Here you can read English summaries of Svemin’s monthly newsletter
Svemin newsletter June
The “green” transition is a dirty story
Last week, Svemin replicated mining-critical debate articles in Nerikes Allehanda and Altinget. In the Altinget, Vetonu described the green transition as “a dirty story” and referred to a call containing nine demands – including dissolving ERMA, which the network signed. > More here.
In Nerikes Allehanda, Aktion Rädda Vättern (Action Save the Vättern) debates that the mining industry is not part of the solution to the climate change we are all facing. The review procedure and in particular Natura 2000 is also addressed as a major problem. > More on na.se (Swe).
Jesper Hedin, expert competence supply, Svemin. What is happening in the area of competence supply?
– Right now, the work is focused on creating a validation model for miners. The validation model is primarily intended to function as a tool in companies’ work with competence development, but can also be used in, for example, training of new employees and as requirements for training suppliers. The work continues and hopefully we will have a complete validation model ready by the autumn of 2022. Soon we will also update the competence supply roadmap.
Exciting, the roadmap is only two years old, is it needed?
– Yes, and we should be happy about that. With all the major industrial investments being made in the northern parts of Sweden in the mining and steel industry, we need to make a new start in the roadmap. In addition to the conditions and needs being completely different, we also need to be even clearer about what skills are needed in the future.
– The roadmap should also more clearly link to other positive initiatives such as the T25. Working together to increase the attractiveness of northern Sweden, increase the number of students who stay after graduation from LTU and also secure employment for accompanying people are current issues that the industries have long emphasized. That those issues are now further addressed is something we need to take note of.
How is the work done?
– We are in the planning phase right now, we hope to be able to start the work this autumn. I’ll be back with more detailed information.
> Svemin’s competence roadmap on svemin.se
How to get a favorable industry climate in Sweden
Sweden is privileged with a large industrial production. It benefits us all when the Swedish economy restarts after the pandemic. A quarter of this year’s GDP increase is expected to come from industry and investment is expected to increase by eleven percent. But if the industry is to continue to invest, create growth and new jobs here in Sweden, both predictable and favorable conditions are required, says the steering group for the Industry’s Reform Agenda in a debate article in Norrbottens-Kuriren. > More here.
Also, the Industry’s Reform Agenda now has its own website
The reform agenda that describes what Swedish industry needs in order to best contribute to accelerating growth and strengthening Swedish industry’s competitiveness is based on discussions and data from the participating organizations as well as a large number of interviews with business leaders, union leaders, academics and opinion leaders. Behind the agenda are 14 industry and employer organizations that together represent the entire Swedish industry.
> More on industrinsreformagenda.se (Swe)
Svemin presence during Euro Mine Connect
Euro Mine Expo became Euro Mine Connect this year and was held as a pandemic-safe digital conference between 1 and 3 June. Women in Mining-Sweden broadcast the panel discussion from last year’s webinar Gender Equality in Steel & Mining, together with Jernkontoret’s Metallkvinnor. Maria Sunér moderated the third day of the conference with the theme Sustainable mines, where, among other things, the Svemin-run TraceMet was presented by project manager Erik Lindblom.
Svemin newsletter May
Message from the CEO
70 percent of the world’s climate emissions are now covered by targets to reduce to net zero by 2050. This is very good. To meet these ambitions, technological shifts are required in many sectors – not least in terms of how we generate and use energy. Electrification with fossil-free electricity is a key to achieving our ambitions.
The main conclusions of the report
- an imminent risk that access to critical minerals will become a bottleneck to cope with the climate
- the energy sector will become a leading consumer of minerals as the energy transition accelerates
- the world goes from being heavily dependent on the countries that produce fossil fuels to being dependent on the countries that can extract and refine the materials that the new energy technology needs
- in 2040, it is estimated that recycling will reduce the need for primary raw materials by about 10% – increased production of primary minerals will therefore be needed for a long time
Sweden, as a leading mining nation in the EU, has fantastic opportunities to contribute with sustainably produced minerals that are needed for globally increased climate ambitions. Of the minerals that are critical for fossil-free energy technologies, virtually all are found in the Swedish bedrock. We just need the conditions to continue to develop and extract these.
Unfortunately, the trend is in the opposite direction. Changes in the order in which the environmental assessment for Natura 2000 is to be carried out create new obstacles. The news that recently came from Bergsstaten regarding one of the world’s largest deposits of rare earth metals in Norra Kärr shows this. The image that is now spreading of Sweden as a mining nation internationally is worrying. The trend needs to be reversed!
> More about the study here
Why the taxonomy risks creating chaos for the mines
Say ‘sustainable finance’ and everyone who can not (and even those who can) their EU bureaucracy wanders nervously. But keep calm, Svemin’s expert in energy and climate, Hanna Stenegren, explains the concepts. And it may be needed, because the turns are both many and complicated. In addition, the process risks creating chaos for the Swedish mining industry.
