Media Release – Friday 25 Nov 2011
Scandinavian Resources (SCR), a small, Perth based, ASX listed exploration company, was criticised today about its plans to open several mines in the middle of critical reindeer herding habitat in northern Sweden that is essential for the survival of Saami reindeer herding as a traditional indigenous livelihood.
“We are absolutely opposed to exploration and mining on our traditional lands and we will do everything we can to stop this short-term plundering of our mountains” says Ingemar Blind, Chairman of the affected Girjas Saami Community.
“We also know that other stakeholders in our region are of the same opinion and have grave concerns over the environmental damage mining will entail for our sensitive artic environment” says Tor-Erik Huuva, Chairman of the affected Laevas Saami community.
Members of Girjas and Laevas communities acted to ensure their voices were heard at the Annual General Meeting of Scandinavian Resources, which is trying to develop the mines through their subsidiary Kiruna Iron. Scandinavian Resources planned mining activities would violate fundamental human rights of the local Saami reindeer herders. Those backing Kiruna Iron also contribute to human rights violations.
Today the Saami Council has again written to Canaccord Genuity and Parety Securities – financial institutions mandated by SCR to raise financing for the mines – and advised them of the high environmental and social risks associated with the projects.
“Without the consent of local Saami communities, these projects are doomed to fail,” says Mattias Åhrén, Chief Lawyer at Saami Council. “It is also ironic that a company with backing from Australia – a country where indigenous rights are well recognised – would come to Sweden and ignore the Saami people’s right to say no to exploration and mining”.
The Saami communities are opposed to any further mining in their areas and are being assisted in their campaign by Saami organisations, such as Saami Council and the National Swedish Saami Association, and also Australian based Mineral Policy Institute.
See the website http://www.saamiresources.org for more information.
Media Contacts: Mattias Åhrén, Chief Lawyer, Saami Council +47 47 37 91 61 Charles Roche, Mineral Policy Institute +61 (0)450 901 714 Mats Berg, Media Contact, Laevas and Girjas Saami Communities +46 70 397 6977