203–2 Significant indirect economic impact, including the extent of impacts
Boliden’s mining and smelting operations are often of considerable importance in terms of employment in the local community, making Boliden an important local stakeholder. Not only do the Group’s operations have a substantial impact on job opportunities, they also affect suppliers’ purchasing power elsewhere in the local business sector, which affects the development of the communities’ service sectors in the long term.
Boliden contributes to public finances, both through direct taxes and through the taxes paid by suppliers and customers. Boliden’s total contribution to public finances through taxes and other payment to authorities in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Ireland was SEK 3,121 m in 2020. Please see page 13 for more detailed information. The Group’s operations not only impact the local communities at large. Employees, shareholders, customers and suppliers all depend on Boliden’s profitability, and by improving this aspect of its operations even further, Boliden will be able to continue to make a positive economic and social contribution to the development of these communities.
A typical identified indirect negative economic impact could be a mine closure. Social impact assessments are made in conjunction with the closure of an operation, in order to assess any consequences to the community and in an effort to mitigate, as far as possible, any negative effects.
The Kylylahti mine ran out of ore in November and was therefore closed, which was in line with the Life-of-mine-plan. Over the last couple years personnel, as well as municipality leaders and other authorities, have been informed about the mine’s diminishing reserves.
Closing down a mine can lead to several negative economic impacts. The main negative impact of closing down the Kylylahti mine is the loss of about 100 Boliden’s jobs and 100 contractor jobs. In order to improve this negative impact, training and similar support was provided to the employees for them to find new job opportunities. All of Boliden’s employees received the offer to move to and work at another Boliden operation. Boliden also organized ‘match-making fairs’ together with other potential employers in the area. Moreover, an indirect negative economic impact is that the taxes from the Kylylahti mine will no longer be contributed to society.
Even if Boliden Kylylahti has played a very important role in Polvijärvi (location of the mine) and Kaavi (location of the mill), the closing mine is not fatal for neither of them as there are many other available employers in the area as well. Boliden’s heritage is strong and the Social License to Operate will remain positive after the mine is closed.
Boliden’s exploration teams will continue their work aiming to create more well-being to the area.