Sweden discovers Europe’s largest deposit of rare earth metals
Swedish mining company 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. LKAB said to have discovered one million tons of rare earth oxides at the so called Per Geijer deposit North of KLAB’s Kiruna mine area.
At the moment, no rare earth metals are being mined in Europe, while demand is expected to increase dramatically as a result of further electrification. According to the European Commission’s estimate, the demand for rare earth metals for electric cars and wind turbines is expected to increase more than fivefold by 2030. Europe is also dependent on the import of these minerals, where China completely dominates the market. There are fears that shortages of such materials will hamper the global fight against CO2 emissions and climate change.
LKAB has now started preparing a kilometre-long shaft at a depth of about 700 meters in the existing Kiruna mine to further investigate the deposits.
The plan is to be able to submit an application for an operating concession in 2023.
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