Government designates Bunge Ducker as a new Natura 2000 site

The Swedish government has today 31 August 2015 decided to designate new and expanded Natura 2000 sites on Gotland. The designated areas include five Nordkalk properties, comprising a total of 832 hectares, including Bunge Ducker, where Nordkalk is planning to continue its quarry operations on Gotland.

– The government’s decision to designate Nordkalk’s properties as Natura 2000 sites comes as a great disappointment to us. A decision accommodating both the limestone industry and nature conservation would have been entirely possible. In addition to the far-reaching consequences for Nordkalk’s future operations on Gotland, we also expect this decision to affect employment opportunities, Gotland as a community and Nordic industry in a concrete manner, states Nordkalk’s CEO Jarkko Kaplin.

Since 2010, Nordkalk has had a legally binding ruling permitting limestone quarrying on the properties in question, which have also been designated areas of national interest for mineral extraction by the Geological Survey of Sweden, SGU. As early as 2007, the government decided that the permit matter shall be resolved in court and that the adjoining Ojnaremyr area shall not be designated as a Natura 2000 site. The permit proceedings have been going on for almost 10 years.

Nordkalk’s view is that the decision to establish a Natura 2000 site on the company’s properties is inconsistent with the protection of private property and fair trial defined in the Constitution of Sweden and the European Convention.

Nordkalk will assess the government’s decision and consider what steps to take going forward. In conjunction with this, the court proceedings in the Land and Environment Court of Appeal will be resumed. The Land and Environment Court in June 2014 granted a permit and laid down conditions, which will now be examined in a higher court. Nordkalk’s operations on Gotland will continue.

– We are now focusing on our daily operations on Gotland and on our customer deliveries, which are guaranteed for a long time to come. The legal proceedings will continue while we assess the consequences of the Natura 2000 decision, Kaplin concludes.

Further information:
Jarkko Kaplin, CEO, +358 20 753 7107, jarkko.kaplin@nordkalk.com
Håkan Pihl, Project Manager, Bunge Project, +358 (0)207537169, hakan.pihl@nordkalk.com
Eva Feldt, Communications Manager, +46 (0)104762664, +46(0)739201086, eva.feldt@nordkalk.com

Nordkalk is Northern Europe’s leading supplier of limestone-based products. We offer sustainable products for various fields of industry, such as pulp and paper, metals and mining, construction and chemical industry. Our products benefit the environment through flue-gas desulphurisation, water treatment and soil improvement. We strive for more customer value with less environmental impact. Nordkalk is a local supplier with activities at more than 30 locations mainly around the Baltic Sea.The company employs some 1,020 people. Nordkalk is a member of the family-owned Finnish Rettig Group.