Sustainability and Mining: The Case of the Kola Peninsula
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This chapter discusses sustainability issues related to two mining companies – JSC “Apatit” and JSC “North-Western Phosphorous Company” – in the towns of Kirovsk and Apatity in the Murmansk region of Russia. These companies have been exploiting apatite-nepheline ore deposits in Khibiny, the largest mountain massif on the Kola Peninsula. The main question posed here is how knowledge about environmental, economic, cultural and social values decision making and knowledge systems are applied in decision making. A case study of Kirovsk and Apatity was undertaken to further understand the local planning regime and sustainability in Kirovsk and Apatity, including environmental integrity, indigenous groups and their subsistence economy, community benefits, effective engagement, and mining companies’ self-reporting on sustainability. The main challenges to sustainable mining are identified for the three major stakeholder groups – mining companies, local communities, and government authorities. The chapter concludes that perceptions of sustainable development in these Russian industrial towns are shaped by the dominant role mining industry plays on the Kola Peninsula in influencing the quality of life of local people and their perceptions of environmental concerns, including questions of pollution and landscape aesthetics.
KeywordsArctic mining and sustainability Social license to operate Local planning regimes Environmental integrity Kola Peninsula Indigenous people
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