– Ultimately, it is about that we risk ending up on the so-called brown list, that is, that the industry is classified as unsustainable, despite the fact that we are one of the world’s most sustainable mining industries, says Hanna Stenegren.
> More from Hanna on sustainable finance here
What’s up Sara Töyrä, Chair of AGDA, Svemin’s tailings dam safety group
Last week, Svemin’s board decided to update GruvRIDAS – the mining industry’s guidelines for tailings dam safety. AGDA has been working on the document for a little more than three years.
Why is it so important to have a common guide for working with tailings dams?
– A tailings dam failure at one of the Swedish mines would negatively affect confidence in the entire mining industry. It just must not happen. Therefore, it is important that we agree on a sustainable way of working for the management of our mining dams.
Why a new GruvRIDAS?
– The previous version of GruvRIDAS came in 2012 and since then there have been several accidents in mining dams in the world, two of which in Brazil with catastrophic consequences. These accidents have really focused on the dam safety work of both dam owners and investors, which has led to the development progressing, which is also reflected in a new international standard for handling tailings. There is also new legislation in the area so it was really time for a new edition of GruvRIDAS.
What is new from the previous edition?
– GruvRIDAS is based on the Swedenergy (Energiföretagen Sverige) guidelines on tailings dam safety, RIDAS, so those who have browsed RIDAS will recognize themselves. The new version of GruvRIDAS is based on a risk-based approach and the guideline has been adapted to both the new legislation and the international standard. It will also look better than the previous version.
Where can you get it?
– GruvRIDAS will be available for download on Svemin’s website as soon as we have completed the design of the document.
If you are curious about both GruvRIDAS and your company’s tailings dam safety work, you can always talk to your company’s RIDAS manager.
The Swedish Mine is back
In late autumn 2020, The Swedish Mine (Den Svenska Gruvan) saw the light of day. The common voice of the mining industry with the goal of reaching the public, a public that is all too often ambivalent about whether the mining industry really needs to be developed. Klas Nilsson, chair of the steering group and on a daily basis communications director at Boliden, talks about how the first campaign was received and what is going on.
Why the Swedish Mine?
– The world does not stand still. Climate transition requires more metal and minerals and we need to continue to invest in both new and existing mines to cope with competition in a global market and not least to ensure that the metals and minerals needed for the transition are available. We need to make that clear to the public. We know that there is an ambivalence and ignorance about our industry and our role in a sustainable society – that is why we created a common voice for this – The Swedish Mine.
> More on the Swedish Mine here
Svemin newsletter April #2
High media presence for the mining industry in the last week
Message from the CEO
What an exciting mining week it has been! It was a long time since the constructive media presence was so high in our questions. We have listed a selection of press clippings below. I would especially like to highlight the rejoinder we wrote together with Svemin’s chairman, Mikael Staffas, on DN Debatt.
An important political milestone also came last week (23d of April) when the Riksdag pointed out the direction for when Natura 2000 testing is to be done in the process for new mines. It became clear after the Committee on Industry and Trade’s initiative was voted through. A victory of reason over misdirected environmental benefits.
In addition; Joe Biden’s positive message that the US is greatly increasing its climate ambitions already by 2030 puts even more focus on the mining industry. Because without mines, no climate transition. The technologies needed to achieve climate goals faster – solar cells, wind turbines, electrified vehicles and batteries – all require increased amounts of metal and minerals.
A report from the World Bank also points out that higher climate ambitions also significantly increase the need for metal. And even if systems for recycling up to 100% are created, it only reduces the need for primary raw materials by 15-30% depending on the metal being studied. So mines and the metals and minerals we provide are highly in the focus of the world.
In summary, the media presence does not really change the facts on the ground. But we hope that it, together with the work we and the rest of the Swedish mining cluster work with daily, and perhaps the spring sun, helps to thaw the monumental political deadlock [Svemin newsletter Jan. 21] in the government regarding our issues.
Sweden is, as you know, Europe’s most significant mining nation. In our bedrock, there is potential for more than half of the raw materials on the EU’s critical list. In other words, Sweden has good conditions to play an even more important role with the green transition.
[Note: The press clippings are from the Swedish press. Translate to English by right-clicking and selecting ‘Translate to English’ (in Google Chrome), or, on your computer, go to Google Translate. In the text box, enter a URL. To choose the language you want to translate to, at the top right, click the down arrow. On the right, click the URL that appears. The URL will open a new tab and the website will be translated.]
> Open up the mines – Sweden has a golden opportunity. The government has pushed itself into Joe Biden’s climate summit at the last second. If it wants to do the world a favor for real, it can start by breathing new life into the Swedish mining industry.
