Material Topic: Rights of Indigenous People

MM5  Operation in or adjacent to indigenous peoples’ territories

In northern Scandinavia the Sami as an indigenous people has a traditional land use right over large areas – Sapmi. All types of operations that use land in these areas – from exploration to rehabilitation – are accordingly places where Boliden’s interests overlap with those of the Sami. Boliden conducts exploration work in these areas.

Three of Boliden’s mining areas (27%) (the Boliden Area, the Aitik mine, and the Kevitsa mine)are also located in Sapmi. Consultations are continuous and ongoing with the affected Sami villages regarding exploration, operations, project development and rehabilitation. Agreements on cooperation, development and compensation are generally in place between Boliden and the Sami villages.

Examples of development projects together with the Sami:

“Porokello” – a warning system for traffic to avoid accidents, used in Finland and at the Kevitsa mine. Boliden, the Sami ­villages in the Boliden Area, and the local contractor, Renfors ­Åkeri, have jointly agreed to trial the system. The target is to reduce the number of accidents and improve safety for drivers, reindeer herders and, of course, the reindeer. Another project involves the re-establisment of lichens – Pilot tests have been set up in Boliden and Aitik in partnership with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

MM6 Number and description of significant disputes relating to land use, customary rights of local communities and Indigenous Peoples

A successful business has to be based on local support and understanding. Boliden has a long history in the areas in which it operates. The strategy is to act responsibly and to build trust with local stakeholders to get the social license to continue operations. With an open dialogue and cooperation with local communities, the company is able to find solutions that are beneficial to both sides and mitigate negative consequences. Since different types of interest overlap we have to respect different opinions, but Boliden has been able to avoid significant disputes.

MM7 The extent to which grievance mechanisms were used to resolve disputes relating to land use, customary rights of local communities, and indigenous peoples

Boliden’s business is based on the strategy of responsible mining and minimizing of impact on other interests, the environment, society, reindeer herding etc. The strategy for conducting mining activities in parallel with other interests is characterized by early, proactive and continuous dialogues, as well as voluntary commitments and business agreements with stakeholders. Boliden strives to reach agreements through good cooperation – based on respect and understanding of other interests and stakeholders.