Press release -
Favourable decision for Kaunis Iron!
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.