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Many mining claims in nature conservation areas

Rising prices for precious metals are boosting interest in Finland's potential mineral wealth. The number and extent of prospecting claims has risen steadily.

Kevitsan kaivos
A pond at the Kevitsa copper and nickel mine in Sodankylä, Lapland. Image: Lapin Ely-keskus
This map shows Finnish nature conservation areas overlaid with mining ventures. You can specify which areas to show by selecting options from the top of the map. More specific information is available by clicking on each area. The mining project information was last updated on January 25, 2013. Some areas only become visible by zooming in on the map.Source: Tukes, Ympäristöministeriö, Metsähallitus

Hundreds of applications have been filed for ore prospecting in Finland -- including some in national parks.

Yle has created a map showing Finnish nature conservation areas overlaid with mining ventures. Many of the prospecting claims in are in areas protected under the EU's Natura 2000 programme, but some cover the entire area of national parks.

Under Finnish law, applications to search for ore deposits can be made by just about anybody and nearly anywhere. Altogether more than 40,000 square kilometres are included in various potential mining ventures. This includes most of Finnish Lapland.

However, beginning actual mining activities requires a series of permits, which must be approved by state and local officials. They can be blocked due to local opposition or potential environmental dangers, for instance.

Landowners are paid 20 euros per hectare annually for the right to look for minerals on their property. If prospecting continues for more than four years, the fee goes up.

Rising prices for precious metals are boosting interest in Finland's potential mineral wealth. The number and extent of prospecting claims has risen steadily.

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