Editorial, leading article, Expressen, April 22
> New Swedish mines are needed if we are to succeed in electrification. This is stated by Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation Ibrahim Baylan (S). – We can not just bemoan when we read that cobalt is extracted by child workers in Congo, he says.
Ibrahim Baylan, Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation, Svenska Dagbladet, April 20
> Beowulf chairman writes to Baylan, addresses Kallak’s importance for Jokkmokk and the green transformation.
Svenska Dagbladet, Industry, April 20
> Scandivanadium was opposed from the start, by landowners, local authorities and Skåne municipal and regional politicians. The reality facing the mining industry is very far from the vision documents.
Peter Wennblad, lead writer and ass. head of the editorial board, Svenska Dagbladet, April 19
> No contradiction between primary raw materials and recycling. In Sweden, there is potential for more than half of the raw materials on the EU’s critical list. In addition, there is already today one of the most climate-efficient productions in the world, with extensive investments to continue to wear the leader ‘s shirt in the global innovation power measurement.
Maria Sunér, CEO of Svemin, Mikael Staffas, CEO Boliden and Chair of the Svemin board, DN Debatt, April 18
> Sweden is the land of opportunity. Historically, the mining industry has been one of the most important players in driving technological development. The mining industry has the opportunity to do it again, but then politics must create the right conditions.
Lars Hjälmered, business and energy policy spokesperson (M), Svenska Dagbladet Debatt, April 18
> Restore Sweden’s status as a world-class mining nation. From being a world-class mining nation, Sweden has plummeted from place eight to place thirty-six in the international mining rankings for the past four years. This is due, among other things, to unclear rules and slow permit processes.
Ulf Kristersson, party leader (M), Elisabeth Svantesson, economic-political spokesperson (M), Dagens Industri Debatt, March 21
> Sweden thus has the chance to build the world’s most environmentally friendly mining operations. The EU also calls on the member states to increase their own production in order to meet the enormous demand for, among other things, electric cars in the future. But in Sweden, the “please hold” line applies.
Anna Dahlberg, head editorial staff, Expressen, Expressen, March 20
Svemin newsletter April
Message from the CEO
Without mines no electrification. Climate change and the need for electricity in the future are high on the political agenda right now. The forecasts are constantly updated and the Swedish Energy Agency’s latest long-term forecast points to an electricity use of 234 TWh in 2050, and other analyzes point to more. This is about 100 TWh more than what we use today. And the development is driven not least by electrification in the transport sector and the industry’s climate transition.
The mining industry contributes in a way twice to this trend. On the one hand, there is a rapid transformation towards electrification and fossil freedom in mining operations and at our mining technology companies. More electricity enables products with low carbon footprints to be exported worldwide. This is something Svemin will now capture in the update of the industry’s climate roadmap that we have initiated.
At the same time, the mines’ products are absolutely crucial in achieving this development. Not only the battery minerals cobalt, lithium and graphite but also copper, iron and nickel which are key materials for the infrastructure needed. We will capture this in another exciting project that will be reported in the summer. And the most exciting thing in this is the opportunity the Swedish mining industry has to contribute with sustainably produced metals and minerals.
Special legislation risks hindering resource-efficient extraction
An inquiry wants to tighten the regulations for extraction from alum shale – despite the fact that the rock can contain both valuable and sought-after metals for the green transition. It is inappropriate with special legislation for extraction from a specific rock type, Svemin says in its consultation response, but also points to reasonable clarifications in the consultation.
There will be higher demands on the operator who in the future plans extraction from alum shale. It was clear when the inquiry chair Helén Leijon presented the Alum shale investigation (SOU 2020: 71). The inquiry also contains proposals for several knowledge-raising initiatives, which Svemin welcomes in its response to the consultation. It is about a new research program, a forum for competence development and several assignments to map facts about alum shale and what extraction from alum shale would mean.
But Svemin is generally critical of the inquiry’s proposal to introduce special legislation for a specific rock type, in this case alum shale.
– It is inappropriate for several reasons and we see several application problems with such legislation, says Kerstin Brinnen, Svemin’s legal counsel.
The bedrock is complex and special legislation risks leading to ambiguities and limitations that lack scientific support and hinder resource-efficient extraction. The Inquiry’s proposal on tightening is a consequence of the fact that the Inquiry was explicitly instructed to propose tightening in the legislation, rather than to propose constructive improvements.
– All types of exploration are relevant to meet future technology development. We need to know what conditions we have for extracting metals that we need both now and maybe in ten years, says Kerstin Brinnen.
