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Mining in the Nordic Countries

A comparative review of legislation and taxation

image of Mining in the Nordic Countries

The last few years have seen a lot of activity within the Nordic mining industry. New mines have opened, but there have also been cases of bankruptcies. Heightened activity has in turn led to discussions on the role of legislation and taxation in ensuring that mining contributes to sustainable development. At the same time, a number of voluntary sustainability initiatives have appeared.For historic reasons, the Nordic countries share a lot of similarities with regards to legislation. And not least with regards to environmental laws, the EU has contributed to further harmonisation, even among the non-member states Iceland and Norway. Yet important differences exist. Legal revisions are sometimes the result of much-publicised problems, so experiences in each country plays an important role.An overview of taxation also indicates both similarities and differences.

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Discussion

The earlier review of the legal frameworks for mining activities in the Nordic countries has shown that there are a lot of similarities. Especially Finland, Norway and Sweden are comparable, not just with regards to legal situation, but also climate, geology and social context. Not least due to influence from the EU, environmental legislation throughout the Nordic region is comparable. However, differences exist. One regards how stakeholders such as the Sami people or municipalities are included in the process, where Norway seems to have given these a larger say than Finland and Sweden have. Denmark and Iceland do not have as developed a framework for mining as their Nordic peers, for understandable reasons.

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