Agnico’s mine expropriation permit, which was issued by the Finnish Government on 7 March 2019, is the first of its kind since the adoption of the current Finnish Mining Act in 2011. The expropriation permit enables Agnico to take over certain land areas required for the construction of the mine’s new tailings storage facility (TSF) to accommodate the extended mine life at least until 2035.
To further highlight the significance of the Finnish Government’s permit decision, the decision included a permit for advance seizure (ennakkohaltuunottolupa) – a crucial part of the expropriation procedure – that ensures that construction will commence at the site on time.
During the permitting process, Agnico was successful in demonstrating that the mining project satisfies the requirement of public need. This requirement was particularly assessed based on the impact that the mining project will have on the local and regional economy and employment as well as the social need for raw material supply.
Agnico’s Kittilä mine is the largest gold mine in Europe and a considerable socio-economic player in the norther Finland region with an annual production of approximately 6,000 kg of gold. The Kittilä mine is currently the largest employer in Finland that is located north of the Arctic Circle with approximately 1,000 employees (including contractors), of whom roughly 90% are hired from the local region.
In addition to the above, Borenius has also advised Agnico Eagle Finland on mining and environmental permitting procedures regarding the new TSF area as well as the mine’s new discharge pipeline and on a construction project regarding a new mine shaft.