> More on the alum shale inqury here
Helén Leijon appointed to the inquiry into innovation-critical metals and minerals
Ibrahim Baylan, Minister of Business, Industry and Innovation, has appointed Helén Leijon as inquiry chair for the task of reviewing permit processes and regulations in order to ensure a sustainable supply of innovation-critical metals and minerals.
Helén Leijon, head of unit at the County Administrative Board in Västernorrland County, has been commissioned to analyze and propose changes to permit processes and regulations so that better consideration can be given to both a project’s local environmental impact and its societal benefits, such as reduced global climate impact. Helén Leijon will also propose changes to permit processes and regulations so that a larger share of the value generated by the mining and minerals industry can benefit the entire country. The proposed changes should not mean that the total tax burden on the mining and minerals industry increases or that the investment climate deteriorates. The assignment must be reported no later than October 31, 2022.
> More on the inquiry here
Jenny Greberg, Program Director Swedish Mining Innovation. On May 18, together with Svemin, you are arranging this year’s major event for mining-related research; Swedish Mining Research and Innovation Day.
Why should one not miss Swedish Mining Research and Innovation Day?
– Swedish Mining Research and Innovation Day, which many recognize as Bergforskdagarna, is the time of year when industry, research actors, stakeholders and decision-makers can gather and focus entirely on research and innovation. It is an important opportunity for dialogue, gathering strength and for communicating both current initiatives but also strategies and needs. We highlight both more technical themes but also policy issues and strategies for the innovation system.
What do you especially want to highlight in the program?
– This year we are drilling deeper into Swedish world-leading mining innovation. From an innovation perspective, Sweden is a role model internationally, with world-leading mining companies, equipment and system suppliers and an innovation system and a collaboration model that is key to success. This year we take the pulse of how this really works – are we doing what we’re supposed to do? Do we do it at the pace that is necessary both from a sustainability but also an economic perspective? And are there the prerequisites in the form of competence, resources and regulations to achieve the highly set goals?
> More on Swedish Mining Research and Innovation Day here
Robert Persson Asplund, chief psychologist, researcher, organizational consultant and keynote speaker at Svemin’s Health and Safety Conference tomorrow, April 14.
You are a co-author of the report Vision zero provides increased competitiveness, which you will talk more about tomorrow. Do you want to highlight something special that you found when writing the report?
– I do not want to spoil too much, but, investments in work environment, health and safety are profitable for companies in the mining industry.
The vision zero is supported by the pillars of leadership, participation and competence. Are there any of the cornerstones that the mining industry is particularly good at? Is there any area that needs to be developed?
– The mining industry is in many ways a model for the entire labor market and for other industries within leadership, participation and competence in terms of physical work environment and safety work. The mining industry is well placed to be the best in class, also in organizational and social work environment and health.
Finally, what do you wish everyone knew about work environment, safety and health?
– I would like everyone who listens to know that with relatively small means you can improve the working environment and health and thus the profitability of the mining industry.
Svemin’s Health and Safety Conference kicks off tomorrow, 14 April. The conference is a live webinar between 13.00 and 14.30.
> Read more about the conference here (Swe.)
Svemin newsletter March
Message from the CEO
It is an exciting situation for the mining industry. It is clear to more and more people that an ambitious climate policy will increase the need for metals and minerals – both those we already produce and use today but also more new metals. And the fact is that the faster we want to reduce our climate emissions, the greater the need to get more metals into the cycle.
The Swedish metal-based industry, where the mining industry is the starting point, is, to say the least, red hot. There is much to suggest that the future lies in the north. New investments such as LKAB’s giant one, H2 Green Steel’s establishment in Boden, Northvolt; which is already announcing production increases in Skellefteå and Boliden’s launch of green copper and exploration successes in the Boliden Area. This is just the beginning of what could actually happen in a future perspective. Sweden and the Nordic countries have every opportunity to take a leading position as a supplier of sustainable materials for climate change.
Several pieces of the puzzle around this have been discussed under Svemin’s direction in recent weeks; our launch of TraceMet – a system for tracing sustainability data for metals, something we believe will be a matter of course in the future, and the value chain event we had within the framework of EU Industry Days together with FinnMin, North Sweden European Office and Region Västerbotten – where we raised the European Arctic region’s opportunity to contribute to the EU’s climate goals.
The opportunities and willingness to invest exist, but the first step in the value chain – the mining industry – still has difficult challenges around the permit processes. The directives to the inquiry about the mining industry and the Minerals Act that was launched last week and what it will deliver is still rather unclear. Read Svemin’s full comment here. Inquiries in all glory, we want to see concrete changes that facilitate investments.
There are 250 different professions in the mining and mineral industry. At least.
#250yrken (250professions) is the name of the campaign that is currently rolling out to reach young people who are about to apply to universities and colleges. The campaign is visible on social media until April 15 when the application period closes. Feel free to share our posts! Read more at svemin.se/250yrken (Swe.)
