Financial security for mining waste
As of 1 July 2023, the Debt Office has been assigned to issue a statement of opinion to the Land and Environment Court regarding financial security in cases for permitting mining operations. A mining permit holder is required to pledge financial collateral as security to cover the costs of managing mine waste and the remediation of mining activities.
The Debt Office's assignment
In accordance with new provisions of the Swedish Environmental Code, permits for mining operations subject to requirements for a waste-management plan for mining waste must incorporate an obligation for a mining business to provide financial collateral for meeting its responsibilities.
When ruling on permits for mining or mining facilities for extraction, exploration, processing, or enrichment, the Land and Environment Court is to obtain an initial statement from the Debt Office on the calculation of the size of the collateral and a second statement on the acceptance of the collateral.
The statements from the Debt Office are to ensure that the Land and Environment Court can make an informed decision regarding the collateral when it rules on permits for mining operations.
Financial security protects taxpayers' money
The Environmental Code's requirements for mining permit holders to provide financial security are in place to protect society, i.e. taxpayers, from the risk of having to bear costs related to the management of mine waste and the remediation of mining activities. If a permit holder enters bankruptcy or is for some other reason unable to fulfil its obligations, the financial collateral it has provided must be sufficient and able to be utilised for financing the measures required to carry out those commitments.