The court decided that Cementa may continue quarrying for another four years, which was the time period the company had applied for. Swedish broadcaster SVT said that, during these years, Cementa must prepare an application for a longer permit that lasts for 20-30 years.
As previously reported on the Aggregates Business website, a legal decision delivered in summer 2021 had provided a potential threat to the future of the Slite quarrying and cement production site that produces three-quarters of Sweden’s cement.
The Land and Environmental Court's judgment said that that the limestone mining carried out in Slite is needed "to satisfy a public interest of greater importance" and that it is therefore possible to grant exemptions from the provisions on environmental quality standards for groundwater.
The court has also granted a 'Natura 2000' permit because it judged that the nearby Natura 2000 areas will not be damaged by the logging operations.
"Cementa has presented a sufficient basis for the examination that the land and environmental court must make, and that basis shows that continued groundwater diversion for four years will not damage the habitats in the Natura 2000 areas nor endanger the drinking water supply," the court's chairman Karin Smoked said in a statement.
The court has also granted an exemption from the prohibitions in the species protection ordinance.
Any appeal against the judgment needed to have arrived at the court by January 3, 2023 at the latest.