Sweden – Sami reindeer herders to Beowulf Mining: why don’t you just give up and go?

Posted on 22nd June 2021

Jun 14, 2021 | News

Beowulf Mining holds its 2021 Annual General Meeting this Friday, 18 June.

Beowulf has been trying for years to take forward an iron ore mining project at Kallak, in indigenous Sami territory in the north of Sweden. For years, the Sami have been trying to stop them. We at LMN have assisted by raising issues of concern to the Sami at Beowulf’s London Annual General Meetings (AGMs).

This year, like last year, the company is holding a closed-door, offline AGM and telling shareholders not to attend because of COVID-19 restrictions. Never mind that the UK Financial Reporting Council, in commenting on companies’ AGM practices during the pandemic, specifically recommends against this. 

It would be very easy for Beowulf to hold a ‘hybrid’ AGM so that shareholders and their proxies could attend online. LMN even offered to host Beowulf’s AGM on our own Zoom account, but our offer was rather brusquely declined.

The Sami have received support for their opposition to this project from the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). A letter of 2 June 2021 to Sweden’s Ambassador to UNESCO raises a number of concerns which, in the most polite and diplomatic language, suggest that the proposed mine would have a devastating effect on Sami culture and livelihoods and on the nearby World Heritage Site.

We have submitted the following questions to Beowulf Mining on behalf of our Sami herder friends in advance of Friday’s AGM. The company has said it will publish answers to questions on its website soon after the AGM.

Question 1.

With the latest report from UNESCO in mind it seems more and more clear that it is virtually impossible to continue the plans of opening a mine in Kallak. How do you plan to withdraw from the area without causing too much damage to the shareholders?

Question 2.

People from the World Heritage Committee in Paris seem to understand how a mine in Kallak is potentially catastrophic for the local reindeer herders and thus also a threat to the Outstanding Universal Values constituting the World Heritage Site Laponia. Why is it so hard for you to understand the values threatened by your exploration work in the municipality of Jokkmokk?

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SOURCE: https://londonminingnetwork.org/2021/06/beowulf-give-up/

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