Criminal investigation of a Finnish conservation group requested by Vancouver-based Mawson Resources

Mawon Resources request criminal investigation into NGO

Photo: Mawson Resources

Mawson Resources (TSX:MAW) is taking the “unusual” step of asking Finnish police to investigate a conservation group over a possible criminal act.

The Vancouver-based miner claims the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation’s (FANC) Lapland chapter is willfully misleading the courts in its appeal of an exploration permit decision — a criminal act under Finnish law.

"We accept it is unusual for an exploration company to request a police investigation to review the actions of an NGO,” Mawson CEO Michael Hudson said in a statement released Monday (August 24).

“However, Mawson finds itself in the position where it has no other recourse but to defend itself and the rights of all its shareholders and stakeholders.”

In May, the Northern Finland Administrative Court rejected the conservation group’s appeal of an exploration permit decision that favoured Mawson.

FANC re-appealed in June on the basis Mawson had undertaken deep drilling in a biodiversity area before permitting was completed — a claim Mawson denies.

“Since the appeal was lodged, Mawson has provided multiple opportunities for the NGO to correct their statements. As these requests have been ignored, it appears the NGO's intentions are to delay Mawson's research by all means available,” Hudson said.

“The police investigation request concerns certain contents of the NGO appeal, and not the appeal process itself, which is the NGO's legal right.”

FANC did not respond immediately to an interview request from Business In Vancouver.

This isn’t the first time Mawson has been tied up in Finnish courts over environmental concerns.

Last December, Finland’s Kemi-Tornio district fined the company €5,000 (C$7,600) following damage to a nature conservation. Two employees were also fined €5,320 (C$8,100) and €6,930 (C$10,600) after hand-dug trenches were built in the conservation.

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