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Published: January 14, 2020

Entrepreneur Unto Friman, a member of municipal council in Kolari, has started an online petition on webpages: ”Welcome Hannukainen mine”. During the first 24 hours the petition had already more than 500 signatures, one fifth of them from Kolari.

The petition has been one of the most popular petitions last week. What kind of thoughts does the popularity of the petition arise?

  • This is a good start but now everyone really needs to forward the petition in order to get the required number of names on it. Lapland’s large investments, including the Hannukainen mine, increase employment rate and vitality in the area.  The mine would advance for example the excavating businesses, construction and tourism branches and also the service industry, says Friman. 
  • As a member of municipal council Friman feels powerless; big investments and decisions are needed in Kolari municipality.
  • But I can not forward them without the residents, jobs and money. I was happy to see the names on the petition and noticed that there were close to 200 names of those who young people who had already moved elsewhere. They obviously want to return home and the mine would certainly enable that. It makes you believe in the future. 
  • At the moment you can sign the petition only online. Friman is also planning to circulate a paper petition. When there are companies, bureaus, associations or private persons who want to collect signatures, please contact Unto directly.
  • You can sign the online petition free of charge here:

No need for adversarial attitudes

Unto Friman has been working for the petition with his brother Timo Friman and Tapani Rantahalvari, an entrepreneur in tourism sector and a former miner. The petition emphasizes that nobody benefits from adversarial attitudes, not even society.

The men are worried as they see that if there are no large investments in Lapland tourism will also suffer. An example of this is the electrification of the railways and the maintenance of main roads.

  • Jouni Kaulanen’s oldest son, Tapio Kaulanen, said, when signing the petition, that Kolari badly needs year-round industrial jobs that are in no contradiction with tourism. He emphasized the fact that it is not wise to be adversarial by scaring people and by spreading disinformation. Mining industry contributes to tourism branch and increases its utilization rate. He knows this from his own experience.
  • The utilization of our natural resources comes up in the comments of the petition. According to Friman it should become a national matter if we want to maintain our standard of living.
  • Workers from abroad come to Finland for seasonal jobs. They work for a few months earning not much and return back home. The money does not stay in the area so for everybody involved it is a no-win situation. For example in the tourism branch in Kolari we have had a so-called zero level for a long time, due to the low utilization rate. Without the large investments there will not be any increase, says Friman, wanting to emphasize the power of cooperation.
  • If the natural resources of Hannukainen will not be utilized by a Finnish company, it is possible that a foreign mining company is issued with the mining permit, says Friman.