The mining company LKAB has found the largest chunk of rare earth metals in Europe and has said that one million tonnes could be mined next to LKAB’s mine in Sweden’s Kiruna.
“It is the largest known deposit of rare earth metals in our part of the world and could become a significant building block for obtaining the critical raw materials that are absolutely crucial to enable the green transition, said Jan Moström, president and CEO of LKAB.
“We are facing a supply problem. Without mines, we have no electric cars.”
Moström also stated that only a small part of the find has been examined so far but the rare earth metals in the Per Geijer area in Kiruna were necessary for the manufacture of electric cars and wind turbines.
The CEO of LKAB said that most of Europe’s metals are sourced from China.
“China is completely dominant, both for mining and refining,” Moström said.
“It involves risk. China may no longer want to supply raw materials, but for example, only finished cars.”
Talking to SVT, Leif Boström, director of the Special Products business area at LKAB, added: “LKAB is already planning a circular industrial park in Luleå with new technology for the extraction and processing of phosphorus, earth elements, and fluorine based on today’s existing mine production.”
“Where, instead of depositing this as waste as today, new sustainable products are created. The planned start of production is 2027.”