Beowulf Mining plc is a UK registered Nordic focused exploration and development company listed on the AIM in London and Spotlight in Sweden. The CEO is Kurt Budge. The company was formed in 1988 as Beowulf Gold.[1] Through asubsidiaries, Jokkmokk Iron Mines AB and Fennoscandian Resources, it is active in developing open-pit mining in Sweden and Finland respectively; its plans to mine for magnetite iron ore at Kallak [sv] west of Jokkmokk in northern Sweden, and for graphite in Heinävesi, Finland, are controversial.

KallakEdit

Beowulf Mining's Swedish subsidiary, Jokkmokk Iron Mines, has conducted exploratory mining for iron ore at sites in northern Sweden. These plans are opposed by the local Sami population;[2][3] the company says their operations and the Sami's traditional reindeer herding can "coexist".[4][5] The company argues that exploitation of the Kallak North and South sites will both directly and indirectly benefit the contracting economy of Jokkmokk Municipality.[6][7][8] Opponents of the mining project also argue that longer-term investments in the area are better for job creation: the company had promised the creation of almost 400 jobs for 14 years, whereas a tourist centre in nearby Sarek National Park could create 500 jobs.[2] Opponents also cite dangers from mining in the area including the railroad used to supply the mining operation, one local herdsman saying that trains on the local line had killed up to 1,200 reindeer.

The company's main focus since the early 2010s has been the Kallak mine in Jokkmokk Municipality.[9] Protests took place at the site in 2013,[10] culminating in August in dozens of protesters digging themselves in.[11] Two had tied themselves to pipes, and at one point protesters delayed test blasting by sitting in trees.[12] All were removed by local police. In October 2014, Norrbotten County denied the company permission to proceed at the site;[13] in February 2015 the Swedish Mining Inspectorate, Bergsstaten [sv], overruled that decision,[14] but as of March 2018 the county held that reindeer herding was a superior use of the land given the relatively short period for which it would be developed by mining.[15]

One issue in the conflict is lack of Sami ownership of the land and a lack of protection of their indigenous rights; Sweden (with almost 15,000 Sami), unlike for instance Norway (which has almost 40,000 Sami), has not signed on to an international treaty protecting those rights.[16][17] The Sami Parliament of Sweden responded to the Kallak project in August 2013 with a statement against further exploitation of Sápmi (Lapland) for mineral extraction,[18] and the Sami Parliament of Norway voted against the Kallak project in February 2017.[5] Beowulf Mining has been ranked as one of the worst oil, gas, and mining companies on indigenous rights and resource extraction in the Arctic.[19]

Heinävesi graphite mining projectEdit

In January 24th 2019 the Beowulf Mining's Finnish subsidiary's CEO Rasmus Blomqvist announced that the graphite mining project is postponed by years because of the mining project's significant impact on the environment. [20] The graphite mining project in Heinävesi has been facing major concerns by the local community. Fennoscandian Resources, was granted an exploration permit by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency in 2016 for graphite mining in Heinävesi.[21] The project has been opposed by local residents, by politicians including MEP Petri Sarvamaa and also by the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation[22] as the site is close to the Saimaa nature preserve. Lintula Holy Trinity Convent has expressed fears the project will endanger the herb cultivation on which it depends for income.[23] A municipal initiative against the mining project was signed by over 3000, with over 800 residents. [24] The Provincial Government of Southern Savonia reports of a concern towards the mining project on Heinävesi's Aitolampi. The regional strategy for Southern Savo raises the purity of waterways and the attractiveness of tourism to the top objectives of the province. The open pit mining in the vicinity of major waterways and valuable natural environments is a high risk to Saimaa's tourist livelihood and the natural values, and thus contradict the objectives of the regional strategy. [25]

Other sitesEdit

In 2006 the company was granted an exploration permit for a deposit of iron and titanium at Ruoutevara near Kvikkjokk, also in Jokkmokk Municipality.[1] In 2010 they planned to build a processing plant there and use it to also process iron ore from Kallak.[26] In 2013 they announced they would not renew the exploration permit for the site because of inadequate infrastructure and concerns which had been expressed about potential impact on Sarek National Park.[27]

