With just a few days to go to Christmas, Kaunis Iron receives a favourable decision. The Land and Environment Court announces that it intends to coordinate the request
from Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to revoke the current permit for mining operations in Tapuli, Pajala Municipality, with the company’s application for a new permit.
“Judicious and agreeable, a sound decision,” says Anders Sundström, chair of the board of Kaunis Iron.
In June 2018, just over six months after Kaunis Iron took over operations from the bankrupt Northland Resources, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency submitted to the Land and Environment Court an application to revoke the current environmental permit. The Environmental Protection Agency deems in its application that the permit is unclear and that Kaunis Iron was not pursuing operations in compliance with the permit.
A year later, in July 2019, Kaunis Iron submitted a new permit application encompassing both existing operations and increased mining operations in Sahavaara and Palotieva. The goal is to double production from today’s 2,000,000 t per year.
On 5 November 2019, Kaunis Iron and the Environmental Protection Agency held a meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to find a constructive way forward for the continued processing. It resulted in Kaunis Iron soon afterwards submitting a request to the Land and Environment Court for coordinated examination of both cases, to which the Environmental Protection Agency was favourable. After expedited processing the Court now communicates its opinion:
The Land and Environment Court now gives notice of its intention to make a coordinated examination of both cases, where the idea is that the results of each case are communicated simultaneously. Processing will be considerably more resource-effective, at the same time as the risk of downtime before operations under the new permit application in principle disappears.
“It is encouraging that the County Administrative Board in Norrbotten County, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Land and Environment Court see the advantages of a coordinated procedure. It gives us greater security in our long-term planning,” says Anders Sundström with the agreement of Klas Dagertun, CEO.
“It would feel unreasonable to process these matters in parallel and separately. It is in most respects the same issues that are dealt with in both cases, and in addition we do not have to deal with the risk of operations being stopped in order to wait for a new permit.
“And as regards environmental compliance, we have no concerns whatsoever. There too, we will be at the cutting edge.”
For more information, please contact:
Anders Sundström, 0046 70-589 19 11, firstname.lastname@example.org
Klas Dagertun, 0046 70-591 00 41, email@example.com
The mining company Northland Resources is declared bankrupt. The iron ore mine in Kaunisvaara near Pajala has been operational from October 2012 to October 2014.
Kaunis Iron decides to acquire the bankruptcy estate and restart the mine. The first salvo is blasted in July 2018.
The Environmental Protection Agency submits an application to the Land and Environment Court in Umeå for a partial annulment of the permit for Tapuli mine in Pajala Municipality. The Environmental Protection Agency considers that the permit is unclear and that operations are not being pursued in the way prescribed in the permit.
Kaunis Iron submits a new permit application to the Land and Environment Court which encompasses both existing operations and expanded operations at the deposits Sahavaara and Palotieva. The goal is to double production.
Kaunis Iron requests that the examination of the request from the Environmental Protection Agency to revoke the permit is coordinated with the company’s application for a new permit.
The Land and Environment Court communicates its intention to coordinate the two cases.
The Court writes, among other things:
”Since the two cases concern the same operations there are common points of contact and to some extent concordant material. In this perspective, the court sees considerable advantages in as far as possible coordinating the handling procedure of these cases.
Coordinated processing can greatly facilitate the reading of documentation in the cases and the work input on the part of the court can be concentrated (which is of particular importance in view of the fact that the cases are to be handled by a further technical committee and a new judge). This furthermore avoids redundant translation of documentation (with consequent time lag). The court expects this to lead to more resource- and time-effective handling of both cases, with a beneficial effect on processing times.
The opinion of the court at the present time is that the processing of the cases shall be coordinated. This means an ambition to announce similar deliberation periods, and to hold the main hearing and presentation of opinions at the same time in both cases, and it probably also means that the cases can be settled at the same time.”