Troubled mineral exploration and development company Beowulf said on Wednesday that it has written to the Mining Inspectorate of Sweden, and provided comments on the statement made on 1 February 2017 by the County Administrative Board (CAB) for the County of Norrbotten.
The AIM-traded firm earlier had its application to mine in the county rejected, with the company strongly rejecting many of the assertions made by Swedish authorities in their decision.
In the letter to the mining inspectorate, Beowulf reiterated that its application for an Exploitation Concession for Kallak North included a technical description, covering the Concession Area, the actual deposit to be mined, and the operational facilities necessary to support mining.
It also included a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment, where all activities and their potential effects had been described, according to the board.
Beowulf said the EIA and other relevant documents had already been reviewed by the CAB, and other stakeholders, during the period from April 2013 to October 2014, and the company had responded to all comments made;
On 1 October 2014, Beowulf said the CAB confirmed that the Company's EIA was sufficient with respect to Chapters 3, 4 and 6 of the Environmental Code and, on 7 July 2015, the CAB wrote to the Government of Sweden indicating that the Company's EIA application could be permissible with respect to Chapters 3 and 4 of the Environmental Code.
Beowulf asserted that the CAB's statements must be interpreted as if the CAB had no objections to the granting of an Exploitation Concession, given that the assessment of the application, under the prescribed process, should only include the Concession Area, the actual deposit to be mined.
"We do not understand the legal basis for any process involving United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, when considering the company's application for an Exploitation Concession," the board said in a statement.
"The interaction between Kallak and Laponia, which is 33 kilometres away at its closest point, is something that should be assessed under environmental permitting."
Beowulf added that within the Concession Area, there were no conflicts where national interests are considered, a fact it says was stated by the CAB in July 2015.
For the areas taken by operational facilities necessary to support mining, there were also no reported conflicts where national interests are considered according to the board.
"The last two weeks have introduced more uncertainty into the application process, which we feel is unwarranted," said CEO Kurt Budge.
"We have followed the requirements set out by the Mining Act and Environment Code and, by fulfilling those requirements, we believe we should be awarded an Exploitation Concession."
Budge said it was now almost four years since Beowulf submitted its application, and in the absence of the Norra Kärr judgement, it believed - because its application met the requirements of the prescribed process, and could reportedly deliver jobs and economic benefits to Jokkmokk and the County of Norrbotten - it should have been awarded the concession in early 2016.
"In July 2015, we received the support of the CAB for our application, and in October 2015 the recommendation of the Mining Inspectorate, to the Government of Sweden, that the Concession be awarded.
"We trust the Mining Inspectorate, as adjudicators of the review process, to ensure that our application is dealt with fairly and in accordance with the prescribed process."
Budge said that, while the company remained hopeful of an award of the Exploitation Concession, there could be no guarantee if, or when, the concession might be awarded.
"We continue to press for an expedient decision."