Fuck you mining industry

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Ylläs White Gold @sunset. In 2016 Hannukainen open pit will mine open up right here.

In Finland we have this fundamental problem: a bunch of dumb fucks run our country. When someone yells “employment” everybody gets excited and blasts a load on to his own thighs. That is exactly the case with the recent mining industry boom in our precious country.

I just spend a fantastic week in Yllästunturi fell one of the top 3 most important leasure centers of all Finland. It is arguably our best Lapland skiing resort with fantastic alpine and cross country skiing and the season is fabulous running from late october until mid may. A white gold paradise in the middle of undisturbed and clean nature.

Lapland à la carte famous for its healthy and clean ingredients.
Lapland à la carte famous for its healthy ingredients picked right out of clean nature around You. Roasted Arctic char.

The problem: an open pit mine, of the size of the notorious Talvivaara mine, planned just 8km from the resort to Hannukainen. 

Ylläs and Äkäslompolo villages on both sides of Yllästunturi fell are probably 95% dependent on tourism and the skiing resort. The fell itself is the highest in elevation and has the widest variety of activities and has probably the best snow guarantee of all our skiing resorts in Finland. A white pearl with good accessibility. My personal favorite and I’ve tried them all several times.

Now Northland Resources basically wants to destroy everything once and for all. Helsingin Sanomat wrote today that the local tourism industry is very afraid that the mine will tarnish the image of Ylläs. Well fucking right it will. And unlike the pop soda brand Sprite advertises image is everything.

Local commerce opposes the mine. Jouni famous from "Ylläs - huipulla tulee" opposes encourages people to stand against the threat.
Local commerce opposes the mine. Jouni, famous from the reality TV-show “Ylläs – huipulla tulee”, encourages people to stand against the Hannukainen mine.

First the mine will be visible all over the fell. You can’t escape it since it’s gonna be right there where the sun sets around this time of the year. Oh and this time is exactly when the skiing resort makes it or breaks it for the season with easter filling the resort each year. Is that really what people expect to see when they want to spend their hard earned money and enjoy Nature’s playground in all its beauty on their fun filled holidays?

This is a Finn's church. This is where he goes to to heal his hurts. Taiga forest. South east shoulder of Yllästunturi fell.
This is a Finn’s church. This is where he skies to to heal his hurts. Taiga forest. South east shoulder of Yllästunturi fell.

Second the mine will shine in the night skies like Vegas. Northern Lights tourism is such an important business that Ylläs resort even decided to turn off the street lights for the season so that people will be better able to see blazing auroras. They won’t once the mine will open.

High premium product - Aurora tourism.
High premium product – Aurora tourism. (Image created in February in Finnmark, Norway)

Third. The mining company argues that the dust from the mine will not be a problem but fall with in 1km distance from the fell. BUAAHAHAAAAHAHAAA. The Amazon rain forest gets majority of its fertilizing power from the Sahara desert. From the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. The Arctic skies in March are beautifully red…from the heavy metal coctail that circulates around the North Pole at higher atmospheric altitudes. The mine and the belt transporting the ore to the refinery are all located on the west to south west region from  Ylläs – exactly upwind of the main direction of the wind year round. Any promises of the mine not dusting up Ylläs with toxic waste is a complete lie and the mining industry and Northland Resources know that. In Talvivaara in Sotkamo for example none of the promises of environmental security made by the mining company on a similar mine have held. Talvivaara is now in solvency due to its inability to handle the environmental crisis it’s managerial incompetence has created. All of the Talvivaara’s environmental liabilities will fall on us tax payers since Finnish government was gelded a long time ago. In Finland we have this endless natural resources called ‘hyväuskoisuus’.

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Would you enjoy dust polluted white premium product we call snow here in North? Current research reveals that particle polluted air is a very serious threat to our health. Image created on a perfect spring day skiing off piste on the south west shoulder of Yllästunturi fell.

