The Swedish Land and Environment Court of Appeal announced today that it will postpone hearing the case of Nordkalk's planned limestone quarry in Bunge Ducker until the government has made a decision about new Natura 2000 areas on northern Gotland. This means that the hearing planned for 13-17 April 2015 has been cancelled.
The suspension of proceedings is explained by the fact that the government's decision on potential new Natura 2000 areas has an effect on the decision about the extraction permit of the new quarry. The suspension of proceedings applies until the government has made its decision but no longer than until 31 August 2015.
- We are disappointed about the decision and the further delay of the process that has already continued for almost 10 years. But we understand that the process must take its time, and hope to be able to carry on with our negotiations latest in the beginning of the autumn 2015, says Nordkalk's CEO Jarkko Kaplin.
Nordkalk has appealed the proposal of the Gotland County Administrative Board to include Bunge Ducker in the Natura 2000 area. The land property covers 170 hectares, of which only 19 consist of karst land that the County Administrative Board wants to protect. There are other significantly larger and better karst areas elsewhere on Gotland. Since 2010 Nordkalk has a legally valid decision that deems extraction of limestone permissible in the area. Protection of the karst area has not been required by the government, nor by the European Union.
Nordkalk's appeal was rejected with reasoning that the proposal has no impact on Nordkalk's operations. Today's decision by the Land and Environment Court of Appeal is, however, a consequence of the proposal by the County Administrative Board. Thus Nordkalk has appealed the ruling of the Administrative Court to the Administrative Court of Appeal. Decision is expected next week.
- We are confident that the government will assess the issue of Natura 2000 on Gotland with greatest seriousness and takes into consideration all the consequences that such a decision will have on Gotland, Nordkalk and Swedish industry, says Jarkko Kaplin.
Nordkalk is Northern Europe's leading supplier of limestone-based products. We offer sustainable products for various fields of industry, such as pulp and paper, metals and mining, construction and chemical industry. Our products benefit the environment through flue-gas desulphurisation, water treatment and soil improvement. We strive for more customer value with less environmental impact.
Nordkalk is a local supplier with activities at more than 30 locations mainly around the Baltic Sea.The company employs some 1,050 people. Nordkalk is a member of the family-owned Finnish Rettig Group.
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.