Home    Number 4, 2022

Kautokeino vs. Mine: Why Did Not an Industrial Company Receive a Social License?

[Kautokeino protiv rudnika: pochemu promyshlennaia kompaniia ne poluchila sotsial’nuiu litsenziiu?]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541522040042


Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 23.05.2021

Accepted: 12.01.2022

About author(s)

Natalia Novikova | http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5686-1104 | natinovikova@gmail.com | Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences (32-a Leninsky prospect, Moscow, 119991, Russia)


indigenous peoples, local community, Arctic, Kautokeino, mining, social license, legal basis of extractivism, culture, language, education


The article presents the conflict between the Swedish mining company and the local community of Kautokeino (Norway), related to attempts to restore the old mine on the autumn pastures of reindeer herders. An analysis of a unique case not only in the history of Norway, but also in the world, when the municipality of a small Arctic settlement said “no” to the mining company, stopped the development of the mine, shows an example of the development of the local community in the calculation of its own strength. The study is based on field materials collected in Kautokeino in 2015–2016. Interviews were held and recorded with reindeer herders, employees of the administration, cultural and educational institutions, small businesses and an industrial company, as well as with participants in an international scientific project and other researchers. Of particular interest are materials on the infrastructure and demographics of the settlement, where reindeer herding is actively developing, various types of entrepreneurial activities to support it, culture and science, as well as a significant percentage of young people. The interaction of the population and the mining company is considered through the lens of a social license.

Funding Information

This research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Russian Science Foundation, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100006769 [grant no. 20-68-46043]


Novikova, N.I. 2022. Kautokeino protiv rudnika: pochemu promyshlennaia kompaniia ne poluchila sotsial’nuiu litsenziiu? [Kautokeino vs. Mine: Why Did Not an Industrial Company Receive a Social License?]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 4: 66–85. https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541522040042 EDN: HXKWIX

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