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Svemin newsletter May 20th
Svemin’s new chairman about the future
At Svemin’s annual general meeting on May 7th, Mikael Staffas, CEO at Boliden, was elected as new Chairman of the Board. What are his thoughts on leadership style, the Corona virus and the mining industry’s most important issue?
Most powerful in the Swedish mining sector, how does it feel?
– I wouldn’t describe myself that way at all. It’s in the operations that the most important work is done and this is also where decisions are to be made. A high degree of delegation in organizations has, as I see it, been one of the most important success factors for the entire Nordic mining cluster.
How will the industry notice that you have taken over the Chairman’s gavel?
– It’s important in general to build on what you have rather than wish for everything to be different. Our industry is extremely important for many local communities as well as for the country as a whole. In addition, the industry also has a key role in the climate change adaptation, which I hope and believe will become increasingly known to the public. I also chair the European trade organization Eurometaux and see opportunities in a more coordinated way to contribute to the political processes in the EU.
How would you say that your leadership style and approach differ from your predecessor, Jan Moström, CEO of LKAB?
– We are, of course, different as individuals, but basically, we both have an extremely strong commitment to the mining industry in Sweden and in other countries. I would think that the general view of us will revolve around similarities rather than differences.
What is the industry’s most important issue right now, and how do you think it should be pushed forward?
– It is the question of what the environmental permit processes for the mining industry should really look like, and things are starting to be in a hurry. The mining industry has a long and proud history, but we cannot live on old merits for any length of time. We are totally dependent on the state processes working, which they do not do today. Here, there must be a quick and real political responsibility.
It is impossible not to mention the corona virus; what are the most important priorities now in the future to secure that mining nation Sweden?
– Above all, of course, it is about offering safe and healthy workplaces even in these times. It is also important that production proceeds as normally as possible. We are in a socially important industry and we will experience both the booms and the recessions. Of course, if we are to handle these, our framework conditions cannot differ too much from those of competitors in other parts of the world.
We round off with the classic question: what do you want most of all right now?
– That we as an industry become completely accident-free. Our industry already offers the safest jobs in the Swedish industry today, but we must continue to strive for the zero goal.
A roadmap for the industry
Climate initiatives, an attractive investment environment and free trade are important parts of securing Sweden as an industrial nation. In addition, mass testing is needed to get the economy started.
This is stated by Svemin’s CEO Maria Sunér Fleming together with Jonas Hagelqvist, CEO IKEM, Magnus Huss, Associate Director and CEO IKEM, Per Hidesten, CEO Industriarbetsgivarna, Bo-Erik Pers, Jernkontoret, Carina Håkansson, CEO Skogsindustrierna and Klas Wåhlberg, CEO of Teknikföretagen in financial newspaper Dagens industri.
“We within the Swedish industry are concerned about the economic situation, in Sweden but also globally. There is a big uncertainty about the extent of the consequences, but with certainty we know that competition will intensify. Therefore, Swedish companies must continue to produce even better products and services than competitors and Sweden must become a more attractive country for investment. That is the foundation of our welfare.”
“In order to get Sweden and the EU on its feet, immunity tests – which medical expertise has called for – need to be in place quickly. The testing that is currently under development must be quality assured and accepted throughout the EU. It is necessary for the industry and for the internal market to function in the short term. Moreover, to get us stronger out of the crisis, more and more powerful measures are needed.”
The measures are aimed at skill supply, sustained climate and sustainability ambitions, greater investment attractiveness and safeguarding free trade and a strong internal market within the EU.
“The way out of the crisis must be to create conditions for more jobs, increased export revenues and thus increased prosperity. It is time to secure the future of Sweden’s industrial nation”, the debate article concludes.
Full article here (Swedish).
Erik Lindblom, project manager at IVL Swedish Environmental Institute and responsible for TraceMet, Svemin’s pilot project to develop a traceability system for metals.
Soon halfway into project time, how are you doing?
– Exceeding expectations, this is a very high level of commitment and participation from all our industrial partners. It is very gratifying, especially given the difficult circumstances that currently prevail.
What have you come up with?
