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Beowulf critical of Swedish government over ongoing delays at Kallak

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 13 Feb 2020

Beowulf critical of Swedish government over ongoing delays at Kallak

(Sharecast News) - Mineral exploration and development company Beowulf Mining updated the market on its Kallak iron ore project on Thursday, reporting that its board met in Stockholm on 12 February and was updated by the company's legal advisers.
The AIM-traded firm said that at the time, no decision on legal action against the Government of Sweden was taken.

It noted that media reporting in the country last week, following its announcement on 3 February, was "incorrect and premature", explaining that all options to take legal action remained under active consideration.

The board said it was satisfied that the company's application for an exploitation concession for Kallak "fully meets the requirements" of Swedish mining and environmental legislation.

"Beowulf is in the business of exploring for and developing mining projects," said chief executive officer Kurt Budge.

"We are not in the business of fighting legal battles, but if forced to do so, to get just resolution, then we will act accordingly.

"Sweden's reputation as a low risk mining jurisdiction is being damaged."

Budge said investor confidence could only be restored if the government honoured the investments and work done by companies applying for licences and concessions, in accordance with the laws of the country.

"If there is one thing that the coalition partners in government appear to agree on when it comes to mining applications, it is that Swedish law should determine whether an application is successful or not.

"The government needs to decide on Kallak.

"Politics and emotion have no place in such a decision, if Sweden's laws are to be 'worth the paper they are written on'."

The chief executive noted that a response to the letter he sent on 19 December to minister Ibrahim Baylan arrived "several hours" after the company's announcement last week.

"The state secretary wrote that the 'decision regarding the application is currently in preparation and I am afraid that we are not able to comment on when a decision is expected to be taken'.

"How can any mining company consider Sweden a low risk jurisdiction for investment, when looking at the Kallak process?

"Beowulf has been allowed to invest SEK 80m over almost 13 years, and the government sits on the application since July 2017, offering nothing in terms of transparency and predictability of process and timeline to a decision."

Budge explained that on Tuesday morning in Stockholm, he participated in a meeting titled 'mining industry and indigenous peoples: regulations, best practice and social innovation', which he said is a research project under the strategic innovation programme 'SIP STRIM', or the 'strategic innovation programme for the Swedish mining and metal producing industry'.

"On this subject, the inclusion of Sami in regional development in Sweden, permitting, sustainable mining, supply chain transparency, the green economy and the fossil-free economy, Beowulf is an active participant and contributor to the debate.

"We are in Sweden for the long-run, to work in partnership with the communities in which we operate and to make a positive difference in society.

"I look forward to keeping the market updated on further developments with Kallak."

At 1010 GMT, shares in Beowulf Mining were up 9.55% at 4.88p.

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