The Swedish government granted Tuesday the rights to exploit the largest unexploited iron ore deposits in Scandinavia to a Swedish company. This angered environmentalists.
“By saying yes the mine, they say no indigenous peoples’ rights and climate, climate, and our common future,” stated Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teenager environmental activist. Thunberg posted on Twitter that “Sweden pretends it is a leader for environment rights and human rights, but at the home they violate indigenous rights. They continue to wage a war against nature.” Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson, the Swedish Minister of Industry and Business, stated that Jokkmokk iron Mines AB was granted a processing permit for Kallak, but noted that there were many “far-reaching and unusual” conditions. The goal is, among others, to compensate the affected villages from the Sami ethnic group of Sweden’s Arctic region.
The environmental group tweeted that the decision was taken “despite the fact the Sami villages in question have clearly said no”.
Kallak is located in northern Sweden, 40 km (25 miles) to the west of Jokkmokk. This town sits just north the Arctic Circle and contains the Sami parliament. Although they live a more modern lifestyle, the nomadic tribe still has reindeer and some still wear bright-colored national dresses. Kurt Budge, CEO of Beowulf Mining PLC stated that the company’s ambition was to “build the most sustainable mine.” Jokkmokk Iron Mines AB, a Swedish subsidiary of British company Beowulf Mining, is the name. “The awarding of the concession is a long-awaited milestone in the development timeline, and we now look forward to environmental permits,” said he.
According to Swedish broadcaster SVT, the Beowulf Mining plans to open a mine near Jokkmokk for years was stopped by both the reindeer industry as well as the environmental movement. The case has been tried by several different authorities and bodies — but in the end, the issue landed on the government’s plate.
(This story is not edited by Devdiscourse staff.