Published 2023-09-18 21:11
The mining dispute in Kallak has been going on for ten years.
On one side are the environmental movement and the reindeer industry – on the other is the mining industry.
Here are five points about the mining battle in Kallak.
- A large iron deposit was discovered at the rock outcrop Kallak – in Sami Gallók – outside Jokkmokk in the 1940s. The area is of national interest for Sami villages’ reindeer husbandry, but also for mineral husbandry. In 2006, a Swedish subsidiary of the mining company Beowulf Mining received an exploration permit. In 2010, the company began test drilling in 2010 and in connection with test mining in 2013, widespread protests erupted.
- Since then, conflict has been going on between those who believe that a mine would destroy both the environment and the Sami culture with reindeer husbandry, and those who believe that a mine would be important for business and create jobs.
- Authorities at several levels have reached different decisions and the issue finally landed on the government’s table. At the time, the UN agency Unesco and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had also written to the Swedish government and expressed concern – the planned mining area is close to the Laponia world heritage site, and an establishment also risks threatening the reindeer husbandry at the site.
- On March 22, 2022, the government finally said yes to a mine in Kallak by approving the mining company’s application for a processing concession. 12 unique conditions were added to the decision, among other things to keep the affected Sami villages indemnified. The decision is seen as a decisive step for the mine to be built, but examination according to the Environmental Code is also required.
- Two of the Sami villages concerned, Jåhkågasska and Sirges, announced after the government’s decision that they are going to the Supreme Administrative Court to hear the case. The Nature Conservation Society has also applied for legal review in the same court. The negotiation starts on 19 September 2023.