Is it a meteorite?

The dredger machine at the Kivisalmi canal construction site in Rääkkylä, North Karelia – 50 kilometers away from Outokumpu – hit a large rock fragment measuring five cubic meters. Initially thought to be a meteorite due to its glittery appearance, the rock was later identified as a rich deposit of copper ore after analysis. In order to trace the origin of the rock, mining engineer Otto Trustedt followed the traces of the ice age and located the bedrock in Outokumpu. This discovery of copper ore in 1910 was the catalyst for the area’s industrialization and development.

The Outokumpu ore deposit turned out to be exceptionally vast and rich. Over a distance of about four kilometers, the Old Mine, as well as the Mökkivaara, Keretti, and Vuonos mines, operated for a total of 79 years. Altogether, the Outokumpu mines produced 40 million tons of copper ore and concentrate.

In 1917, a Norwegian entrepreneur leased the mine. However, it appears that the Norwegians were unsuccessful in managing the business, and as a result, it went bankrupt, leading to the transfer of mining operations back to the Finns. Eventually, in 1932, the mining company was transformed into a limited liability company, named Outokumpu Oy. The company has had an enormous impact on the diversification and development of Finnish industry, as the metal industry became a robust pillar alongside the forest industry. It’s good enough for a world-class steel company to still bask under the Outokumpu brand!

Milking cow spared

Outokumpu mine had been spared from the bombings during the war, and the reason behind it was a secret agreement. Legend has it that Finland had bought wheat from Germany and paid for it with copper, and that’s why the milking cow had to be spared. Our eastern neighbour had believed that Finland would soon be conquered, and so destroying a valuable copper mine was deemed unnecessary.

Lively, Plentiful, and Service

In the heart of the city, you’ll discover an array of amenities such as a sports hall with a swimming pool, a library, a cinema, an ice rink, a sports field, jogging trails, and ski tracks. Outokumpu offers free education, from day-care to high school and vocational school.

There is a vast range of daily services available in Outokumpu, and it’s worth mentioning that purchasing a home here is affordable. According to Q4 2022 statistics, the average cost per square meter for an old apartment in Outokumpu was 717 euros, significantly lower than the Helsinki metropolitan area’s 4,505 euros per square meter and the rest of Finland’s 1,788 euros per square meter.

”It’s good enough for a world-class steel company to still bask under the Outokumpu brand!”

Many cherries on the cake!

Outokumpu has much to offer with its unique architecture reflecting a prosperous mining past, designed by renowned Finnish architects such as Uno Ullberg, Wäinö Gustaf Palmqvist, and Märta Blomstedt. Culture enthusiasts can enjoy a theater, cinema, brass band, children’s and youth circus, and an international artist residency, while history buffs can explore the mining museum and tunnels to get a glimpse of the town’s rich history.

Nature lovers won’t be disappointed, as Outokumpu provides a plethora of options, including a wilderness and nature center, Särkisalmi beaches, hiking trails, recreational fishing areas, stunning ridge and lake views, as well as the tranquil Lake Juojärvi, Lake Sysmäjärvi, and Viurusuo bog.

Are you ready to direct the moving truck towards Outokumpu?

Eero Kettunen
The author is the founder and board member of OKU.

Press release


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