Swedish mining company finds rare earth metals near city that will be relocated

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Swedish mining company LKAB has found a large deposit of rare earth metals near a current mine near the town of Kiruna in northern Sweden. Europe now depends on China for rare earths, which are important for batteries and solar panels.

At least one million tons of ore, says LKAB. The rare earth metals can meet part of the demand for European production of, among other things, batteries for electric cars and solar panels, which are necessary for sustainability in the coming decades.

It will take at least ten to fifteen years before a mining company can mine and sell the rare earth metals, estimates LKAB. The next few years will be necessary for research into the find and the exact size of the stock in the ground. Mining rare earth metals is also a complex process, says LKAB.

LKAB found the supply just north of Kiruna, a town where mining has been going on for 130 years. That’s south of town. Because large-scale mining undermines buildings in the city, the city council decided more than ten years ago to move the city with 17,000 inhabitants. The center must be located three kilometers to the east in ten years’ time.

Area around Kiruna where LKAB found rare earths. Source: own photo

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