U mining

There shall be no uranium mining in our Swedish communities!

Open letter by AnnSofie Andersson, Mayor, Östersund in Sweden, etc   28.06.2012

The Canadian company Continental Precious Minerals, the Australian company Aura Energy and a few other companies want to develop uranium mining projects inSweden. Our message to them is that we will use our community power of veto to stop any such projects. The companies are not only wasting their money, they are also preventing sustainable investments that are being held back by fears of large scale mining projects. We urge these companies to terminate their on-going activities in our communities. (To  info@allstarminerals.com info@auraenergy.com.auinfo@beowulfmining.com, info@botniaexploration.cominfo@czqminerals.com JKofoed@EurasianMinerals.cominfo@gripengas.cominfo@hodgesresources.com.auinfo@nickelmountain.seinfo@mawsonresources.comhholmstrom@tasmanmetals.cominfo@euresources.com )

We who sign this statement represent stable political majorities in the municipalities of Berg, Åre and Östersund in the province of Jämtland and the municipalities of Falköping, Skövde and Tidaholm in the province of Västergötland. Of the approximately 150 current licenses to explore uranium deposits in Sweden, a majority are in our communities. The local power of veto against uranium mining is one of our most important tools to ensure that our regions remain habitable for future generations. But unfortunately the veto cannot prevent companies from carrying out exploration activities. On the contrary, the Swedish mineral legislation permits exploratory activities even when the possibility of actual mining appears unimaginable.

The exploration permits are valid for three years and are often renewed, despite strong popular opposition. Test drilling and exploration is accompanied by advocacy campaigns; local residents are called to one-directional information meetings that are paid for by the exploration companies. Municipalities and other authorities without their own resources for independent reviews are courted by consultants hired by the exploration companies, these consultants assert that uranium mining can be done without serious environmental effects. Those who want an independent review of the projects have to rely on voluntary efforts, since the budget for this purpose does normally not exist.

It is sometimes comically clear that the exploration companies do not have any knowledge of what happens above ground in our regions. An example is when Ed Godin, Managing Director of Continental Precious Minerals, a few months ago spoke at a mining industry conference. While making a presentation about the uranium deposits in Oviken, next to the Storsjön lake and a few tens of kilometres south of Östersund, he talked about all the benefits that would flow from the establishment of a mine – including new schools and hospitals! Godin seems to rely on that the audience had never set foot in the developed and for a thousand years populated cultural landscape he was talking about. If one did not know that the Canadian company in question is exclusively devoted to exploration in Sweden, one could think that the presentation was developed for the establishment of mining in less developed countries.

The uranium deposits in Sweden that primarily attract the interest of exploration companies are in several large areas of alum shales from the province of Skåne in the south to theprovince of Lapland in the north. These uranium resources are so low-grade that mining would be extremely damaging to sensitive landscapes.

In order to provide uranium for the Swedish nuclear power plants, using alum shales from the Billingen-Falbygden area would require a square kilometre of new pits per year. “Landscape murder” this was called when the Falköping and Skövde municipalities in 1977, in this particular area, stopped Sweden’s only uranium mine so far.

At the aforementioned conference Ed Godin presented calculations for the Oviken site based on the mining of 40 000 tonnes of ore a day for 16 years. This, he continued to argue, only represents one-twentieth of the area’s minable resources. In company reports it is shown that the 16-year project would mean two open pits up to 145 meter deep, with a total area of nearly two square kilometres.

Amongst other effects the result would be a 30-metre high of pile waste rock that would spread out over an area of 500 meters by two kilometres, and an embanked tailings dam of environmentally harmful leaching residues with an area of ten square kilometres. Already such an impact would make much of the area uninhabitable. A 20-fold greater mining operation would reasonably lead to the need for evacuation of the entire region.

Our intention to stop this and other planned “landscape murders” is not only based on the understanding that uranium mining would cause severe and chronic damage to the landscape. Even worse is that the alum shale contains organic compounds of carbon, sulfur and many metals that will be released during mining. The last thing we want to subject future generations to is contamination of the water sources and the environment. Some of the most obvious risks are leakage from uranium extraction using biochemical processes, breaches in waste pond embankments and the long-term leaching from ore residues.

The activities of the exploration companies mean lost years for our municipalities. Years when other – sustainable – ventures are placed on hold and people refrain from moving here because they do not dare to invest in areas that may become uninhabitable within a decade. We therefore encourage the companies to voluntarily cease all activities aimed at uranium mining in our communities, so we do not need to use our right of veto.

ANNSOFIE ANDERSSON (Social Democratic Party)
Mayor, Östersund

ULF ERIKSSON (Centre Party)
Mayor, Falköping

CURT B GUSTAVSSON (Social Democratic Party)
Mayor, Tidaholm

Mayor, Åre

Mayor, Skövde

KARIN PAULSSON (Social Democratic Party)
Mayor, Berg

Mayor, Krokom

Uranium in Sweden.

By Olov Holmstrand. February 2011

There are big amounts of low grade uranium in Sweden both in old bedrocks and younger black shales (alum shale). Most of the black shale uranium is in the south part of Sweden, most of the bedrock uranium is the north.

As a part of the former plans for nuclear weapons in Sweden a uranium mine was established in black shale in Ranstad, Västergötland and was operated 1965-1969 at a reduced capacity producing 210 tons of uranium. As a consequence of temporary high uranium price a big extension of the mine was proposed in 1975 and 1977. This was stopped by successful resistance led by the environmental group Skövde Miljöforum, which forced the municipalities to use their veto right.

