Talga Group has scored a key victory after a Swedish court rejected on Thursday appeals from lobby groups opposed to the development of the Nunasvaara graphite mine in the Nordic country.
The Australian company has waited for more than a decade to go ahead with a graphite that could supply enough battery material to power two million electric cars a year and reduce Europe’s dependence on China.
Talga was first granted the environment and Natura 2000 permit in early April. It was hoping to begin production in the third quarter of the year, but a number of parties appealed the decision.
The Sweden Court of Appeal determined on Thursday that there were no grounds to grant leave to appeal to any of any of the opposing groups and stakeholders.
“We are pleased with this outcome,” managing director Mark Thompson said in the statement. “Talga is dedicated to mitigating environmental impacts associated with its projects, having diligently adhered to the regulatory procedures. This commitment is evident via the comprehensive and transparent nature of the permitting process,” he noted.
The rejected parties now have until September 28 to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court. Talga says the top court may only hear an appeal if there is a “need to develop case law” or on “special grounds such as a miscarriage of justice or gross error of law”.
If no appeals are filed the environmental and Natura 2000 permit will come into force.
Talga Group is working to build a vertically integrated European battery metals supply chain. The Nunasvaara mine is set to be the source of natural graphite for Talga’s Vittangi green lithium-ion battery anode production project.
The company is seeking to supply carmakers such as Tesla, Toyota and Ford, as well as battery producers, including Sweden’s Northvolthas.
It has already signed non-binding supply agreements with two European battery makers that have links with Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis and Renault.
The European Union highlighted in 2020 Sweden’s vast mineral resources, which include about half of the 30 raw materials the bloc considers critical to meeting its green technology and local-sourcing goals.
Sweden plays a key role in the EU’s renewable energy ambitions, already supplying about 90% of Europe’s iron ore.