Project: Roadmap for a competitive and fossil-free mining and mineral industry

In April 2018, the mining and minerals industry submitted its roadmap to the government. The industry is convinced that the transition will be successful. However, the development will take time and be capital intensive. Therefore, it is important that policy makers facilitates the transition through concrete measures.

Sweden will become one of the world’s first fossil-free welfare nations. An industrial transformation where large parts of the business community develop their competitiveness by being fossil-free before 2045 is now about to be created. The mining and mineral industries play an important role here.

The changes to fossil-free energy systems and transport, climate-neutral construction and increased recycling are all dependent on the metals and minerals needed to develop modern car batteries, energy storage and new railways. Sustainable batteries produced with eco-labeled raw materials will be an important enabler for electrification and a competitive advantage for Sweden.

The development of the circular economy is also an important key to creating a completely fossil-free mining and mineral industry. Access to metals through electronics recycling and batteries are important parts of a circular economy. Improved production design and new value chains for reuse and recycling have made it possible to recycle a large proportion of all metals and minerals.

The industry accounts for about 8 percent of Sweden’s carbon dioxide emissions. The mining itself can be quickly turned into completely fossil-free operations. This is about continuing electrification, streamlining transport work and using biodiesel for all diesel-powered engines and machines.

The mining and minerals industries are convinced that the transition will succeed even in the longer term. However, the development will take time and be capital intensive. That is why it is important for policy to meet and facilitate the transition through concrete measures:

  • Efficient and legally secure permit processes to enable new and necessary, climate-efficient, investments.
  • Investment in research and development for fossil-free production processes and CCS, including testing facilities and up-scaling.
  • Secure access to bio-fuel and electricity at competitive prices.

– Sweden has unique opportunities to become one of the world’s first fossil-free welfare countries and at the same time contribute to achieving the global climate goals, says Svante Axelsson, national coordinator Fossil-free Sweden.

– If the industry, the public and other actors cooperate and together bear the costs of the transition, Sweden will be a global example that shows that fossil freedom and increased welfare can be combined.