The establishment of a mine involves a major change in society as a whole, not least when it comes to the role of municipalities. The project “National Network for Mining Municipalities” aimed to create a dialogue and cooperation between municipalities in similar situations.
The project that has now been completed was an extension of a previous project that was also funded by Swedish Mining Innovation, the “Mining Society Project”. Around 17 municipalities from all over the country have participated in the project and they either are a mining municipality or in the process of becoming one.
-The main purpose of this project has been to create a network for municipalities that are in some phase of a mining establishment. Within the network, you can gain new experiences and competences that are difficult for a smaller municipality to acquire in other ways, says Anna Kumpula, Georange.
During the project period, several network meetings have been organized, digitally but above all in connection with various site visits. Common challenges have been discussed and the participants have found peers to exchange ideas with who are in similar positions as themselves but in another municipality. One of the most important results of the project is the realization of the need for a competence center. In many cases, it is the small municipalities that becomes the hosts for mining establishments, and they sometimes lack the skills needed. By starting and setting up a competence center, they can gain access to skills and competencies that a small municipality cannot offer on its own.
What has been most successful about the project, in your opinion?
– It’s the feedback from all the participants, that they think a project like this is of great value. It is not entirely clear what role the municipality has in the establishment of a mine, so being able to discuss these issues with others in the same situation has been very valuable for them. There is also a lot of ignorance and prejudice about the mining industry, which can lead to fear, and we have also managed to overcome this in several cases through collaboration.
What happens now?
– In interviews with all participating municipalities, it is clear that there is a great need to continue and develop the network of mining municipalities. The project has identified what the municipalities need. Now it is time to decide how this will be delivered, who will own the question and keep running this work. It is important not to let this need go to waste after the end of the project, concludes Anna Kumpula, Georange.