Exploratory drilling is in full swing in Oviken, but the mining plans will soon move into a new phase – one step closer to the mine.

The Australian company Aura Energy, through its subsidiary Vanadis Battery Metals, will submit an application for an exploitation concession for the Häggån area, in the municipality of Berg, just over 20 km southwest of Östersund. On Tuesday, the company will hold a consultation meeting with residents in Oviken.

Primarily, the company wants to mine alum shale to extract vanadium, which is used in batteries, among other things.

Uranium mining may be relevant

In addition to vanadium, the company also wants to extract a number of other metals such as nickel, molybdenum, zinc and potassium sulphate.

When alum shale is mined, uranium comes up as a by-product, but according to the company, the uranium should not be enriched but "stabilized" and stored as waste.

But the company states that they also want to mine uranium if the uranium mining ban in Sweden is lifted.

Mining with "significant environmental risks"

At the same time, the country's leading expert who was behind the state Alum Shale Inquiry has stated that the environmental risks are significant when mining alum shale.

It was also found that the properties of alum shale differ between different sites – which complicates the choice of safety measures. New technology is also likely to be needed in the mining of alum shale to reduce the risks.

Aura Energy replies that the geology in the Myrviken area – with a lot of limestone – reduces the environmental risks, as the limestone prevents the leachate from becoming acidic and leaching metals into the water.

In addition, the mining must take place in a smaller open pit where the handling must comply with current safety requirements and be, simply put, encapsulated. This is to prevent metals and uranium from leaching.

In the video, you can hear the CEO's view on the environmental risks.