Kiruna, Sweden — Iron-ore miner LKAB said Thursday that it has identified “significant deposits” of rare earth elements in Arctic Sweden that are essential for the manufacture of electric vehicles and wind turbines. The Swedish government-owned mining company, which mines iron ore at Kiruna, nearly 600 miles north of Stockholm, said there are more than 1 million tons of rare earth oxides.
“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,” said LKAB CEO Jan Moström. “Without mines, there can be no electric vehicles.”

President and CEO of Swedish mining company LKAB Jan Mostrom (L) and Sweden’s Minister for Energy, Business and Industry Ebba Busch attend a news conference at LKAB in Kiruna, Sweden, January 12, 2023.


Ebba Busch, Sweden’s minister in charge of energy and business, said that “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,” she added.

Rare earths now reach into the lives of almost everyone on the planet, turning up in everything from hard drives and cell phones to elevators and trains. They are especially vital to the fast-growing field of green energy, feeding wind turbines and electric car engines.
Exploration will not start for years even if permits are delivered very fast.

A view of the iron mine of Swedish state-owned mining company LKAB in Sweden’s northernmost Arctic city of Kiruna, January 12, 2023.


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