The number of mining applications for exploration permits has dropped to a new low this year, leading some to believe a global slowdown is affecting Sweden.
Swedish Radio News reports that the Mining Inspectorate of Sweden received only 130 new applications to look for ore deposits, the lowest figure since 2001.
In past years, the licensing authority has received hundreds more applications from those digging for copper, gold, zinc and other ore deposits. In 2006, the Inspectorate raked in 500 applications.
Mining Inspector Åsa Persson said a drop in ore prices could be behind the drop in applications.
“It is difficult to get financing. Which, in turn, is because the prices have come down a bit,” she told Swedish Radio, adding that she does not believe recent protests against mining projects in Sweden’s northern counties of Västerbotten and Norrbotten were behind the waning interest.
Even though new permit application are down, the country has seen record levels of ore coming from the 16 mines in operation.
Mining slowdown hurts economy in Canada’s North, The Canadian Press
Analysis: Implications of Greenland’s decision to allow uranium mining, Blog by Mia Bennett
Is Alaska getting its fair share from mining?, Alaska Dispatch