The environmental modeling in Ylläs seriously underestimate all of the aspects of the polluting effect of the mine. The modeling for example relies entirely on Northland Resources’ own promise that the dust will not be a problem. There is no real research behind the claim. The waste water effects on the down stream Torniojoki are ridiculously overlooked. Torniojoki is one of the most important wild salmon rivers in Europe and the open pit mine in Ylläs is a serious threat to the health of that river ecosystem. Just look at the water balance of Talvivaara where the company totally messed up its water management. By the way the climate change is going to increase rain and snowfall in Ylläs says research from the Finnish Meteoroligical Institute making waste water management even more challenging. And the mining history in Finland shows that we have a very serious competence gap in that department.

Amazing times at lake Ylläsjärvi. Refinery is planned just around the corner.
Amazing times at lake Ylläsjärvi. Refinery is planned just around the corner.

And yes I said Ylläs mine. Because that is what it is gonna be known for. The people in power want to trade away a high premium service industry to a very low premium resource industry. Exactly opposite to what all the economics hand books suggest one should do.

6/7 Ylläs Super Pass let's you snowboard 4 different resorts Ylläs-Levi-Pallas and Olos. The moment Hannukainen opens I'm gonna stop spending my money at these then spoiled slopes and instead spend my money where my values are respected better.
6/7 Ylläs Super Pass let’s you snowboard 4 different resorts Ylläs-Levi-Pallas and Olos. The moment Hannukainen opens I’m gonna stop spending my money at these then spoiled slopes and instead take my money where my values are respected better. A perrrrrrrrrrfect ripping day at Pallas resort. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm 😀

So why don’t You well respected dumb fucks finally wake up and see what is important to us, the future generations, and what brings the highest value to our well advanced society. Our competitive advantage lies in pure nature undisturbed not in a dirty hole at our porch. We don’t want any stupid open pit low premium dirty environment destroying industry right next to one of the most respected and valued Pearls of Finnish Nature.

-Antti

UPDATE:
Thx Emma for providing a link to the internet petition against the Hannukainen mine. Everyone can sign the petition from the link below
http://www.adressit.com/yllas_ilman_kaivoksia_-ei_kolarin_hannukaisen_kaivoshankkeelle

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20 thoughts on “Fuck you mining industry”

  1. Share your sentiments, Antti. Is there an online Petition one could sign? Ways to get Greenpeace and others on board? The Tourism industry in Ylläs also needs to wake up – this will ruin them when it happens.

    It really feels like people forgot about Talvivaara, even if it is around the corner. How’s that possible?

    1. I share your disbelief on people’s short lived memory. Talvivaara is still a current matter and yet it is already forgotten. The environmental disaster is still there.

      HOWEVER the blame is not to locals but the decision makers who have drifted so so far away from the reality. In Yllästunturi, Rukatunturi and now in Savukoski (Sokli mine) the local inhabitants are strongly agains the planned mines. Yet the mining companies push forward. To me the most unbelievable thing is that the Finnish government is still keen to overthrow such a sustainable HIGH PREMIUM long term investment like outdoor tourism in favor of LOW PREMIUM short term resource intensive low tech industry. Stupidity defined.

      I believe that the best way to make an impact is to make this matter known to a wider public.

      1. Interesting! I am about to do a presentation about the question of mining coexisting with protected areas. And I just came across your report which seems very relevant to my topic. I am a researcher from sub-Sahara Africa and its great to be in Lapland. Such a beautiful place.

  2. Strong post on important topic. Part of very difficult matter of way of life and standard of living but luckily perfect answers are rarely needed in life. Only good ones, like not ruining the bits on wild(ish) natrues we still have, are easy to come up with: No to the sell-out of our nature!

  3. Dumb.. devils.. Why do they want to mine so much? At such environmentally sensitive location in polar region? I moved out of Finland last year but just remembering my journey in North-en region makes me feel like coming back. This plastic and mining will screw us one day irreversibly. We have damaged it too much in Himalaya region by letting buggers from China & India tamper it. Hope it does not happen here.

  4. Some might argue that the skiing resort is also a crime against nature. It spoils a big area of nature and creates a huge amount of waste.
    What’s the difference between skiing resort and mining?

