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NORUT Researcher Vistnes Believes Gold Mining a Threat to Reindeer Herding
Written by Philip Burgess   
Monday, 23 August 2010 19:50
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vistnes_nrk Ingunn Ims Vistnes, a researcher with NORUT who focusses on the effects of pasture disturbance on reindeer and who has partnered with the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry in authoring a report on the future impacts of development on reindeer husbandry in the Barents Region (Barents 2030 Report, released earlier this year) was in NRK Sami Radio recently. She was commenting on the plans of Store Norske Gull AS to begin gold mining in Ráitevarri, in Karasjok which comprises of winter pastures for reindeer in that region. (See article and images of the extent of mining claims in Finnmark, especially Karasjok here on the Reindeer Portal).

 She was quoted as stating that it has been shown that reindeer avoid areas that have been disturbed and that gold mining in this region will harm reindeer husbandry in the region. Vistnes was part of a team that visited the area in question in mid August.

Mining is a major issue in Finnmark and it will have serious impacts on migratory reindeer herding in the region. Helga Pedersen, the Parliamentary leader of the ruling Labour party was quoted as saying,

The Government is very keen to take advantage of the opportunities that exist in the north.
We see particular potential in the mineral industry, and I hope with all my heart that the project in Kvalsund is realizable.

The mining company Nussir are planning to start copper production in Kvalsund where they estimate there is 35 million tonnes of copper, which is worth nearly 20 billion NOK which they state will provide some 150 new jobs.  Director Øystein Rushfeldt of the mining company Nussir, said the visit by Labour's parliamentary leader was important., "It's incredibly important that we get an early blessing from the government...when a top politician comes to visit, it is because they see the project as important" Source: NRK Sami Radio
Finnmark, Loss of Pastures, Mining, Vistnes
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