The information contained within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (“MAR”) (EU) No. 596/2014. Upon the publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.
For the purposes of MAR and Article 2 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1055, this announcement is being made on behalf of Kurt Budge, Chief Executive Officer.
30 June 2017
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, provides an update on the Kallak North Exploitation Concession application process.
On 29 June 2017, the Mining Inspectorate of Sweden returned the Company’s application for an Exploitation Concession for Kallak North back to the Government of Sweden.
The Mining Inspectorate has asked the Government to decide who should determine what, if any, impact a mining operation at Kallak could have on Laponia.
On 27 March 2017, the Swedish National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet, “RAÄ”) and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket, “NV”) provided comments to the Mining Inspectorate, acknowledging that Kallak does not directly affect Laponia. While the Mining Inspectorate asked RAÄ and NV to be specific in where the Company’s Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) might be insufficient in detail, the agencies merely 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.
On 28 April 2017, the Company submitted a HIA to the Mining Inspectorate in response to the comments made by RAÄ and NV. The analysis followed United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (“UNESCO”) guidelines for conducting a HIA. Typically, a HIA is not required with an application for an Exploitation Concession, but the Company voluntarily produced one, with the support of its expert Swedish technical team and Swedish Advisory Board.
It is understood that the Mining Inspectorate is unable to decide on the Company’s application, without an opinion from the County Administrative Board (“CAB”) for the County of Norrbotten on the matter of Laponia, and an opinion from the CAB on the Company’s application with respect to Chapters 3 and 4 of the Environmental Code.
On 1 October 2014, the CAB confirmed that the Company's EIA was sufficient with respect to Chapters 3, 4 and 6 of the Environmental Code and, on 7 July 2015, the CAB wrote to the Government of Sweden indicating that the Company's application could be permissible with respect to Chapters 3 and 4 of the Environmental Code. The CAB’s position must be interpreted as if the CAB has no objections to the granting of an Exploitation Concession.
Almost one year ago, on 1 July 2016, the Government asked the Mining Inspectorate of Sweden to review the Company's application for an Exploitation Concession for Kallak North in the context of the Supreme Administrative Court (“SAC”) judgement in the case of the Norra Kӓrr project. The Mining Inspectorate has stated that the Company’s EIA is consistent, in the detail provided, in meeting the requirements of the SAC judgement.
Kurt Budge, CEO, commented:
“Our application is back with the Government of Sweden, almost 12 months after the Government asked the Mining Inspectorate to conduct a further review in respect of the Norra Kärr judgement, and matters relating to Laponia.
“The Mining Inspectorate has returned the application to the Government confirming that the Kallak EIA is consistent, in the detail provided, in meeting the requirements of the SAC’s Norra Kärr judgement.
“Yet despite the CAB writing to the Government in July 2015, indicating that the Company's application could be permissible with respect to Chapters 3 and 4 of the Environmental Code, the Mining Inspectorate is unable to decide on the Company’s application without a further opinion from the CAB.
“Since October 2014, and my involvement in this application process, no specific request for additional information, with respect to our application, has been made by any authority. More recently, neither the CAB, RAÄ nor NV have specified where our application might be insufficient in the detail provided.
“The Company has maintained that its application is comprehensive, a fact now confirmed by the Mining Inspectorate, and by the CAB’s past statements.
“With respect to Laponia, which was granted World Heritage Status in 1996, the guidelines for the establishment of its boundary state that the protected area should typically be so largely defined that exploitations outside the area should not be able to have a significant influence on the core value of the world heritage status (Regeringens skrivelse 2001/02:171, Unescos världsarvskonvention och de svenska världsarvsobjekten).
“Kallak is one thousandth of the size of Laponia, an area of 13.6 square kilometres (“km2”)compared to Laponia’s 940,000km2. Kallak is approximately 34 kilometres from eastern Laponia at the closest point, and further away as Laponia extends to the north and west.
“Since 2014, the Swedish Minerals Act and the Environmental Code have not changed, neither has our application, and Laponia was in existence. In 2015, the CAB supported our application, the Mining Inspectorate recommended the Concession be awarded, and now we have it confirmed by the Mining Inspectorate that our EIA is consistent, in the detail provided, in meeting the requirements of the SAC judgement.
“In addition, Jokkmokk sees Kallak as the foundation on which it can build a thriving, diversified and sustainable economy.
“We trust the Government will see the facts for what they represent, that we have met the requirements of the Swedish Minerals Act and Environmental Code, and that we should be allowed to take the Kallak project forward in partnership with the community in Jokkmokk.
“Next week I will be at Almedalen, pushing for the Government to give us the positive decision which our application, and Jokkmokk, deserve.
“We will provide further updates to shareholders in due course.”
|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
Statements and assumptions made in this document with respect to the Company’s current plans, estimates, strategies and beliefs, and other statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements about the future performance of Beowulf. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those using words such as "may", "might", "seeks", "expects", "anticipates", "estimates", "believes", "projects", "plans", strategy", "forecast" and similar expressions. These statements reflect management's expectations and assumptions in light of currently available information. They are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, (i) changes in the economic, regulatory and political environments in the countries where Beowulf operates; (ii) changes relating to the geological information available in respect of the various projects undertaken; (iii) Beowulf’s continued ability to secure enough financing to carry on its operations as a going concern; (iv) the success of its potential joint ventures and alliances, if any; (v) metal prices, particularly as regards iron ore. In the light of the many risks and uncertainties surrounding any mineral project at an early stage of its development, the actual results could differ materially from those presented and forecast in this document. Beowulf assumes no unconditional obligation to immediately update any such statements and/or forecasts.