    1. The difference is immense – it is huge. First the waste that a skiing resort produces is mostly houshold waste. Not very toxic and recyclable. A mine produces very high levels of very toxic waste via e.g. the use of chemicals. The scales are not even comparable.

      The life cycle of a skiing resort is at least in theory until infinity. The life cycle of Hannukainen mine is 17 years reported by Northland Resources yesterday. After that the whole area is just waste land. National Geographic had in its latest issue a large reportage from Yukon in Canada of just this issue.

      Third and one of the most striking aspects is that in Finland an established business has no protection what so ever over a mine industry destroying its livelyhood with no compensation what so ever.

      I have no respect for the business ethics of mining business. It is as dirty as it gets.

  5. Lights and the locally destroyed nature is not all what will happen. I live about 15 kilometer from the Talvivaara Sotkamo (which is actually located next to the Vuokatti; what a marketing advantage) and you can hear noise of the mine inside a house. Not only explosion but also humming of some huge fans. Actually this continuous humming was the first thing that started annoy me. Now there are plenty of them. I hope people would be wiser.

  6. Antti, it seems you are one more of those vociferous (and vulgar) pseudo-ecologist urbanite. All I can see is that you are madly angry at the modification of your favorite playground. Yet it seems to me you have absolutely no point here. I agree that Talvivara is a sorry excuse for a mine (but it’s an exception among many well managed ones), yet you seem to forget the ecological and visual damage a skiing resort does. (But who cares? When skiing, it’s behind you, and it’s where you are having fun right?). Moreover, the life-style and economical comfort you (we) all enjoy in Finland is in good part thanks to this mining industry you seem to despise. Would you even care if those mine would be in deep Africa?Once more, it seems people like you just want to enjoy the benefits of something without accepting the temporary implications it has.
    Have a good time in your narrow-mindedness!

    1. Thx for Your input Pierre! You seem to agree that a skiing resort is ” an ecological and visual” damage to nature yet You argue that there is no point in my post. I suggest that You try to put these matters into proportion. The level of destruction of Hannukainen mine to nature can’t even be compared to as skiing resort. Besides the resort is already there and it’s right next to a national park. A mine bordering a national park? Yeah…

      Second do You argue that the same greedy and unethical natural resources exploitation by western corporations in Africa is the de facto way of making business? Don’t jump to conclusions. I don’t agree with western way of Africa exploitation. I am simply saying that we can and must draw a line. Gérard Prunier’s “From Genocide to Continental War – The ’Congolese’ Conflict and the Crisis of Contemporary Africa” is a good read of conflicts caused by western colonialization in Africa.

      And third. None of the Finnish mines operating in Northern Finland has a good record. Kevitsa in Sodankylä for example was just last week granted a special permit for the whole spring time to dump its toxic waste water straight to Kitinen river due to its inability to manage its waste water. And it has been a perfectly normal winter in Sodankylä. The sorry mining industry is doing everything in their power to cut costs and reap the maximum benefits despite the costs to the nature and society. We pay for the clean up.

      This vociferous and narrow-minded urbanite is going to pick up his sled and head for the tundra for a few days now. Although the 500 days I have spend there since 2010 have kind of limited my possibilities to enjoy my urban status 😉

  7. Totally agree. Some people believe whatever they hear without questioning… it’s sad..
    Some even believe that a mine in hannukainen will bring more tourism to ylläsjärvi.. This competition on which side is best is just ridiculous. I hope people will finally unite and stand together to protect what belongs to all of us, this nature the all world envy us for.

    I was hoping that they might be able to help:
    http://www.earthworksaction.org/

    Teachers in Rovaniemi University might be able to help as well.

  8. Hah, what a bullshit! Who would care a dime if there is some mine some kilometers away from the skiing resort? I definitely don’t! And yes, I am from Lapland and have skied in Ylläs practically every year. Just accept the truth that also here in Lapland there will, and must, be mines to make some business. Fucking hippies….

    1. Cool that You could come up with such a structured and analytic post 🙂 Nice to see also that had the balls to write with Your own name and stand behind Your words. Based on the statistics of this post there are many many people out there searching for their dimes.

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