Gállok/Kallak Iron Mine, Sweden


In 2006, a British company named Beowulf Mining Plc. and their Swedish affiliate, Jokkmokk Iron Mines AB, were given permission by the Swedish governmental agency Bergsstaten to explore possibilities for mining iron ore in Gállok (also known as Kallak); an area located 40 km northwest of Jokkmokk in the province of Lappland, Sweden.

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Basic Data
NameGállok/Kallak Iron Mine, Sweden
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Mineral processing
Specific Commodities
Iron ore
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsExploration of the area has shown findings of 25-45% iron in the ore and an estimation is that the deposit contains at least 600 million tonnes of iron that could be extracted over 60 years. For every 10 million tonnes of iron (which is an annual estimate for the first 15 years), 150 million tonnes of aggregate would be extracted.

Project Area (in hectares)2.25
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2010
Company Names or State EnterprisesBeowulf Mining Plc. from United Kingdom
Jokkmokk Iron Mines AB from Sweden
Relevant government actorsBergsstaten
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersWhat local people (www.whatlocalpeople.se), Urbergsgruppen Jokkmokk (http://urbergsgruppenjokkmokk.se/), Fältbiologerna (www.faltbiologerna.se), Rätten för Urfolk Samerna (RUSA), Jordens vänner (Swedish affiliate of Friends of the Earth, http://www.jordensvanner.se/), Naturskyddsföreningen Jokkmokk (http://www2.naturskyddsforeningen.se/kretsar-lan/norrbotten/jokkmokk/)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.As of today, Beowulf Mining Plc. with affiliate Jokkmokk Iron Mines AB are still exploring and conducting tests at the site; i.e. proceeding with the plans to start mining for iron ore in the area despite massive continuing protests and knowledge of the impact it will have on indigenous and local people and the risks for the environment.
Sources and Materials

Reindeer herding law (1971:437)
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ILO Convention no. 169, 1989 (Sweden has not ratified the convention)
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What local people
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Aktivisterna: Vi ska stoppa hela gruvboomen!, Svenska Dagbladet, , in Swedish
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Gruvprotester i Kallak fortsätter, Svenska Dagbladet, , in Swedish
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Kallak: Aktivist har hällt bensin på sig och hotat tända eld, Sveriges Radio, , in Swedish
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Sverige skänker bort tillgångar i Sameland, Dagens Nyheter, , in Swedish
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Kampanda i Kallak, Sveriges Radio, , in Swedish
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Nya protester när malmen fraktades iväg, Dagens Nyheter, , in Swedish
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Protesterna mot gruvan har bara börjat, Dagens Nyhter, , in Swedish
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Media Links

Music written by local artists about the project:
[click to view]

A collection of 23 photos from a demonstration of 500 people against the mining project
[click to view]

Demonstration, Jokkmokk Market 2012
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[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorLinda Dubec
Last update08/04/2014