Sweden's Supreme Land and Environmental Court rejects Cementa mining application

Sweden's Supreme Land and Environmental Court rejects Cementa mining application
08 July 2021

The Swedish Supreme Land and Environmental Court has rejected Cementa's application to renew its permit to mine limestone at the company’s existing quarries in Slite, Gotland. The court has rejected the application on the grounds that the impact of the operation on groundwater has not been sufficiently investigated.

Cementa's application for a renewed mining permit for the operations in Slite was approved by the Land and Environment Court in January 2020. Subsequently, the judgment has been appealed and tried in the next instance. Cementa's application has been for an extended mining permit until 2041, as the current permit expires in October this year.

The refusal risks that the majority of Swedish cement supply will cease on 1 November with knock-on effects to the country’s construction and infrastructure sector, according to Cementa.

“We are seriously concerned but also surprised by the court's ruling today. Limestone has been mined in Slite for over 100 years, which has built up a huge knowledge bank about how the business affects the surrounding environment. Our application is solid and clearly shows that it is possible to conduct a continued sustainable limestone mining in the area. We must go through the decision carefully and then set up the strategy for how we will handle the situation,” says Magnus Ohlsson, CEO of Cementa.

“A renewed mining permit in Slite is a prerequisite for a long-term cement supply in Sweden, including for large construction and infrastructure projects such as Slussen, Förbifart Stockholm and Västlänken. The fact that operations can continue is also crucial for Cementa to be able to take the next step and make the investments required to cope with climate change in the cement industry,” said the company in a statement.

Published under Cement News