The uranium prospecting continued all over Sweden up to 1986 and concentrated on bedrock in the northern part at sites as Pleutajokk in Arjeplog and Lilljuthatten in Krokom. All prospecting ended due to low uranium price and environmental considerations.

In 2005 the uranium price increased rapidly and foreign companies had earlier been allowed to operate in Sweden. Up to the end of 2010 about 40 companies from 7 states have been given more about 300 exploration permits (claims). So far there are no applications for starting mines. However test drillings have been done in several areas and one project in Oviken, Jämtland has been presented in detail.

Due to the low grade in ores the uranium  mining in Sweden has to be executed in a large scale producing big amounts of low radioactive waste and making huge impact on the landscape as can be seen on the picture of the open pit in Ranstad in 1978.

It is immoral to import uranium to the Swedish nuclear power plants due to the environmental consequences of mining. The solution to that dilemma is not start mining in Sweden, but to stop mining everywhere and by that eliminating all risks with nuclear weapons and nuclear power. This is the view of the anti-uranium network in Sweden, which was established in 2005.










Energy Watch Group, December 2006

Country by Country Assessment of Uranium Resources, on page 27

The Energy Watch Group consists of independent scientists and experts who investigate sustainable concepts for global energy supply. The group is initiated by the German member of parliament Hans-Josef Fell.

Responsibility for this report:

Dr. Werner Zittel, Ludwig Bölkow Systemtechnik GmbH; Jörg Schindler, Ludwig Bölkow Systemtechnik GmbH


Why Uranium should not be left out of the ground – environmental assessment of AREVA’s proposed Midwest uranium mine

Chris Busby of the University of Liverpool explains precisely how uranium – including natural, enriched, and depleted uranium – causes health problems. I don’t know how useful it is to someone without a science background, at least introductory molecular biology, but Busby explains it extremely well in a convincing and frightening presentation. This information has not thus far been acted on by any regulatory agencies. The presentation was made in February 2008 as part of the public interventions in the environmental assessment of AREVA’s proposed Midwest uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan. Busby was asked to present by the Saskatoon-based Inter-Church Uranium Committee Education Cooperative.



“Our land is stolen”

By Fredrik Loberg. 100409. The origin of Nuclear Power.


“Thinking about the origin of Camecos uranium or not Oskarshamn nuclear power plant (in Sweden) can get uranium from any part of the world. The company in Oskarshamn, OKG, explains sometimes having to fill out its uranium needs by buying from the open so-called spot market, and this uranium can according to OKG not be traced at all.

As another example of how incredibly complicated world uranium trade is, OKG in 2010 suddenly declares that this Swedish company only use Cameco regarding natural uranium. The trucks from Saskatchewan which in decades have rolled against the Blind River and the conversion process there will then now drive souther across the border to United States.
During this year the U.S. company ConverDyn is contracted for conversion, Alexander Lindqvist responsible for OKG’s uranium supply, says. The reason is some production problems for Cameco, according to Alexander Lindqvist.
– We must be sure of supplies, he says.

Good to deal with

Just like we have been told Alexander Lindqvist believes the U.S. radiation protection laws are stricter than the Canadian laws. OKG has also during its own check visit in the U.S. concluded that Converdyn is a good company to deal with. It is a company half-owned by Honeywell, which under the Peace Research Institute SIPRI is the world’s 15th largest arms manufacturers and makes control systems for nuclear weapons. Honeywell is blacklisted by a number of ethical funds. After the Swedish Radio at the end of last year reported about the Nobel Foundations close collaboration with Honeywell, this cooperation has been critized.
OKG stresses how vital it is to make their own checks, during the conversion but especially in mining areas.
According to OKG, contracts of buying uranium is made after careful evaluation of the supplier’s environmental and quality programs.
– If our suppliers gets bad will, it could spill over to us and we do don’t want that, Alexander Lindqvist says.
– We try to see as much as possible, meet with local politicians, representatives of trade unions and indigenous people so that we not only have the company’s image.
During the autumn of 2009 OKG carried out a so-called auditering, an analysis on the ground in Canada.
– We saw nothing alarming, Alexander Lindqvist says.
Cameco has been in focus as a positive example. A year and a half ago, a seminar held in Malmö in Sweden, where Cameco told about their program to involve indigenous people in the uranium industry. Camecos efforts have got many positive reactions from uraniumbyers like OKG.
During our trip in Canada and Saskatchewan, we visit another place where few Swedes have been, another First Nation reserve. It is located just outside society Meadow Lake and at the weekend when we arrive the annual “pow-wow” is going on. That is a colorful celebration of indigenous traditions with songs, dances and cuisine. One thousand people has arrived.

Still angry

Here we meet Marius Paul. He has brought a bus with young people from another reserve area e, even further north, in Beaval. Marius Paul has been active in the resistance movement against uranium mining in Saskatchewan – in particular against the Key Lake mine, the world’s largest uranium mine.
He has over the years participated in many demonstrations against the uranium industries consequences and he is still very angry.
– They have stolen our country, people have been forced to move and uranium mining has caused human illness. For us, the uranium is not anything good as it is for authorities, companies and people in Europe.
– For us it is a negative energy force, which also creates terrible weapons, Marius Paul says.
– We would need the whole world to look at these problems, but the major economic forces that are moving are more powerful, Marius says before he drives the bus back north from the festivities in Meadow Lake, to the reserve Patunak outside Beaval.”