Sweden: British Beowulf caught drilling illegallyPublished by MAC on 2011-12-20
Source: Statement (2011-12-14)
London-listed Beowulf Mining has been forced to fall upon its sword, at least for the time being.
Already accused of violating a Saami community's indigenous rights, the company's exploration drilling has now been halted because it's deemed illegal.
For previous coverage on MAC: Sweden: Saami Communities take on foreign miners
See also (in Swedish): http://www.nsd.se/NYHETER/ARTIKEL.aspx?articleid=6591905
On Swedish TV: http://svtplay.se/v/2644802/beowolf_brot_mot_mienrallagen
The company's response has also been documented on an investor's site: http://ravarumarknaden.se/we-have-talked-to-beowulf-mining-about-the-works-programme-in-kallak/
British Beowulf caught drilling illegally
Swedish Saami Council Press release
14 December 2011
Beowulf Mining, the company behind the Kallak exploration project in Jokkmokk, Northern Sweden, has been undertaking exploration drilling in breach of the Swedish Minerals' Act. The company has been drilling without a valid work plan.
Once this was pointed out to the Swedish Minerals Inspectorate by Saami representatives, the company had no choice but to stop drilling.
"The company's work plan expired already in November 2010, yet, despite this, Beowulf has continued to drill. The company's behavior is very strange and suggests a lack of respect for both Swedish law and for those communities affected by the drilling", says Jenny Karlsson Wik lawyer at the Swedish Sami Association and representative for Sirges and Jåhkågasska Sami communities.
While Beowulf presents itself to shareholders and investors as a serious company with an excellent knowledge of Swedish law and good relations with local people, this recent example serves a serious blow to Beowulf's reputation:
"Our communities have no confidence at all in Beowulf", says Mattias Pirak of the Jåhkågasska Saami community. "That Swedish state has had to go in and stop the company's exploration drilling simply serves to highlight that this is not a trustworthy company. This could be a joke if it did not have such serious implications for our communities. Without a work plan we don't know when or where the company is drilling, and we may have had reindeer in the area without knowing that the company was drilling there."
This is not the first time the Saami communities have had problems with Beowulf. Recently at RMG Mining Investment Conference during November 2011 in Stockholm the company falsely claimed the Saami communities were involved in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
"Beowulf has unilaterally ceased all communication with the Saami communities. The company has outright lied to shareholders and told them we are assisting the company in the EIA. How is this possible when the company is not even in contact with us?" says Mattias Pirak, Jåhkågasska Saami community.
Contacts: Jenny Wik Karlsson +46 72-202 12 00