The Vaasa Administrative Court in Finland has mostly rejected three appeals that were filed in March 2019 challenging Keliber Oy’s environmental and water permits for the Syväjärvi mining area. The permits contain a number of provisions that guide Keliber’s operations, and in addition, the court now obliged Keliber to further intensify water monitoring. The Vaasa Administrative Court published its decision on 16 June 2021.
Keliber’s CEO, Hannu Hautala, comments: “While we expected this outcome, we are pleased with the decision, which will advance Keliber’s plans to be the first European company to produce lithium hydroxide from its own ore. Our products promote electrification in transportation and contribute to global sustainability.”
Environmental Manager Kari Wiikinkoski noted his satisfaction with the Administrative Court's confirmation of Keliber's view, according to which, the operation will not cause significant harm to the environment or surrounding water bodies. Keliber is committed to minimising its environmental impact through the use of best available technology and innovation.
“The environmental and water permits contain a number of provisions that guide our activities and ensure that the environmental impact of the operation is reduced to a minimum. Our first task will be to review the provisions, and the related monitoring plan, together with the supervisory authority, the ELY Centre of South Ostrobothnia,” says Kari Wiikinkoski.
Once the decision is legally valid, Keliber will start preparatory work for mining activities in compliance with the environmental permit. Preparatory work in the mining area includes, among others, activities such as removal of overburden, the construction of roads and sedimentation basins, as well as making a wetland for overland flow. Ore mining is scheduled to begin in 2024.