Explore Svemin’s latest webinars
Last week, Svemin arranged two very well-attended webinars. In collaboration with our Finnish sister organization, FinnMin, the Finnish Mining Association, North Sweden European Office and Region Västerbotten, a three session webinar was organized within the framework of the EU Industry Week. Svemin also presented the strategic project TraceMet; on traceability of metals and minerals.
> Read more here, watch the webinars and don’t forget to subscribe!
Boliden first in the world with green copper
Boliden’s goal is to reduce carbon dioxide intensity from its operations by 40 percent by 2030, calculated from the base year of 2012. This initiative includes, among other things, development of two specific product categories within copper production – copper with a low carbon footprint and recycled copper. The first category is copper produced from concentrates originating from Boliden’s own mines, while the second category of copper is produced from secondary materials. For both, external audits of the calculation criteria have been carried out.
> Read more in the press release here.
Svemin newsletter February
Message from the CEO
It is gratifying that the Riksdag decided on 10 February that all exploration permits should be extended for one year, as a measure to make it easier for exploration companies affected by corona. This comes as a relief to one of the hardest hit parts of the industry during the pandemic.
The origin is a proposal that Svemin submitted to the government in a petition already at the beginning of the pandemic. We are happy that it has now become a reality for all permits and not just for those who are in the final extension as in the first proposal from the government. This has been made possible thanks to a majority in the Riksdag.
At the same time as this positive news comes, the situation remains worrying regarding the investment climate in the mining industry in Sweden, not least as a result of the permit processes. We are now waiting for how this will be reflected in the annual ranking by the Canadian Fraser Institute of the investment climate in the mining industry in different regions of the world. The next version is expected at the end of February.
Svemin continues to work actively to spread information and form an opinion about the mining and mineral industry in Sweden and also has many exciting activities underway; In March, Svemin is organizing a seminar under the auspices of EU Industry Week on the theme of how Europe’s Arctic region can contribute to the sustainable supply of metals and minerals, and the same month the traceability project TraceMet will also be launched.
> More on the decision here.
TraceMet: Expert webinar on the new traceability system for metals
The origin of metals in consumer products is playing an increasing role for both consumers and producers. That is why Svemin has taken the initiative for the completely new traceability system TraceMet. The pilot study is now complete.
The purpose of TraceMet is to develop a simplified, but fully functional, IT system to trace certified metals from mining to end use. The project uses the criteria carbon footprint, and amount recycled material. Now we will tell you how it works.
> Read more and sign up here.
… and already on February 24 you can hear more about TraceMet
During Future Mine & Mineral 2021, Svemin’s CEO Maria Sunér talks about the background to the TraceMet initiative. Project manager Erik Lindblom, IVL Swedish Environmental Institute, talks about how the blockchain technology used to track metals works and Sven Hjelmstedt, Director Sales, Boliden Smelters, talks about why Boliden chose to participate in the project and what he sees as the next step for traceable metals.
Future Mine & Mineral takes place on 23 and 24 of February. Read more and sign up at futuremineandmineral.com
The exploration industry can – temporarily – exhale after a change in the law
There will be extensions of exploration permits. It was clear on Wednesday when the Riksdag clubbed a change in the Minerals Act.
– Very positive, the pandemic has hit the exploration companies hard, says Maria Sunér, CEO Svemin.
When the Riksdag on Wednesday decided that all exploration permits should be extended for one year, as a measure to make it easier for exploration companies affected by corona, it would have immediate consequences for several exploration companies. Talga, which is developing a graphite deposit in Vittangi in Norrbotten, followed Wednesday’s debate and vote closely.
– Today’s decision shows that they have listened and understood how important the modern, Swedish mining industry is for a sustainable transformation of the entire economy, says Talga’s CEO Martin Phillips.
> Full story here.
Svemin newsletter January
Message from the CEO
Monumental deadlock in the government are slowing down real climate change
The Swedish mining industry is a world leader in sustainable and climate-efficient production of metals. We are proud of that. The Swedish mining and mineral industry will be electrified and carbon dioxide neutral well before 2045, and also has a roadmap to contribute net positively to biodiversity by 2030 – Mining with Nature
Some of the world’s most productive and efficient mines can be found at LKAB and Boliden. The collaboration that takes place around innovation between mining companies, technology suppliers and academia is an international model. Earlier this week, Kaunis Iron signed an agreement with Vattenfall to develop electrified, fossil-free, mining operations in order to be able to deliver the world’s most sustainable iron ore.
