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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
Name of conflict:Gállok/Kallak Iron Mine, Sweden
State or province:Norrbotten
Location of conflict:Jokkmokk
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Tailings from mines
Mineral processing
Mineral ore exploration
Specific commodities:Iron ore
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Exploration 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.

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Project area:2.25
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2010
Company names or state enterprises:Beowulf Mining Plc. from United Kingdom
Jokkmokk Iron Mines AB from Sweden
Relevant government actors:Bergsstaten
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:What local people (, Urbergsgruppen Jokkmokk (, Fältbiologerna (, Rätten för Urfolk Samerna (RUSA), Jordens vänner (Swedish affiliate of Friends of the Earth,, Naturskyddsföreningen Jokkmokk (
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
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-economical 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain: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 & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Reindeer herding law (1971:437)
[click to view]

ILO Convention no. 169, 1989 (Sweden has not ratified the convention)
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

What local people
[click to view]

Aktivisterna: Vi ska stoppa hela gruvboomen!, Svenska Dagbladet, , in Swedish
[click to view]

Gruvprotester i Kallak fortsätter, Svenska Dagbladet, , in Swedish
[click to view]

Kallak: Aktivist har hällt bensin på sig och hotat tända eld, Sveriges Radio, , in Swedish
[click to view]

Sverige skänker bort tillgångar i Sameland, Dagens Nyheter, , in Swedish
[click to view]

Kampanda i Kallak, Sveriges Radio, , in Swedish
[click to view]

Nya protester när malmen fraktades iväg, Dagens Nyheter, , in Swedish
[click to view]

Protesterna mot gruvan har bara börjat, Dagens Nyhter, , in Swedish
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

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

Demonstration, Jokkmokk Market 2012
[click to view]

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

[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Linda Dubec
Last update08/04/2014
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