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10 Feb 2022


U.N. advisers urge Sweden to stop mine in home of Indigenous Sami; incl. company comments

United Nations human rights experts on Thursday urged Sweden not to award a license for an iron-ore mine in the Gallok region, home of the indigenous Sami people, saying the open-pit mine would endanger the protected ecosystem and reindeer migration.

British company Beowulf Mining has sought a license for an iron-ore mine and the Swedish government will announce its decision in coming months. The indigenous Sami are opposed the mine and they have backing from environmental groups and climate-change activist Greta Thunberg...

An estimated 80,000 Sami live in the northern lands of Sweden, Finland, Norway and Russia, where reindeer herding has been the cornerstone of their culture and livelihood.

Beowulf Chief Executive Kurt Budge said this week that “the future conditions for mining and reindeer husbandry to coexist at Kallak (Gallok) are possible,” adding lessons could be learned from local Sami and the many examples across Sweden where coexistence is a reality.

“The company is committed to doing all it can to achieve this, through preventative and precautionary action and compensation deemed necessary.” ...