Through a joint venture with Energy Ventures, Wayland Copper, Beowulf Mining is also active at Ballek, in Arjeplog Municipality, where it conducted exploratory operations for mining copper in 2013[4] and expanded them in 2014.[28]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Kasteel, Kyran (1 October 2009). "Feast, Famine and Faith". Engineering and Mining Journal. Archived from the original on 16 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b Törnkvist, Ann (13 August 2013). "Swedes' anger mounts over Beowulf mine plans". The Local. Archived from the original on 26 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  3. ^ Hughes, Stuart (30 July 2014). "The reindeer herders battling an iron ore mine in Sweden". BBC News. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b Harrington, John (28 August 2011). "Beowulf Mining ironing out the wrinkles". Proactive Investors. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  5. ^ a b Webb, Mariaan (1 February 2018). "Beowulf maintains Kallak mine and reindeer herding can co-exist". Mining Weekly. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Beowulf hopeful of progress in epic Swedish adventure". Proactive Investors. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  7. ^ Beowulf Mining plc (7 September 2017). "KALLAK: A real asset, and a real opportunity to transform Jokkmokk" (PDF). Copenhagen Economics.
  8. ^ Sjöberg, Karin (4 December 2017). "Kallak: 'Länsstyrelsen ger en ensidig bild'". Norrländska Socialdemokraten (in Swedish). Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  9. ^ Ford, Alastair (23 March 2011). "Beowulf Mining Begins To Contemplate Project Finance For The Kallak Iron Ore Deposit In Sweden". Minesite.com. Archived from the original on 11 November 2011.
  10. ^ "Tre anhållna efter att ha stoppat järnbrytning" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio P4. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Indigenous protesters rally against Sweden iron mining plans". United Press International. 26 August 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Aktivister i träd stoppade gruvbolag". Norrbottens-Kuriren (in Swedish). Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  13. ^ "Länsstyrelsen säger nej till Kallak" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio P4. 2 October 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Bergsstaten går emot länsstyrelsen om brytning i Kallak" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio P4. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  15. ^ Liedtke, Simone (5 March 2018). "Beowulf continues to lobby Swedish govt for Kallak North concession". Mining Weekly. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  16. ^ Rising, Malin; Mac Dougall, David (29 August 2013). "Sweden's indigenous Sami in fight against miners". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  17. ^ Persson, Sofia; Harnesk, David; Islar, Mine (November 2017). "What local people? Examining the Gállok mining conflict and the rights of the Sámi population in terms of justice and power". Geoforum. 86: 20–29. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.08.009.
  18. ^ "Sametinget kan inte acceptera fortsatt exploatering av Sápmi" (in Swedish). Sami Parliament of Sweden. 27 August 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  19. ^ Overland, Indra (2016). "Ranking Oil, Gas and Mining Companies on Indigenous Rights in the Arctic". ResearchGate. Arran. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Heinäveden Aitolammen kaivoshanke lykkääntyy vuosilla – Yhtiö: "Syynä on paikallisten suuri huoli"". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  21. ^ "Aitolampi". Beowulf Mining.
  22. ^ "Akkuihin grafiittia louhiva kaivos saamassa tylyn vastaanoton Heinävedellä - 'Oli vaikeuksia saada yleisö olemaan rauhallisen keskustelevainen'". Tekniikka&Talous (in Finnish). 19 July 2018.
  23. ^ Rastas, Riina (13 July 2018). "Luostari huolissaan suunnitellusta kaivoksesta: 'Luostarin elinkeino on vaarassa, jos ilma ja vesi saastuvat'". Turun Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Yli 3 000 vastustaa Heinävedelle suunniteltua grafiittikaivosta – Luostarit, luontoväki ja brittiyhtiö napit vastakkain". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  25. ^ Maakunta, Etelä-Savo – Saimaan. "Maakuntahallitus kokoontui 24.9.2018 - Etelä-Savo – Saimaan Maakunta". www.esavo.fi. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  26. ^ Crust, Julie (23 February 2010). "Beowulf ups iron ore estimate at Ruoutevare project". Reuters. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  27. ^ Nyberg, Micke (17 May 2013). "Gruvbolag lämnar Laponia" (in Swedish). Sveriges Television. Archived from the original on 30 August 2013.
  28. ^ "Beowulf to drill deep at Ballek project in Sweden with early copper signs". Mining Technology. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2018.

External linksEdit