THE DRAGON MINING COMPANY, an Australian mineral extraction business which operates in the Nordics, has dismissed the possibility of any future legal action stemming from environmental concerns would disrupt their mining activities in Finland, in their pamphlet submitted to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange earlier this month.
According to Iltalehti, heads of the company addressed concerns of shareholders by claiming that the company will be able to clear the gold mine completely long before complaints to the Finnish authorities have been processed. This prompted a number of politicians to call for proposed revisions to Finland's Mining Act to be put into place.
The executive director of Dragon Mining, Brett Smith, has told the Helsinki Times that this is not the case, describing the claims as "illogical" and stating: "we are investing to extend mine life and exploring to find new opportunities in Finland.
Dragon Mining was recently listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and currently operates three gold extraction mines in Finland. Foreign companies have long enjoyed light-touch regulation from the Finnish state when it comes to mining, with revenues being taxed lightly in comparison to many other European countries.
In addition, the state does not automatically claim ownership over these types of natural resources, allowing foreign mining companies to stake their claim.
The Finnish parliament is currently taking steps to change this via amendments to the Mining Act, which would see the state take a much more active role in the management of mineral resources within Finland’s borders.
In response to Dragon Mining’s dismissive stance, Green MP Ville Niinistö snapped back in a lengthy Twitter tirade, demanding a complete overhaul of existing legislation.
“This situation is highly problematic, and we have wanted to fix it for years. Instead, the government weakens it and unleashes the power of environmental destruction. Finland deserves a mining law, where the environment and the residents come first and the economic benefits to Finland”.
Meanwhile, Timo Heinonen, a member of the National Coalition Party, was similarly critical, remarking in a recent interview that Dragon Mining’s actions show that “what’s not working needs to be fixed”.
Adam Oliver Smith - HT
(Article was corrected on 30.12.18 14:30. In a previous version, the article stated that Dragon Mining has dismissed proposed changes to Finland's Mining Act. This was an error on our behalf. The proposed changes to the Mining Act were highlighted in response to Dragon Mining's supposed claims regarding the ineffectiveness of Finland's current legal complaint system, as outlined in the existing Mining Act. Executive director for Dragon Mining, Brett Smith, has responded by stating: "we have no issues with the Finnish Mining Act or any proposed changes and did not dismiss this in the prospectus as indicated.)
(Article was corrected on 28.12.2018 14:00. In the original version it was erroneously stated that the company had told the information to investors in a private meeting last week. It has been corrected to show that information was submitted to potential investors in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange earlier this month.)