Canadian Blackstone Ventures to Mine Reindeer Pastures, Sweden
The Canadian mining company Blackstone ventures has managed to buy the rights to start drilling in the Vindelfjällen nature reserve in the north of Sweden. The company is planning to drill right by one of the most ancient Sámi summer villages still inhabited every summer by the reindeer herders and reindeer of Grans Sameby, the northernmost mountain Sami village in Västerbotten.
This story has been getting some coverage in the Swedish Sami media, most recently with this story, where it was reported that the Grans Sameby wanted Blackstone to pay them 1.5 million SEK (215,000 USD) for the additional work and feed for reindeer because now Sami had to keep animals in enclosures and feed them artificially instead of free-grazing. Village leader, Tobias Jonsson says that they had several meetings with Blackstone, only when the company applied for exploration permits for areas Vindelvaggen 1-4, and Umeå lake. Then they had several consultations on the work plans, but the mining company Blackstone has been unwilling to listen to the Sami village’s views.