Photo: Fredric Alm/LKAB
SEK 400 billion. This is how much LKAB will invest when they now implement Sweden’s largest industrial investment ever. In addition to more jobs, the investment will have a significantly lower CO2 impact for the mining giant’s operations.
– An incredibly welcome news, Sweden continues to lead the mining industry’s global transformation, says Maria Sunér Fleming, CEO of Svemin.
The investment in the new strategy LKAB presented on Monday is already historic. Both in terms of investment size – about 400 billion over 20 years – but also because it redraws the international mining map. The new strategy paves the way for zero carbon dioxide emissions from its own processes and products by 2045 and also secures the company’s operations with expanded mining beyond 2060. The restructuring can also create 2,000-3,000 jobs annually in Kiruna and Gällivare.
– This is the biggest transformation in the company’s 130-year history and could end up being the largest industrial investment ever made in Sweden. It creates unique opportunities to reduce the world’s carbon emissions and for Swedish industry to take the lead in a necessary global transformation, says Jan Moström, President and CEO of LKAB, also Vice Chair of Svemin in a press release.
In short, the investment is to shift production from today’s iron ore pellets to the production of so-called sponge iron . The mining industry is both in itself, and with the products the sector provides a crucial player for Sweden and the world to be able to achieve the climate goals. Which Monday’s news is another example of.
– LKAB’s news confirms that it is the classic basic industry that drives climate conversion both with its production and what it delivers to customers. With the new production method that LKAB describes, the climate benefit will be enormous compared with today’s production, says Maria Sunér Fleming, CEO of Svemin.
The strategy sets out three main tracks for the transformation:
- New world standard for mining
- Sponge iron produced using green hydrogen will in time replace iron ore pellets, opening the way for a fossil-free iron and steel industry
- Extract critical minerals from mine waste: using fossil-free technology to extract strategically important earth elements and phosphorous for mineral fertilizer from today’s mine waste
In order to achieve the goals that the new strategy aims at, several complex issues must be resolved quickly. These include issues with permit processes, energy needs and better conditions for research, development and innovation in the basic industry.
– Today’s news puts the finger on some areas that politics must now prioritize. Firstly, that the permit processes go much faster. It is necessary for a radical improvement of the entire Swedish government for us to be able to make large and important investments in order to have a modern and offensive mining industry, says Maria Sunér Fleming, CEO of Svemin.
– Secondly, the electricity supply of the future needs to be secured. The electricity system must not become an obstacle to innovative climate adaption, but the policy must enable cost-effective and reliable electricity to be supplied in the quantities needed. And thirdly, we must work together to invest enough funds in research and innovation, Maria Sunér Fleming concludes.