Beowulf CEO seeks answers from Swedish govt on iron-ore mine application

15th June 2021 By: Mariaan Webb - Creamer Media Deputy Editor Online

London-listed Beowulf Mining CEO Kurt Budge has again written to the Swedish government seeking clarity on when a decision regarding its Kallak North iron-ore permit application will be forthcoming.

Beowulf applied for an exploitation concession eight years ago and has since been struggling to move permitting across the finish line.

In his letter to Enterprise and Innovation Minister Ibrahim Baylan, Budge says that since Beowulf’s application was returned to the government in the middle of 2017, there has been no transparent or predictable process.

He points to developments last week regarding a letter by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), the contents of which were in the public domain before Beowulf received a copy. This, Budge says, demonstrates an “absence of control or duty of care” to the company.

The junior’s stock fell by 10% last week, after Unesco suggested that the Swedish government see a “revised and extended in-depth assessment” of the impact of the proposed development on the Laponian World Heritage area.

Beowulf, however, maintains that it is inappropriate for Unesco to write about an area that the company argues falls outside its jurisdiction. The closest point from the planned mine to Laponia is 33.8 km.

Budge says that downstream projects in Norbotten, including Hybrit and H2GreenSteel, received their permitting approvals in a couple of years, whereas there is not similar consideration for unlocking upstream supply that can ensure the integrity of a fossil-free supply chain.

“It makes no sense,” he says.

Budge points out that the Kallak mine could have already been in production and with a benchmark iron-ore price of more than $200/t, Jokkmokk could have been on the road to realising an economic transformation.

“When is the decision on the concession for Kallak North to be taken, as Beowulf has work to do?”