Stone Centre inaugurated in Carelia, Finland
The Stone Centre, the brainchild of Reijo Vauhkonen, the founder of Tulikivi Group of companies, was inaugurated in June 2003 in Carelia, Eastern Finland.
The Centre, which has several stone-related attractions, is located in Juuka Stone Village and aims to attract international tourists. Of particular note is the geo-knowledge exhibition with multimedia presentations on the Earth’s geology and the history of stone beneficiation. In addition, there are training and education facilities as well as a research laboratory for testing the commercial usage of stones. The Orthodox Church of Finland is among the contributors, with an exhibition of old icons.
The cost of the building project, including all machinery and other equipment, was approximately five million Euros. One source for financing was the EU Structural Fund. Several sponsors were involved in the development of the project including the Geological Survey of Finland, the State Research Centre, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Juuka Stone Museum and Stone Village Foundation, the Helsinki School of Arts, the Centro Tecnolgico del mrmol (CTM in Spain), the North Carelian Education Centre, and all 40 member companies of The Finnish Stone Industry Association.
In his inauguration speech, the Permanent Secretary of Industry and Trade, Erkki Virtanen expressed his ministry’s concern regarding the EU draft directive on management of waste from the extractive industries. The directive threatens industry by declaring that blasted host rock and waste rock should be regarded as waste and that the mining and mineral industry should be penalized. Virtanen implied that his ministry’s resources would be available for the industry’s use in defending their actions.