Sweden: Cementa says that the decision by the Supreme Land and Environmental Court to reject its renewal application to continue mining limestone at its quarries in Gotland will create a ‘crisis’ for consumers in the autumn of 2021. The quarries supply its integrated Slite cement plant. The producer said that the ‘majority’ of Swedish cement production could cease in November 2021 following the expiry of the current licence in October 2021.
“We are seriously concerned but also surprised by the court's ruling today,” said Magnus Ohlsson, the chief executive officer of Cementa. “Limestone has been mined in Slite for over 100 years, which has built up a huge knowledge bank about how the business affects the surrounding environment. Our application is solid and clearly shows that it is possible to conduct a continued sustainable limestone mining in the area. We must go through the decision carefully and then set up the strategy for how we will handle the situation,” He added, “For Sweden, our customers and for us and our employees, it is important that political decision-makers and authorities quickly draw up new guidelines for how the supply of critical building materials such as cement and concrete should work.”
The subsidiary of Germany-based HeidebergCement originally received clearance in 2020 to renew its mining operations at the site until 2041. However, this was subsequently challenged. The current decision by the Supreme Land and Environmental Court was reached as they said they had insufficient evidence to assess the environmental impact of the application.