11 January, 2011
The Saami communities of Sirges and Jåhkågaska have today submitted a complaint to the Swedish Minerals Inspectorate claiming that Beowulf Mining has allegedly conducted unauthorized exploration drilling in the Parkijaure 2 area, in Jokkmokk of northern Sweden, without a valid work plan. The company has already been reported by the Mining Inspectorate of Sweden to the Swedish Prosecution Authority for unauthorized exploration drilling in another nearby area – Kallak 1 – and the communities are now concerned that the company has once again performed exploration work without a valid work plan, this time in the Parkijaure 2 area.
- ”If it turns out that the company has undertaken exploration drilling without a valid work plan in in this area also, as many factors indicate, the company’s credibility as a professional company is seriously challenged,” says Jenny Karlsson Wik, Chief Lawyer at the Swedish Sami Association (SSR) and legal representative of the Saami communities.
Due to on-going issues with the company, the communities have now chosen to declare their opposition to Beowulf’s mining plans in an open letter to Beowulf’s management. As such, the communities will not be participating in the Environmental Impact Assessment. – ”Any mining developments on our lands entail major negative impacts on the reindeer husbandry in the area, which is our traditional livelihood,” says Bengt-Åke Kuljok, Chairman of Sirges Saami community.
Beowulf has clearly demonstrated that they do not respect Saami rights. They have shown a blatant disregard for Swedish law and have spread misleading information to shareholders about the Saami communities’ involvement in the company’s plans. ”There is absolutely no confidence in this company from the perspective of the Saami communities” concludes Jon – Mikko Länta, Chairman of Jåhkågaska tjiellde Saami community. SSR and the Sami communities have now turned to the Sami Council for support.
For further information contact: Jenny Karlsson Wik +46 72 202 12 00