The export successes for the Swedish mining technology companies are also phenomenal – Sandvik and Epiroc together have more than 60 percent of the world market for underground equipment. In 2019, ores, metals and minerals were exported to a value of SEK 120 billion, about 8 percent of Sweden’s total exports of goods. In addition, exports of mining technology were more than SEK 150 billion from companies such as Epiroc, Sandvik, ABB and Metso-Outotec. And there is great potential for more. Existing mining companies are ready to invest in the future with billions in investments. Sweden’s rich bedrock provides unique opportunities to contribute to Europe’s needs for the innovation – critical metals the transition needs. And innovation and technology exports have the potential to deliver more.
But despite this, one constantly wonders if the Swedish government really wants any mining industry in Sweden in the future – at all. The government’s handling of the mining industry’s permit processes signals that the mining industry should not bother in Sweden. With the government’s degrading treatment of Nordkalk’s Bunge project in fresh memory, we now see new political twists and turns around the issues that have been on the government’s table for several years speak their clear language.
The Kallak issue has been sent for a statement to UNESCO, which normally does not have a role in Swedish administration, on whether there is a risk of any indirect impact on the world heritage Laponia.
On the evening before Christmas Eve (!), Boliden’s project Laver was unexpectedly rejected by the government on its application for a processing concession. The consequences will be extensive – for all companies. The decision creates a new and aggravating practice; a Natura 2000 permit will be required to obtain a processing concession from now on. The political handling is remarkable in a state governed by the rule of law.
Unfortunately, there are more examples where the mining and mineral industry’s investments are hampered by political decisions and the authorities’ push for changed practices. Despite two announcements in the Riksdag about the importance of streamlining the mining industry’s permit processes, no actual change has been achieved since the S-MP government took over in 2014. The government’s internal deadlocks seem monumental, despite high ambitions for the climate – a climate change that requires sustainably produced metals and minerals.
Obviously, the message is beginning to reach international investors. The number of exploration permits applied for decreases every year. In 2020, only 130 were applied for, a 40 percent reduction in just two years. The number of current exploration permits has decreased by more than 30 percent since 2013. This is remarkable by the government of a country with high climate ambitions and a world-leading mining cluster, a country that could play a key role in the EU’s ambitions to increase the important supply of raw materials. For climate change and for our welfare.
It is time for a comprehensive retake of Swedish mineral policy. Do not delay the real climate change.
Research, freedom, future – knowledge and innovation for Sweden
The Research and Innovation Bill, which was presented on 18 December, contains investments totaling SEK 13.6 billion during the period 2021–2024. Svemin welcomes the investment and that the government shows that they have listened to the business community, with, among other things, announced investments linked to the collaboration programs and the strategic innovation programs.
In addition, the higher education institutions’ base funding is permanently increased by 900 million. The innovation system is strengthened with investments that include strategic innovation programs, research institutes, test and demonstration environments as well as lowered thresholds for utilization and commercialization.
–We are very positive about the increased allocation to Vinnova, which restores previous savings and also provides a certain contribution. The fact that funds are added to the strategic innovation programs is gratifying and central to enabling necessary research and innovation to meet societal challenges, says Maria Sunér, CEO of Svemin.
Svemin is also in favor of the Government’s proposal for amendments to the Higher Education Act to strengthen and clarify the university’s responsibility for collaboration, internationalization, lifelong learning and to strengthen academic freedom.
The business community has an ambition level that Sweden’s investments in R&D will increase by one percent of GDP, ie SEK 50 billion, by 2030. Three quarters of this has been promised by the business community itself. The Government’s investment in this bill is therefore an important first step in achieving a higher ambition.
– However, it is not clear in the bill how the investment in the strategic innovation programs will be designed, says Katarina Nilsson, responsible for research and innovation issues at Svemin, and points out that it is important to take advantage of what works well in the existing programs.
The industry’s transformation will require major investments in both digitalisation and climate change. It is therefore good that initiatives linked to the collaboration programs in these areas are now being announced.
– We see Minister of Trade and Industry Ibrahim Baylan’s presence at the launch as a clear signal from politics about the importance of collaboration between politics, business and research. However, much more is needed to meet the societal challenges. How the government chooses to manage, among other things, the EU Recovery Fund can thus control how Sweden meets societal challenges, not least digitalisation and climate change, says Katarina Nilsson.
Svemin newsletter October
Message from the CEO
Right now, a lot of exciting things are happening around raw materials and mining, not least linked to our opportunities to achieve climate goals. In September, the European Commission presented a raw materials strategy, linked to the updating of the EU’s list of critical materials.
A critical material is a substance on which the EU and EU industry have a strong dependence – among other things to cope with climate change – and where there is also a risk of disruptions in deliveries to the EU. The list now includes 30 different substances, most of which are metallic elements.
