On Thursday, another step was taken to make it easier for the hard-hit exploration industry
– Very long-awaited, it is important that the extension of the exploration permit comes into place quickly, says Maria Sunér, CEO Svemin
The corona pandemic has hit many industries hard. Exploration, which is the first and absolutely crucial stage for a functioning mining industry, has run into real difficulties. The reason is that exploration is a capital-intensive activity that is often completely dependent on external financing via established financial markets, as well as being able to get equipment and experts on site to be able to conduct research. Both financing and the possibility of often bringing foreign experts to Sweden have been hampered during the pandemic. If exploration work cannot be carried out, exploration companies risk losing permits which in the first step are granted for 3 years, and where the requirement for extension is that work is carried out actively and according to plan. Delays mean that investments that have already been made can be in vain. The business can thus not take a break.
Since the spring of 2020, Svemin has therefore been pressuring the government that the whole of last year must be seen as a lost year for the exploration companies. In concrete terms, this means that all exploration permits should be automatically extended by one year. On Thursday, the Committee on Industry and Trade discussed the issue of extending the exploration permit.
Svemin would have preferred that the change in the law should also apply to permits that have been granted after 1 July 2020, but weighed against the risk that the entry into force will be postponed due to a retake, it is more important that the proposed extensions are granted soon.
–Considering what the pandemic situation looks like, it is important that the proposed extension is now implemented. But we do not consider it unbelievable that 2021 may also be a more or less lost year for exploration activities – as much will be done during the summer months – so further extensions may be needed, says Maria Sunér.
–If this is the case, Svemin assumes that permits granted after 1 July 2020 will also be included.
On February 10, the Riksdag will decide on the matter, and on March 1 it is intended that the new law will enter into force.