Europe’s largest deposit of rare earth metals is located in the Kiruna area

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LKAB January 12, 2023

LKAB has identified significant deposits of rare earth elements in the Kiruna area, metals which are essential for, among other applications, the manufacture of electric vehicles and wind turbines. Following successful exploration, the company today reports mineral resources of rare earth metals exceeding one million tonnes of rare earth oxides and the largest known deposit of its kind in Europe.

“This is good news, not only for LKAB, the region and the Swedish people, but also for Europe and the climate. This is the largest known deposit of rare earth elements in our part of the world, and it could become a significant building block for producing the critical raw materials that are absolutely crucial to enable the green transition. We face a supply problem. Without mines, there can be no electric vehicles,” says Jan Moström, President and Group CEO, LKAB.

No rare earth elements are currently mined in Europe, at the same time, demand is expected to increase dramatically as a result of electrification, which will lead to a global undersupply, and this at a time of increasing geopolitical tensions. According to the European Commission’s assessment, the demand for rare earth elements for electric cars and wind turbines, among others, is expected to increase more than fivefold by 2030. Today, Europe is also dependent on imports of these minerals, where China completely dominates the market, a factor which increases the vulnerability of European industry.

“Electrification, the EU’s self-sufficiency and independence from Russia and China will begin in the mine. We need to strengthen industrial value chains in Europe and create real opportunities for the electrification of our societies. Politics must give the industry the conditions to switch to green and fossil-free production. Here, the Swedish mining industry have a lot to offer. The need for minerals to carry out the transition is great, says Minister for Energy, Business and Industry, Ebba Busch.”

 

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Photo Credits: Jann Lipka/imagebank.sweden.se

 

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