One of the ten measures proposed in the raw materials strategy is an industry-driven raw materials alliance – something that Svemin and our member companies of course support. Launched at the end of September, it aims to promote investment in order to strengthen the EU’s raw material supply.
Sweden has a unique opportunity to contribute as we in our bedrock have good potential to extract more than half of the materials on EU:s ctitical list. If you add that the Swedish mining industry is at the forefront in terms of sustainability and social conditions in mining, then we have a fantastic opportunity to contribute with sustainable materials needed to cope with the climate change. We also need to know more about our bedrock, and what opportunities there are there. It is therefore positive that the Land and Environmental Court now gives Scandivanadium the right to proceed with its exploration for Vanadium in Skåne – a metal that could be of great importance for climate-neutral electricity systems.
Of course, we are also excited about Svemin’s digital Autumn Meeting on November 17th, where we will dig deeper into the EU’s focus on raw material issues, investments in climate innovations and traceable metals.
See you on screen!
Svemin’s Environmental Conference 2020
– Focus on collaboration as a key to success
The 2020 Environmental Conference, which was to take place in Kiruna, was instead a two-day live broadcast conference from Stockholm. Five digital sessions that all revolved around this year’s main theme – sustainable raw material supply. An exclusive group of Swedish and international speakers delved into biodiversity, water management, tailings dam safety, certification and traceability, as well as the main theme of sustainable raw material supply.
A common thread through the conference sessions was collaboration between actors; companies, academia and government as a key to success. Not least in tailings dam safety where the new Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management was discussed and good examples of implementations of the standard were presented.
Another recurring theme was the focus on the mining industry as an important part of the solution to the environmental and societal challenges we see; not only in Sweden and the EU but also globally. The Svemin owned and unique project Mining with Nature, which will result in the first roadmap for biodiversity in the mining industry later this autumn, was presented and attracted great interest. TraceMet, the project that aims to be able to trace and certify metals from mining to end use and which is run by Svemin and IVL, was also presented and discussed together with similar initiatives from both the EU and Canada. TraceMet will be presented in its entirety later this autumn.
The focus is now on the Environmental Conference 2021, which kicks off in the first week of October. Then we hope to see you on site in Kiruna.
The three finalists in the Swedish Mining Innovation Award have been nominated
After intensive and tough jury work, it is now clear who the three finalists in the Swedish Mining Innovation Award 2020 will be. The prize, established in 2019, is awarded by the national strategic innovation program Swedish Mining Innovation, and rewards something that is innovative and of great benefit to the mining industry.
The three finalists are Orexplore for their X-ray technology for drill cores, Widefind for their positioning system for people and equipment and Minalyze for their scanner of large volumes of drill core samples. All innovations push the industry towards increased efficiency, which is of great benefit both sustainability and profitability. More on the Innovation Award here.
Euromines on mineral use and supply
Euromines has produced several information leaflets on metal and mineral use in various industries. In line with the EU’s ongoing initiatives on, among other things, self-sufficiency in raw materials, Euromines describes the use of metals and minerals in the medicine, health, electronics, carbon neutrality and logistics sectors. More here.
The Briefcase of Mineral Applications
EIT Raw Materials has developed the game The Briefcase of Mineral Applications. The purpose is to familiarize the player with the minerals used in the manufacture of everyday objects. In the game, different objects must be matched with the right mineral. The game is available in several languages (soon also in Swedish) and in versions for 6-9-year-olds, 10-14-year-olds and a version for teachers. Play the game here!
Svemin newsletter August
Message from the CEO
Svemin and the mining industry are ready for the autumn. It is still a different time with Corona, but the mining industry has so far been stable through the crisis. Production has been maintained at normal levels and the mining industry has been able to make a positive contribution to the national economy in Sweden. It is also positive that the mining industry attracts more women than ever – thanks to a determined effort to increase gender equality in the industry.
It is becoming increasingly clear that metals and minerals are important building blocks for our modern and climate-smart society. The Corona pandemic has provided the insight that global value chains can be easily broken, and that large dependencies on raw materials from individual countries can pose a risk. Against this background, the EU is expected to launch an alliance of raw materials in September, focusing on securing Europe’s need for key raw materials to cope with climate change and digitalisation. This is something we welcome. Sweden has great opportunities to become a central supplier for many of the important metals and minerals that the EU sees as particularly critical.
At the same time, the permit processes in Sweden continue to be a major obstacle to the development of the mining industry. Therefore, it is very positive that an investigation is finally set up with the aim of achieving a more modern and more effective permit examination. This is something you can read more about here.
What’s up, Lars-Åke Lindahl
Director Environment at Svemin and project manager for the Environmental Conference, October 7-8
What is the feeling before this year’s conference?
– Really exciting. Initially, it was of course disappointing not to be able to hold a conference in Kiruna as planned. But now that we are up and running, it feels engaging and fun, which it always is working with the Environmental Conference.
