When the resettlement of people or closure of operations is unavoidable, we work to properly compensate and mitigate the negative impacts as much as possible for those affected.
Our approach to resettlement
We strive to avoid the resettlement of people and communities. But when resettlement is unavoidable, voluntary agreements are prioritized, and a mitigation hierarchy and actions of remedies are applied. During 2022, an instruction for land acquisition and resettlement was developed and implemented.
Sites where resettlements took place
In the Liikavaara expansion project in Sweden, where construction began in 2022, deals were signed with all inhabitants in Liikavaara and Sakajärvi villages and for impacted inhabitants in Laurajärvi.
Evaluations of safety zones and disturbance zones for vibrations, falling rocks, air impacts, dust and noise were conducted. The studies concluded that the housing and living environments in Sakajärvi, Liikavaara and parts of Laurajärvi were unacceptable due to the operations at the Aitik mine and the planned Liikavaara project. As a result, around 60 permanent residents of the villages signed deals and the majority had already moved to new locations and houses built by Boliden by the end of 2022.
The residents were offered two different solutions. The first option entailed 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 was located near to the city of Gällivare and with a 25% bonus.
All of Boliden’s present operations, both mines and smelters, have environmental closure plans, which have been approved by the authorities. In 2022, we worked actively on the reclamation of former mine sites. At the end of the year, a total of SEK 7,040 (6,472) m was set aside for the reclamation of mining areas and smelters.
Communities adjacent to mining operations may be concerned about the hazards and risks caused by the operations. For Boliden, effective emergency management is essential to protect people, the environment and its operations. Every Business Unit has its own local emergency management plan, including routines for crisis management, which are reviewed and practiced regularly. If risks to external stakeholders are significant, the emergency management plan is prepared in collaboration with potentially affected stakeholders. Our emergency preparedness procedures have worked satisfactorily and led to the minimization of damage to people, property and the environment.