Material Topic: Resettlement and closure planning

MM9 Sites where resettlements took place

The closest settlements to the Aitik mine are the villages Sakajärvi and Liikavaara, located at 1.5 and 3 km, respectively, north east of the Aitik pit. Laurajärvi village is located about 5 km east of the mining area.

The Liikavaara expansion project, which is currently undergoing a pre-feasibility study, is located close to the village of Liikavaara and about 1.5 km from both Sakajärvi and Laurajärvi. The Liikavaara project forms part of Aitik’s strategic plan.

Evaluations of safety zones and disturbance zones for ­vibrations, falling rocks, air impacts, dust and noise have been conducted. The studies concluded that the housing and living environments in Sakajärvi, Liikavaara and parts of Laurajärvi are unacceptable due to the operations in Aitik and the planned Liikavaara project. As a result, around 50 permanent residents of the villages will have to move.

In 2017 dialogues started with the people living in the villages and a compensation offer with two options was presented. The first option entails Boliden offering a replacement plot and a new house with similar functionality, while the second entails Boliden purchasing the property, valuing it as if the house were located near to Gällivare, with a 25% bonus. The target is to reach an agreement with all the affected residents in order for them to feel they have been compensated in full financially. Residents with family properties and a strong connection to the area will probably not feel fully compensated.

MM10 Number and percentage of operations with closure plans

Boliden’s operations involve land use for mining, industrial areas, and ponds for use as tailings and clarification ponds. Conservation and reclamation of mining areas which reach the end of their production lifespan is, therefore, part of Boliden’s operations and responsibilities. The goal is to use the best available technology, complemented by continuous monitoring of the work that has been carried out. All of Boliden’s present ­operations, both mines and smelters, have environmental closure plans which have been approved by the authorities. In 2016, Boliden worked actively on the reclamation of four former mine sites. At the end of 2016, a total of SEK 2,873 million (1,943) had been set aside for the remediation of mining areas and smelters. Additions to existing provisions during the reporting year are primarily attributable to the new environmental permit at Aitik, and the effects of the application of the EU Water Directive for the Boliden units in Finland.

Emergency Preparedness – Sector-specific disclosure

Communities adjacent to mining operations will be concerned about the hazards and risks that the operations generate. For Boliden, effective emergency management is essential to protect people, the environment, and the operations. Every business unit has its own local emergency management plan, including routines for crisis management, which is reviewed and practised regularly. During the reporting period, fires occurred at the Garpenberg mine and at the Kristineberg mine in the Boliden Area. Several environmental incidents involving spillages and the leakage of chemicals also occurred. Boliden’s emergency preparedness procedures have worked satisfactorily and led to the minimization of damage to people, property, and the environment.