Kallak North Exploitation Concession Update
31 March 2017
Beowulf Mining plc
(“Beowulf” or the “Company”)
Kallak North Exploitation Concession Update
The information contained within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014. Upon the publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.
Beowulf (AIM: BEM; AktieTorget: BEO), the mineral exploration and development company, focused on the Kallak magnetite iron ore project and the Åtvidaberg polymetallic exploration licence in Sweden, and its graphite portfolio in Finland, is pleased to provide an update on the Kallak North Exploitation Concession application process.
On 27 March 2017, the Mining Inspectorate received comments and opinions from the Swedish National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet, “RAÄ”) and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket, “NV”), with respect to the Company’s application for an Exploitation Concession for Kallak North, and the interaction of Kallak and Laponia.
On 28 March 2017, the Mining Inspectorate wrote to the Company, and has given the Company the opportunity to submit its own comments and supplementary information further to the NV and RAÄ’s comments. The Company has a deadline of 28 April 2017 in which to respond, which it intends to meet.
On 29 March 2017, the Company met with the Mining Inspectorate in Luleå to discuss the next steps in the process. During this meeting, the Company outlined its interpretation of the NV and RAÄ’s comments, which is as follows:
– the focus of the response is the effect of Kallak on Laponia;
– it is acknowledged that Kallak does not directly affect Laponia;
– it is suggested that the Company should provide more details, to describe the possible indirect effects of a mining operation at Kallak on Laponia, the interaction of mining and reindeer herding, and matters related to transport; and
– the agencies have failed to be specific, as requested by the Mining Inspectorate, as to where the Company’s Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) is insufficient in the detail it provides.
The Company intends to write to the Mining Inspectorate and the County Administrative Board (“CAB”) for the County of Norrbotten, seeking confirmation that its interpretation of the NV and RAÄ’s comments is correct. Thereafter, the Company will prepare a submission and arguments, in conjunction with its expert Swedish consulting and advisory team, precisely demonstrating that the Kallak North EIA is comprehensive in its assessment of the activities and potential environmental effects associated with a modern and sustainable mining operation at Kallak. As there are no direct effects of Kallak on Laponia, we believe it will be seen that there are no consequential indirect effects.
The Company will continue to keep the market informed regarding developments in the Kallak North application process. The Board notes that during the application process, authorities in Sweden have made public correspondence, statements, and opinions, before informing the Company. Given the profile of the Kallak project in Sweden, social and mainstream media platforms have been quick to react to any news. The Company will continue to respond, rather than react, to any developments, as and when it can fully and correctly inform shareholders.
Kurt Budge, Chief Executive Officer of Beowulf, commented:
“We are very pleased that it has been acknowledged that a mining operation at Kallak does not directly impact Laponia.
“We believe resolutely that our application, including the EIA, is comprehensive in its assessment of the activities and potential environmental effects associated with a modern and sustainable mining operation at Kallak, which includes transport.
“The location of Kallak, 40 kilometres from the Inlandsbahnen railway, gives it options to serve domestic Swedish customers, and attractive export markets, through the ports of Luleå and Narvik – a real benefit to the project. In addition, over two years ago, when the CAB’s assessment of transport, beyond the limits of the mining operation, caused concern, the Company proactively responded and eliminated the use of the Jelka-Rimkåbbå route from future planning.
“We continue to communicate with representatives of the Saami reindeer herding communities and maintain our position that mining and reindeer herding can work together, side by side, safeguarding all interests. Overtime, as the project develops, we look forward to a partnership with these communities.
“Kallak can transform Jokkmokk, giving it the thriving, diversified and sustainable economy it seeks. Kallak can address some of the challenges facing Jokkmokk, providing an economic stimulus that supports public services and infrastructure, while safeguarding the attractiveness of Jokkmokk as a place where people want to live and work. Kallak is the asset ‘sitting on the doorstep’ of Jokkmokk, the foundation on which Jokkmokk can build its future.
“Our ambition is to build a modern and sustainable mining operation at Kallak. During my time as CEO, and throughout this permitting process, we have consistently demonstrated a responsible approach to the development of Kallak, and our desire to forge important partnerships with those who share our vision for what Kallak can do for Jokkmokk.
“We have growing support in Jokkmokk, and this project needs to move forward. We have done the work required to be granted an Exploitation Concession, answered the questions asked and responded to the concerns raised.
“Jokkmokk is working hard to attract inward investment, yet drawn out permitting processes, such as this one, do nothing to help its cause. We remain hopeful that the Exploitation Concession will be awarded and we remain committed to taking Kallak forward in partnership with all our stakeholders in Jokkmokk.”
Beowulf Mining plc
Kurt Budge, Chief Executive Officer Tel: +44 (0) 20 3771 6993
Cantor Fitzgerald Europe
(Nominated Advisor & Broker)
David Porter /Craig Francis Tel: +44 (0) 20 7894 7000
Tim Blythe / Megan Ray Tel: +44 (0) 20 7138 3204