– We have tackled a lot of questions about what requirements such a system must fulfill. We are now working to find out what choices of paths this leads us to.
How difficult is it to create a new system of this type?
– It is difficult in the sense that we develop the target image in parallell with the system. The biggest challenges are not technical, but rather the challenges are to find a system that manages the trust between users. Block-chain technology is based on sharing data between all users and this type of data we need to track the metals is not currently shared between the various players in the value chain.
How do you create that trust?
– The method we have chosen is to have the entire value chains in the same project where we work closely together, with a large measure of openness in the project discussions. We simply start by building trust within the project team to be able to discuss trust between the organizations and thereby lay the foundation for a functioning system.
What will happen to the results of the pilot project?
– What we are developing is a system that will clearly show the functionality. Together with the joint development process, it becomes a basis for helping the actors to make an initiated decision on whether it is worth investing in developing this traceability system sharply. If the possible benefits of such a system outweigh the effort it will require.
Svemin newsletter April 29th
Message from the CEO
The road back to the future requires metals and minerals
Despite a changing world, our Swedish mining and mineral industry is still strong in many respects. But beyond the acute phase with a focus on health aspects, we already need to plan for the way back to the future. A new start with continued focus on the UN’s sustainability goals and the Paris Agreement. There, metals and minerals are crucial.
The financial consequences of the corona pandemic indicate that we are facing a situation we have not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. For a small trade-dependent country like Sweden, the long-term impact will be significant. However, the Swedish mining sector is comparatively stable during the crisis and continues to be a stable foundation for the Swedish economy. The mining and mineral companies have so far kept their production at normal levels. They have been able to get components delivered and also continue to be able to deliver the products to customers and the world market.
The technology and service providers working in a global market are experiencing a slowdown as mines around the world have had to temporarily close down and have some challenges in the flow of components and key competence between countries. At this stage, therefore, Svemin has focused on enabling continued operation for the operations in progress; to create the conditions for logistics chains to continue to function and for key key competencies to travel where they are needed.
For the exploration companies, however, the effects of corona pandemic are more challenging. Read more about Svemin’s work to help them in a separate article below.
At the same time, we see that there is a need to start thinking about the way out of the crisis. An important basis is to stand for sustained sustainability and climate ambitions where the UN’s 17 sustainability goals and the Paris Agreement are important bases. Here, metals and minerals are still important building blocks to meet these objectives.
An important part of the recovery is that Sweden must still become more than attractive for investments in mining-related operations, as competition for industrial investment generally hardens in the wake of the crisis. Efficient and more predictable permit processes are an important part of this, together with the importance of continuing with important investments in research and innovation and securing access to competitive energy – three areas of focus for Svemin.
Maria Sunér Fleming, CEO Svemin
Frozen permits – an important step forward for exploration companies
Corona. The consequences of the corona pandemic have hit hard on all exploration activities. In order to mitigate the effects, 2020 should be seen as a lost year and all exploration permits should therefore temporarily be frozen.
75% of all exploration companies in Sweden believe the financing situation is currently problematic or very problematic. This is shown by Svemin’s recent membership survey *. Sweden as an investment country for exploration activities has long been criticized, mainly because of the insecure and inefficient permitting processes. Against this background, it’s even more important how society now handles the new, deteriorating, situation; primarily for the industry’s opportunities to survive the crisis but also as a signal for the outside world in the future. Full story here
The mining industry in pioneer venture on biodiversity
Svemin’s new project Mining with Nature will create a unified picture of the issues related to biodiversity that are relevant to the mining industry, both in the world and in Sweden. The goal is to make it easier for the industry and the individual companies to understand risks and opportunities and to set goals for their organization-specific work. More on Mining With Nature here
Traceable metals for a sustainable future
Copper, cobalt and lithium. The list of metals we depend on in a modern society is considerably longer than that. So far, it has been very difficult to know where and how durable metals are produced. Now a new traceability system should try to make it easier. The purpose of TraceMet – Traceability for sustainable metals and minerals, is to develop a simplified, but fully functional, IT system to follow certified metals from mine to end use. More on TraceMet here