Last update:
2021-07-17

Sakatti Mine, Lapland, Finland

In the Arctic, resource extraction has been increasing since 2005. In the municipality Sodankylä, the mining company Anglo America has underway one of the most controversial mining projects of the region for cobalt.


Description:

Cobalt is a mineral used for the batteries of electric cars and renewable energy infrastructures, among others. As the energy transition is gaining momentum due to climate change, its demand is expected to grow exponentially in the near future [1]. Today, half of the cobalt production comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) [1] [2]. Nevertheless, the interest in carrying out mining in the global north is continuously growing [3]. In Europe specifically, mineral exploration and consequently mining licenses are increasing so as to reduce the dependency on other countries [4].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Sakatti Mine, Lapland, Finland
Country:Finland
State or province:Lapland
Location of conflict:Sodankylä
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional 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
Deforestation
Specific commodities:Copper
Cobalt and Nickel
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Sakatti mine is in its early stage. Consequently, there is limited information available related to the project’s details and impacts. The mining activity is expected to run from 2026 until 2028. After, it is planned for it to continue for 20 further years [3]. The company started the mineral exploration in 2004 and by 2009 the actual deposit was discovered. In 2016, the mineral resources were classified and reported. Now, in 2021, the company, after performing an environmental assessment, is waiting for the environmental permit [12].

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Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/01/2020
Company names or state enterprises:Anglo American from United Kingdom
Relevant government actors:Government of Finland
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Sámi communities
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] É. Lèbre et al., “The social and environmental complexities of extracting energy transition metals,” Nat. Commun., vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 1–8, 2020.

[14] K. S. Hanna, “The paradox of participation and the hidden role of information: A case study,” J. Am. Plan. Assoc., vol. 66, no. 4, pp. 398–410, 2000.

[3] M. Lassila, “The Arctic mineral resource rush and the ontological struggle for the Viiankiaapa peatland in Sodankylä, Finland,” Globalizations, 2020.

[8] L. Suopajärvi and A. Kantola, “The social impact management plan as a tool for local planning: Case study: Mining in Northern Finland,” Land use policy, vol. 93, no. June 2019, p. 104046, 2020.

[2] F. Scheele, E. De Haan, and V. Kiezebrink, Cobalt blues, no. April. 2016.

[6] A. Stedman and K. P. Green, “Fraser Institute Annual Survey of mining companies 2017,” Fraser Inst., p. 100, 2018.

[5] M. Kröger, “The global land rush and the Arctic,” in The Global Arctic Handbook, Springer, 2019, pp. 27–43.

[17] P. Alves Dias, D. Blagoeva, C. Pavel, and N. Arvanitidis, Cobalt: demand-supply balances in the transition to electric mobility. 2018.

[11] T. Jääskeläinen, “The Sámi reindeer herders’ conceptualizations of sustainability in the permitting of mineral extraction – contradictions related to sustainability criteria,” Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain., vol. 43, pp. 49–57, 2020.

[13] M. Lassila, “Mapping mineral resources in a living land: Sami mining resistance in Ohcejohka, northern Finland,” Geoforum, vol. 96, no. June, pp. 1–9, 2018.

[15] K. S. Hanna, “Planning for sustainability: Experiences in two contrasting communities,” J. Am. Plan. Assoc., vol. 71, no. 1, pp. 27–40, 2005.

[16] S. Tuulentie, G. Halseth, A. Kietäväinen, L. Ryser, and J. Similä, “Local community participation in mining in Finnish Lapland and Northern British Columbia, Canada – Practical applications of CSR and SLO,” Resour. Policy, vol. 61, no. November 2018, pp. 99–107, 2019.

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[4] The Independent Barents Observer, “Miners hunting for metals to battery cars threaten Sámi reindeer herders’ homeland,” 2020. [Online].
[click to view]

[7] Mining Finland, “Opportunities.”
[click to view]

[9] “Viiankiaapa - Nationalparks.fi.”
[click to view]

[10] “The Sámi in Finland - Samediggi.” [Online]. Available: https://www.samediggi.fi/sami-info/?lang=en. [Accessed: 27-Apr-2021].
[click to view]

[18] Anglo American, “Anglo American and the Sakatti Project,” p. 2011, 2013.
[click to view]

[12] Anglo America, “the Sakatti Project Bringing Futuresmart Mining Into Play,” pp. 1–2, 2020.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Sámi community
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update17/07/2021
Comments
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