Ebba Busch, Sweden’s energy and industry minister, declared that the world’s most modern underground iron ore mine is being built in Kiruna, 150 kilometers north of the article circle.
The mine in Kiruna, northern Sweden, has the potential to lead Europe in the green transition, lower its carbon footprint, and increase competitiveness, according to Busch. It’s an ambitious target during the Swedish EU presidency.
“This transformation requires critical minerals. Furthermore, rare earth elements are needed for electric vehicles”, Busch was quoted by the EUObserver as saying.
She added that it is also a means of weaning Europe off of its reliance on China and other countries for rare earth metals and iron ore imports, noting that China produces roughly 70% of the metals required to support the green transition.
LKAB, a Swedish state firm that manages it, is making grand promises to supply Europe and the rest of the globe with raw materials needed to manufacture anything from electric automobiles to wind turbines.
The Swedish mine contains:
- A deposit of 4 billion tonnes of minerals.
- Forcing the neighboring town of Kiruna and its residents to pick up and move 3 kilometers east.
- A process that will take years.
Jan Mostrom, president and CEO of LKAB stated on Thursday that they had discovered an additional one million tonnes of rare earth oxides, the largest known deposit in Europe, in a nearby area called Per Geijer.
Mostrom stated that the discovery is “completely critical for our transition from combustion engines to electric engines,” as the sale of electric vehicles in Europe is likely to expand. However, he also stated that because of the complexities of acquiring permissions, it could take 10 to 15 years before mining can start.
The mine is a troublesome lifeline for the residents of Kiruna, dominating the surrounding environment and posing an issue for traditional reindeer herding by the region’s Sami indigenous population. The Sami claim they will be forced to give up their ancestral land and traditions.
Around 23,000 people live in about 50 communities spread throughout a municipal territory the size of Slovenia.
A winter night might dip to -40 degrees Celsius. However, its night sky can also provide a magnificent display of the northern lights, frequently colored green.