An Australian company’s proposal to mine on Saami land in Sweden “would leave 20,000 reindeer without grazing lands, and Saami families and communities without access to their customary lands”. That’s according to a statement issued by the communities at Scandinavian Resources 2011 AGM, held on 25 November in Perth, Australia.
Scandalously, Swedish law does not recognise the right of its indigenous peoples to block mineral development when it goes against their interests. However, revised OECD Guidelines for Multinational Corporations (2011) do insist that financial institutions undertake a risk-based “human rights due diligence” study of any project they may support.
In the light of this, the Saami Council’s chief lawyer has urged Canaccord Financial (main backer of Scandinavian Resources) to visit the communities “in order to understand the severity of the human rights breaches concerned and why the communities will never consent to Scandinavian Resource proposed mining activities”.
Scandinavian Resources will be exhibiting at the Mines and Money conference in London on 6 December.
Meanwhile, a UK-based mining company, Beowulf, has also been accused of violating international conventions by  encroaching on Saami territory – as well as breaching its own pretended “ethical guidelines”.