The governing parties of Finland have agreed to reform the Mining Act with the aim of making the mining industry more sustainable. The agreed upon proposals, released in September 2022, place more emphasis on environmental considerations like landscape and biodiversity in the mining permitting process.
The following amendments are included in the proposal:
- Approval of a plan by the municipality prior to the granting of a mining permit
- Assessment of the permit done in the light of landscape, environmental and biodiversity issues and other economic activities
- Landowner consent as a condition for the extension of a mining permit past 10 years
- The conduct of annual open public meetings to improve access to information
- Implementing regional restrictions on the reservation area
- Introduction of a reserve fee
- Improving local acceptability and empowerment, especially with respect to indigenous rights of the Sámi people
- Responsible closure of mines
In coordination with parallel reforms to the Nature Conservation Act, a ban on mineral exploration in natural parks is also proposed, as well as tightened conditions for permitted exploration in other nature conservation areas of the state. These proposals, which consider multiple citizens' initiatives to limit mining in natural conservation areas, also include provisions to enhance the participation and influence of local residents in mine prospecting and development. These include granting additional consideration to other sources of livelihood in the area and the organization of annual public events to improve access to information.