Sydvaranger received the mining concession from the Norwegian Ministry of Trade on March 19th. The chairman of the board of Sydvaranger, Peter Steiness Larsen, expresses that he is happy that the ministry has landed on a clear permit that will allow mining operations to recommence:
"We are happy that the terms from the ministry are now clearly defined and balanced. The concession gives us the predictability which is crucial to the start-up of a long-term and sustainable operation. Sydvaranger currently has 35 employees and this is of course very important news for all of us. Now Sydvaranger can continue focusing on completing final studies and planning, recruiting key personnel and building the organization with a view towards a gradual ramp-up of operations this fall with concentrate planned to be shipped out during the spring of 2020. We are very grateful for all the support we have encountered locally, regionally and nationally and look forward to contributing in a positive way to the Sør-Varanger area. We are proud of the huge effort the Sydvaranger-team, our allies and our lawyers in Schjødt have put in. We will do everything in our power to live up to the trust placed in us. We want to cooperate with local society – both the majority who supported our plans and those that were more skeptical. We can achieve a lot through open dialogue and willingness to compromise.”
The process following the notification of permit terms in November has resulted in some delay. Building the organization will be time-consuming.
When in full operation, Sydvaranger will employ more than 400 people. In 2015, Sydvaranger was the largest private employer in Finnmark. From studies of the previous operation, we know that every workplace at Sydvaranger will generate 1,7 places of work in the local economy. This means that about 700 people will be attached to the operations when the mine is fully operational. Earlier, Sydvaranger had about 80% of employees residing locally, and this will still be a clear goal for Sydvaranger. Sydvaranger wishes to employ many apprentices and to become Finnmark’s most exciting place of work. Sydvaranger also wishes to electrify a larger portion of the production process and to look into opportunities for further processing locally.
Sydvaranger will contribute positively towards the general industrial activity in the region and wants to use local partners and subcontractors tothe greatest possible extent. The industrial competence that has been built in Kirkenes over time will be further strengthened by an operational Sydvaranger and contribute towards the development of other projects in the region. The future is in the North!