Mining in reindeer land - Understanding impacts of mining activities on reindeer, reindeer husbandry and Sami culture (MINEDEER)

Last changed: 19 May 2020

The aim of MINEDEER is to quantify impacts of mining activity on reindeer and reindeer husbandry and to mitigate land use planning and dialogue between the two stakeholders.

Modern societal ambitions for economic growth and material development brings increased demand for metals and minerals. Sami reindeer husbandry and mining activities has coincided and attempted to “coexist” for more than 100 years. Despite this long history of using the same land, very little is investigated and specifically known about the impacts from mining activities on reindeer, reindeer husbandry and Sami culture in Fennoscandia. New and better knowledge about impacts of mining activities on reindeer, reindeer husbandry and Sami culture are paramount. Such knowledge can increase and improve dialogue between the mining industry and reindeer husbandry, mitigate potential land use conflicts and support planners and mining companies in designing avoidance and mitigation measures as well as establishing restauration and compensation programs. MINEDEER, will be carried out in close collaboration with Gällivare, Mausjaure and Malå reindeer herding communities and Boliden Mineral AB. The main objectives are to: i) quantify reindeer habitat use and the influence of three mining areas based on locational data from reindeer; ii) incorporate indigenous and local knowledge to assess Sami landscape values impacted by mining; iii) make detailed mapping of key grazing areas; iv) to combine these three efforts in a methodological handbook. The role of communication and local participation in planning processes will be essential and provide an improved basis for planning and dialogue.

Deliverables and expected results

Four scientific publications, Two Swedish reports, R code for data analysis (GitHub: Project homepage) and a handbook to be used by all stakeholders. We expect that this project will lead to an improved planning process which will facilitate the dialogue between the mining industry and reindeer herding communities.


Reindeer husbandry, Mining industry, Indigenous and Local Knowledge, Impact assessment, Habitat use, Zone Of Impact, Habitat analysis

Movie about the project:

In english:

Project period

2020/04/01-2023/03/31 (36 months)

Project parters


Project leader: Per Sandström, SLU, Department of Forest Resource Management, Umeå.

Boliden Mineral AB

Gällivare sameby

Mausjaure sameby

Malå sameby


Per Sandström, Researcher
Department of Forest Resource Management
Division of Forest Resource Analysis
Phone: +4690-786 86 53