Beowulf Mining Plc on Dec. 4 maintained its position that its application for the exploitation concession for the Kallak North deposit, which forms part of its Kallak iron ore property in Sweden, was in compliance with all Swedish laws.
This comes after the County Administrative Board of Norrbotten, Sweden, refused to recommend the award of an exploitation concession for Kallak North. The Swedish government asked the company to provide commentary on the statement by Jan. 2, 2018.
The company noted that Norrbotten's administrative board had said in October 2014 that Beowulf's environmental impact assessment was sufficient with respect to three chapters of the environmental code, and wrote to the government in July 2015 indicating its support for the application with respect to two chapters of the code.
Beowulf also said the administrative board had in 2015 confirmed its support for the application to Sweden's Mining Inspectorate, which went on later that year to recommend that the exploitation concession be awarded.
Earlier this year, in June, the Mining Inspectorate also confirmed to the government that the company's environmental impact assessment is consistent in meeting the requirements of the Supreme Administrative Court judgment in the case of Norra Karr heavy rare earths project, which ruled that a mining lease was not adequately supported by environmental studies.
Beowulf said its continued investment in the Kallak property took these various confirmatory statements by Swedish authorities into consideration.
CEO Kurt Budge said the permitting process has been inefficient, with Beowulf's application passed back and forth from one authority to another and no questions put to the company nor feedback given on additional documentation provided by the company.
"Throughout my time with Beowulf, we have been respectful towards the Swedish authorities and decision makers, but in return, and especially with the [County Administrative Board], have seen scant recognition of the 72 million Swedish kronor we have invested in Kallak, our status as a public company, and the interests of our shareholders, over 58% of whom are Swedish," Budge said. "Instead decision makers choose to sit in isolation, and determine the fate of our application, misrepresenting the facts, and seemingly biased in their analysis."
The company is progressing a scoping study for the Kallak project, with plans to drill the Kallak South Exploration target and Parkijaure exploration licenses in 2018.
As of Dec. 1, US$1 was equivalent to 8.38 Swedish kronor.