Press release -
Verdict today: Kaunis Iron may continue operations
The Land and Environmental Court says no to the Environmental Protection Agency, and Kaunis Iron may continue its current operations.
However the decision limits production increases within the framework of the existing permit.
“This is an important decision for all Swedish industry, that a granted permit applies,” says Klas Dagertun, CEO of Kaunis Iron.
The Land and Environmental Court finds in Kaunis Iron’s favour today, 13 January, and decides that the company can continue its ongoing operations. The demand put forward by the Environmental Protection Agency to completely revoke the permit is thus denied by the court. However, the decision limits increases in production within the framework of the current permit at an annual 7 Mt, which corresponds to today's production level.
Klas Dagertun, CEO of Kaunis Iron:
“This decision is important not only to us, it is important to our national industries in principle, to ensure that we have a functioning legal system for our permit processes. So that we can trust that permits once granted actually apply.
“We already have considerable uncertainty in procedures for granting new permits, and if in addition a currently valid permit can be torn up, we create a completely uncertain situation where growth-creating investments become nigh well impossible. As regards Sweden's future as an industrial leader in our sector, this would of course be nothing less than a disaster,” Dagertun says, adding:
“The judgement shows that we have right on our side. The reasons for environmental impact that the Environmental Protection Agency has put forward to revoke our permit have thus been erroneous. This is of course a great relief to us, our employees, contractors, customers and the community in which we work.
"The decision limits future production increases, and does not meet our long-term needs. Therefore we wish as soon as possible to enter upon main negotiations on our application for a new extended permit. Not until then can we realise our vision of sustainable mining operations for future generations in the Torne Valley."
Dagertun also directly addresses the Environmental Protection Agency, which has demanded that Kaunis Iron’s permit be revoked:
"At the same time, of course, it would be a provocation if the Environmental Protection Agency should appeal, now that the court has announced its findings after a 3 1/2 year procedure; this especially in view of the fact that we have the examination of our new permit on the agenda. Let us now work on our new application instead – we need to move on to ensure the continuation of environmentally safe mining operations in Pajala."