A majority in the Riksdag now demands increased relief for the hard corona-affected exploration industry. The extended proposal from the Committee on Industry and Trade is fully in line with the request Svemin sent to the government as early as April.
– It is very positive that Parliament is beginning to realize the importance of a functioning mining industry, says Maria Sunér Fleming, CEO Svemin.
At the same time as the Swedish mining companies have been stable during the corona pandemic, the crisis has hit hard on all exploration; the first and most crucial step for a functioning mining industry. The reason is that exploration is a capital-intensive business that is often entirely dependent on external financing through established financial markets in order to carry out active research work. If this cannot be done, exploration companies risk losing permits and the investments made will be in vain. Thus, business cannot pause – even if the outside world does.
During the spring, Svemin has therefore put pressure on the government that 2020 must be seen as a lost year. In practice, this means that all exploration permits should automatically be extended by one year. The government also partially joined Svemin’s line in a bill in early June.
– The idea was good, says Maria Sunér Fleming, CEO Svemin, but the proposal became very narrow as it only included exploration permits that are in its final and 15th year. An unnecessary and unreasonable restriction. The crisis has hit equally hard on all exploration companies, regardless of the stage of their exploration permit.
Therefore, Thursday’s news was received with relief from the industry. The Committee on Industry and Trade had then gathered a majority of the parliamentary parties on an expanded proposal, which means that the automatic extension may cover all the exploration permits.
– This sheds light on how unwieldy exploration has become but at the same time point to an increased understanding of the importance of the mining industry for Sweden. There is an important future potential for a growing industry here.
The Swedish mining industry is crucial for increasing the EU’s security of supply for many metals and minerals where dependence on imports is high. This applies not least to raw materials that are absolutely necessary for the green transition.
– Here, Sweden has unique conditions to develop into a truly pioneering country, says Maria Sunér Fleming.
Does this new message from the Committee on Industry and Trade mean that the Swedish mining industry can relax now?
– Unfortunately not. The extended permits are mostly welcome but is only a small puzzle piece in facilitating the mining industry. Today’s system of inefficient permitting processes still remains as a wet blanket throughout the mining industry, says Maria Sunér Fleming.
Now, the government must come back with a new proposal that follows the parliamentary majority, and extend all the exploration permits.
– We look forward to the government returning soon in the matter, says Maria Sunér Fleming.
After the Committee on Industry and Trade’s meeting today, it is clear that a majority of the parliamentary parties are behind the government’s proposal, but also propose an extension. Read the full report here. Voting in the Riksdag takes place on Tuesday, June 23.