Prospecting Promise for the North
Rising market prices for metals are increasing interest in prospecting in northern Sweden.
The Mining Institute of Sweden, the government agency which issues permits for prospecting and mining here, says during the first half of 2005 there were more applications than during all of last year. Mining companies are mostly looking for gold, copper, silver, zinc, and lead.
Under Swedish law, the state holds all mineral rights here.
The ore deposits of the north laid the foundation for Swedish industry, but, modern prospecting techniques make it possible to look for metals in areas that had been thought depleted. Last year mining companies invested than 30 million dollars in prospecting here, and the Mining Institute says that figure will be even higher this year.
The tax revenues and jobs created by mining are seen as a godsend for the rural communities of the north, which are experiencing shrinking populations as young people move south.