Soapstone in Kainuu and in the Border Region of Karelia
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006
Objective of the project
The goal of the project was the research and expertise exchange with the Republic of Karelia/ Institute of Geology – Karelian Research Centre RAS in order to assess commercial cooperation opportunities, identify training needs, and develop the shared use of natural stone information in the border region. The project was a follow-up project for the earlier ‘Developing Natural Stone Production in Soapstone Regions in Eastern Finland and Karelia’s Border Region’ project in 2001-2003’.
• Conducting quality and quantity research at 8 deposits in Kainuu and identifying three new soapstone deposits in the Kostomuksha region in cooperation with the Kosstone project • Conducting a market research that includes the basic information of the fireplace market, product types, distribution channels, and customer groups in Northwest Russia • Creating a database of the natural stones in Kainuu, including production sites, trial sites and deposits, using Access software.
Quality and quantity research was conducted at 8 deposits in Kainuu and three new soapstone deposits were identified in the Kostamuksha region in cooperation with the Kosstone project. Through the cooperation, the newest expertise and practical application information was gained for use on both sides of the border. In addition, the research resulted in an increase in raw material reserves and potential in both regions, therefore, improving the conditions for continuing production in Suomussalmi and Kuhmo. The perception of the new soapstone deposits in Kainuu and Karelia was reinforced as a result of the project, as were the necessity for seeking them systematically and the need for quality research. The project conducted market research, which included the basic information of the fireplace market, product types, distribution channels, and customer groups in Northwest Russia. Based on the market research, a heavy emphasis has been placed on brand marketing (Tulikivi Oyj) and the available product line has been developed to better suit Russian tastes and architecture. The distribution network in the St. Petersburg region has been expanded and active contact has been maintained with sales of Scandinavian-style homes. Through the completed actions, sales in the region have doubled. Further study of commercial cooperation and starting the cooperation were still considered necessary. The natural stone database increases the awareness of the region’s natural stone reserves. In the long-term, it also increases interest for industry to start production and/or stone trade on both sides of the border. The natural stone information from Russian Karelia was gathered as a separate task by the Institute of Geology. More extensive fusion of the soil reserve information in Kainuu and Karelia and improving visibility were seen as necessary actions even after the project. The soapstone projects initiated the research cooperation of soapstone reserves on both sides of the border. The responsibility for implementing further actions remained with the regional development officials of Kainuu, municipalities and funders.
AcronymSoapstone in Kainuu and in the Border Region of Karelia
Duration2004-06-01 - 2005-12-31
Total Budget / Programme funding322 600 € / 225 820 €
Lead partnerSuomussalmi Municipality
Lead partner web-site
PartnersGeology Institute – Eastern Finland Office
Institute of Geology – Karelian Research Centre RAS