Here you can read English summaries of Svemin’s monthly newsletter
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 that we can be seen physically 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