finnish mining and battery chemical company that aims to start the sustainable production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide, utilising its own ore, in 2024. Lithium hydroxide is an essential component in lithium-ion batteries, which enable the electrification of transportation, the storage of renewable energy and speed up digitalisation. 

Keliber operates in Central Ostrobothnia, Finland, where some of the most significant lithium deposits in Europe are found. The lithium mines are located in the municipalities of Kaustinen, Kokkola and Kruunupyy, where a concentrator is also being built. The chemical plant will be located in Kokkola Industrial Park, which has excellent transportation connections. The construction phase of the lithium project is scheduled to start in 2022. https://www.keliber.fi/en/

About JA-KO Betoni

JA-KO Betoni Ltd is a professional concrete company based in Kokkola, Finland. It has a total of 50 years of experience from the concrete industry. The company offers its customers a wide range of concrete products and ready-mixed concrete as well as different tailored service concepts in Finland and in export projects. 

JA-KO Betoni has ready-mixed concrete plants in Kokkola, Pietarsaari, Närpiö, Mustasaari and Seinäjoki. The plant manufacturing concrete products, such as manhole rings, pole foundations and concrete weights, is located in Kokkola. The foundry in Pietarsaari casts agricultural elements and other special products to satisfy customer needs. JA-KO Betoni is an independent subsidiary of Ruskon Betoni. http://www.jakobetoni.fi/home/