"Lapland forest" - one of the last refuges of wilderness in Europe

“Kola-Mining” threatens “Lapland forest”…

Joint-stock company "Kola-Mining" (Finnish “Outokumpu” group is the main investor of the project) carries out geological study in Lovnozero nickeliferous area (Murmansk region, Russia) under the license MUR N00362-TE that stipulates the geological study and subsequent copper-nickel ores mining.

As it is known most part of the territory under the license enters in the projected since 1991 year natural protected territory “Lapland forest”.

 Matti Koponen - the “Outokumpu” Vice President on Environmental Affairs - was acquainted with  the above mentioned circumstance on 11.06.97 when meeting in Helsinki with the representatives of Russian and Finnish non-governmental nature protection organizations. It was offered to “Outokumpu” management to reform the plans of their activities as the shareholder of AO "Kola Mining" in Lovnozero nickeliferous area, so that the prospecting works did not cover on the protected territory of “Lapland forest”. Unfortunately, the non-governmental organizations have not received official response from the "Outokumpu" top management to the given suggestion.

For the purpose to prevent the rare flora and fauna species of destruction during the prospecting activities point 3.3. as an initiative of the State Committee of Environmental Protection of Murmansk region was included into the License MUR N00362-TE It says that joint-stock company “Kola-Mining” is obligated to ensure “the complex survey of territory with the purpose of revealing and subsequent protection the areals of rare species of plants and biodiversity conservation also” when gaining the results the subsequent stages of geological study are to be specified. The survey was supposed to be carried out “by means of the specialized organization (institute)”.

The non-governmental organizations have obtained the information, that “Kola-Mining” joint-stock company had not executed also this term and had carried out the prospecting works in Lovnozero nickeliferous area, without necessary pilot survey in 1998. Thus, the “Kola-Mining” joint-stock company is not able to and does not meet their obligation to provide “strict observance of economic activity mode coordinated with Committee of Environmental Protection of Murmansk region, on the areas of the plant and animal rare species distribution” (point 3.3. The License Agreement).

The marked facts testify now, that activities of “Kola-Mining” joint-stock company carried out on the territory of Lovnozero nickeliferous area contradicts the active international and Russian environmental rules. The irresponsible attitude assumed responsibilities contradicts the declared principles of environmental protection activity of “Outokumpu” (a.k.a. “Outokumpu” environmental policy”).