What theme will this year’s conference have and is there anything extra exciting to look forward to?
– Sustainable raw material supply. We will look at this issue from different angles in a series of thematic seminars. It is especially fun to be able to present a couple of the strategic projects we run in the environmental area. Partly the development of an industry roadmap for biodiversity, Mining with Nature and partly the pilot project for traceability of metals and minerals, TraceMet.
More women working in mines
Half of Zinkgruvan’s summer substitutes are women. The previously heavily male-dominated mining industry is now seeing more and more women. Zinkgruvan’s goal is for 25% of the company’s 430 employees to be women and of the 60 summer temps this year, 50% were women. At Boliden and LKAB, almost every fourth employee in Sweden is a woman.
–We have worked actively to erase the image of a male-dominated job. This by highlighting our female employees and by being out in schools and having direct contact, says Monika Andersson, CSR manager at Zinkgruvan to Swedish Radio.
Business will be the engine of the recovery from the Corona pandemic
It is the companies that make the wheels spin in the Swedish economy. But that requires a forward-looking reform agenda for stronger competitiveness, faith in the future and sustainability. Therefore, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise wants to see a broad concentration of jobs when Sweden leaves the acute crisis.
This is the message from the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in the unifying project Restart Sweden. During the summer, a website was launched where the business community’s proposals for openness and trade, investments and employment were presented.
– The corona crisis has affected all Swedish companies. For some, the situation remains acute. For others, improvement is visible. While some are now going at full speed. But even if the picture is fragmented, the goal is clear – the restart of Sweden requires that we get the whole business going, says Jan-Olov Jacke, CEO of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.
Restart Sweden’s website (Swe.)
Do not forget to nominate a mining innovation!
It is high time to nominate for the Swedish Mining Innovation Award. The nomination is open until August 31. It is possible to nominate an innovation, a project, an organization, a person or something else that has been of great importance to mining and innovation in Sweden.
Svemin newsletter June
Message from the CEO
Progress in the issue of extended permits
The Swedish mining industry has stood firm during the crisis and the Swedish mines and mineral producers have maintained their production throughout the corona pandemic and continued to invest in the future. The mining industry is thus a stable base in the Swedish economy already and has great opportunity to grow with sustainability and digitalization in focus.
However, the part of the mining industry that is the start of a new mine – exploration for metals – has had major challenges during the ongoing corona crisis. Exploration companies are capital-intensive and are also dependent on being able to carry out work on site in accordance with current permits, and it has proved difficult with traveling experts and equipment – in combination with a financial market put on back burner.
During the spring, Svemin has therefore put pressure on the government that 2020 must be seen as a lost year. In practice, this means that all exploration permits should automatically be extended by one year. The government also partially joined Svemin’s line in a bill in early June.
– The idea was good, says Maria Sunér Fleming, CEO Svemin, but the proposal became very narrow as it only included exploration permits that are in its final and 15th year. An unnecessary and unreasonable restriction. The crisis has hit equally hard on all exploration companies, regardless of the stage of their exploration permit.
A majority in the Riksdag now demands increased relief for the hard corona-affected exploration industry. The extended proposal from the Committee on Industry and Trade is fully in line with the request Svemin sent to the government as early as April.
– It is very positive that Parliament is beginning to realize the importance of a functioning mining industry, says Maria Sunér Fleming, CEO Svemin.
Health & Safety
Women more common on sick leave than men fresh statistics from the Swedish Work Environment Authority shows.
On May 27, the Swedish Work Environment Authority released the Work Injury Report for 2019. The report gives a picture of reported work accidents and occupational diseases within the respective industry and profession. The statistics provide information on the most common causes of the reported work accidents and occupational diseases and also the most common injuries that result from them.
The statistics show that women in the mineral extraction industry group increased the most in the number of people with sick leave. However, the Authority adds that this industry group is small in terms of the number of employed persons, especially women, so a relatively small change in the number of applications can have a major impact on the relative frequency.
– This is a figure we must follow. Just as the Swedish Work Environment Authority points out, a small change will have a major impact in the statistics and this is not a trend, but it is something we will follow closely, says Åsa Dahlfors, Svemin’s expert and adviser on Health & Safety.
Svemin’s Health & Safety Committee, GRAMKO’s, technology and medicine working groups have conducted a gas mapping of nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide during 2017-2019. The result is presented in the report Compilation and analysis of nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide measurements in Swedish mines from IVL, Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
Download the report here (Swe.): Sammanställning och analys av kvävedioxid- och kolmonoxidmätningar i svenska gruvor.
Svemin’s news release takes summer leave. We are back in August. We wish you all a nice summer!
Svemin newsletter May
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
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