Because of the demonstrations lately and the heavy media coverage on our planned limestone quarry Bunge Ducker on Northern Gotland Nordkalk wants to inform on the following facts of the case:
2002 The Provincial Government (länsstyrelsen) informs Nordkalk about the current location, as an alternative for land owned by Nordkalk (Hoburgs myr) intended to be protected by Natura 2000. Land purchase, prospecting, planning and test quarrying begins.
2006 Nordkalk applies for a permit for mining activities in Bunge Ducker. Permit application is completed with an environmental impact assessment. Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU) points the marked area out as of national interest for mineral quarrying. Minister for Sustainable Development, Energy, and Housing, Mona Sahlin presents priority to mineral excavation in Bunge.
2007 The municipality seconds the plans by Gotland's municipal councilmen (kommunfullmäktige) voting for the Bunge deposit.
2008 The Land and Environment Court hears the case and rules against the permit. Nordkalk appeals the ruling. Work with the control program begins.
2009 The Land and Environment Court of Appeal hears the case and gives permit to the quarry activities and assigns the Environment Court to set the conditions. The opponent appeals to the Supreme Court.
2010 The Supreme Court informs that it will not hear the case and that the permit is legal and permissible.
2011 The Land and Environment Court announces that it has not been able to establish conditions for the activities. Nordkalk appeals the decision.
2012 The Land and Environment Court of Appeal hears the case. On 5 July the conditions are given with immediate execution. The ruling is appealed. Supreme Court rejects claims for suspension in all cases. It remains for the Supreme Court to decide on whether to grant trial permission for the condition issues. The ruling is expected in September/October 2012
After 7 years long court proceedings Nordkalk received on 5 July 2012 the conditions and permit for the deposit effective immediately. The court's ruling on the conditions has been appealed, but the Supreme Court has already rejected claims for suspension in all cases. The trial permission for the conditions will perhaps be announced preliminary in September/October. However, the conditions will only effect the quarrying phase, which will start earliest in December 2013. Therefore there is no reason to wait for the court's ruling. Any references to the EU are of no relevance either, because the same issue has been handled and rejected by the Environment Court of Appeal. Nordkalk has received a permit for the activities and we are fully in our rights to act within its limits. We are going to act responsibly and follow the given conditions in close cooperation with the supervising authorities and we will follow the laws and regulations given to our activities. The present quarry in Klinthagen will run out of stone in about one year's time. There is a hurry to build the new quarry in order to avoid production shutdowns. This is why Nordkalk started the building work with forest cutting in the middle of July.
Demonstrations with attempt to obstruct our work started and the police was called to the site. After three weeks of discussions, the police decided to step up their input and started removing the demonstrators in order to guarantee the progress of our work. The work continued but the actions and the media games increased. As well as the media's interest in what was going on. The reporting has to a large extent been based on what the activists have said and fact checking has not always taken place. The activists have carried through a smear campaign of false and seriously misleading information about the risks and affects of our activities. There is no evidence backing these statements.
This conflict is essentially about two matters of national interest against one and other; mineral extraction against nature protection. There is about 140 000 hectares of natural conservation land on Gotland. There will naturally be certain interference in the nature because this kind of an industrial plant cannot be build otherwise. But that is what we have got the permit for. We will not wipe out any endangered plants from the island, destroy any drinking water or touch the Natura 2000 areas. Limestone has been quarried on Gotland for over 400 years being one of Gotland's most important base industries. Gotland is the most important limestone bed region in Sweden. Nordkalk will invest over 60 million Euros in this new deposit on Gotland.
Before the permit was granted, a comprehensive environmental assessment of the planned operations and extensive analysis of environmental impacts have been performed. An extensive control program has been worked out together with some of the country's absolute renowned experts in this field. We have strict conditions to regulate our activities. Together with the control program that will be worked out in cooperation with the provincial government, and the safety arrangements that will be used, such risks do not exist. As compensation for the exploitation Nordkalk has suggested restoring of wetlands and researching of the plant Pilosella dichotoma (Gaffelfibbla) as well as that another area of 300 hectares in the company's possession and worth saving will be allocated.
A suggestion for aftercare of the quarry is to create a water catchment for Northern Gotland, a nature lake for swimming and animal life, or a culture and sports centre. Nordkalk deposits a guarantee of about 4 million Euros for the aftercare.
Nordkalk is the leading limestone company in Northern Europe. We deliver essential raw materials to numerous industries, and our solutions contribute to clean air and water as well as productivity of agricultural land.