In the area where the mining company plans to start up their buissness, there are several hundreds of houses and farms. The industrial mining area are estimated to cover 10 square kilometers. Some of these families have called this area home for generations….upon generations. Now they face seeing their homes destroyed forever. Some may accept compensation or being bought out, and be ok with it, others are heartbroken and suffer from sickness due to the worries and stress. Some feel like they have betrayed friends, neighbors and family, and some feel betrayed. Some feel they can make a profit on this debacle, while others will loose everything. It sure is a recipie for disaster when it comes to human relations in what has been a beautiful rural living home area…and an extremely special place.
In this area, that lies 120 meters above and very close to lake Vättern, there would be an enourmous open pit mine, clearingsponds and tailingsponds, millingbuildings, chemicalsstorage and several waste storage areas, very broad roads, it will cover a large area.
The natural way for rainwater to run off the mountain is down…and that means down into lake Vättern och other lowlying waterways. The mining company says they will turn the wastewater from the mine around so it will flow the other direction, meaning eastward. In that direction are also several protected rivers, lakes and waterways that now face the same threat of being contaminated. Extracting these rare earth minerals, produces huge amounts of waste, as the concentration of the desired minerals within the bedrock, is very low. In the extraction/milling process, we have learned that traditionally large amounts of sulphuric acid and other chemicals have been used on site. All of this has created a lot of concern and worries.
Some time ago, i called a representative of the mining industry. He asked in a very condecending tone; – Who are you? Well, i told him, im a concerned citizen and im calling to see if you can give me some answers and make me less concerned. I can tell you that he could not give me the answers i needed to be less concerned. Noone has yet been able to guarantee that a tailingsdam cannot break and its toxic and radioactive waste,not crash down into the lake. Nor have anyone been able to guarantee that toxic sustances would not leak into the surrounding waterbodies, as such leaks occur naturally, both from the tailingsdams and from the industrial area. Further the mine would use Lake Vätterns pure springwater for their industrial process. This seems like a grave abuse of such valuable and good freshwater, to me.
I figured…my mandate is, to stand with Honor for the Ancestors and look out for Future Generations. I am here, beacuse of them and this lake.
Working nonprofit together with Indigenous friends over the years, have taught me, that not much good comes from big corporations that are on a mission to exploit what they call natural resources, to fill up their bank accounts. Very often they exploit resources on other peoples landbases, and most of the time, it is the people whos landbase and often water that are being exploited/destroyed, that pays the heaviest price.
You all know that too well, my relatives, friends, sisters and brothers in Sapmi, Big Mountain/Black Mesa, Oak Flat, Four Corners area, Pine Ridge and Rosebud in South Dakota, Standing Rock in North Dakota, Canada and Alaska – in so many places on Turtle Island and Abya Yala, on Hawaii, in Australia and New Zeeland. All over the Earth, so many caring and responsible People fight greed of the worst kind.