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Published: 01 Oct, 2012

EU millions to the Umeå project for northern mining

NEWS What conditions exist to develop more sustainable, more productive and healthier activities in the northern mining operations? This question takes centre stage in an international research project at Umeå University, which has received millions in funding from the EU.

In the Cap of the North and Russia, there is a great interest in mining operations. New mines are opening, existing mines are being expanded and closed mines are being reopened. The growing mining operation in sparsely populated areas reaps rewards in terms of increased employment, but it is also open to debate on the subject of various social effects and the environmental impact.

Docent Lage Burström, Researcher at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, along with other researchers at the university and the county council organisation 'Arbetsmedicin Norr', has received a total of EUR 3 million – equivalent to almost SEK 26 million – over three years for the project MineHealth - ”Sustainability of miners' well-being, health and work safety in the Barents region.” In addition to the aforementioned persons, research partners from Norway, Finland and Russia are participating in the cooperation organisation Kolarctic EU Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI), Cross Border Cooperation (CBC).

The project will address the impact of the mining industry on the local societies, for example, the issue of employment and access to housing. Furthermore, the studies will cover the unique working conditions that characterise the northern mining operations, i.e., the Arctic climate, the effects of vibrations in the hand, arm and whole body, airborne dust, diesel fumes and ergonomic and physical strain. Particular attention will be given to the increasing number of women in the mining operations.

The study results will contribute to creating a sustainable development in the mining operations, improve protective equipment and the drafting of training material.

Project website

For more information please contact:

Lage Burström, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Public Health and Clinical Medicine,Occupational and Environmental Medicine DivisionUmeå UniversityTel: +46 90 785 13 43

Tohr Nilsson, Arbetsmedicin Norr (The County Councils of Västerbotten, Norrbotten, Västernorrlands and Jämtland) Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sundsvall hospital Tel: +46 60 181 927
Mobile +46 70 214 09 55

Editor: Karin Wikman