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LKAB chooses Luleå for the circular industrial park for phosphorus and rare earth elements

03 May 2022

By-products from iron ore mining will be extracted via innovative circular and fossil-free processes. LKAB can increase Europe’s self-sufficiency in the critical raw materials phosphorus and rare earth elements that are needed for sustainable agriculture and the green transition · LKAB is now initiating consultation on the establishment, which will be operational in 2027 and can entail investments amounting to as much as 10 billion kronor and create more than 500 jobs.

“LKAB is leading the transformation of the iron and steel industry with the transition to carbon-dioxide-free sponge iron. We will now broaden our business by extracting phosphorus and rare earth elements as residual products from iron ore production and increase Europe’s self-sufficiency in these critical raw materials,” explains Jan Moström, LKAB’s President and CEO.

Initially, apatite concentrate will be extracted in Kiruna and Gällivare/Malmberget. The concentrate will then be hauled by rail to the industrial park in Luleå, where it will be dissolved and processed to separate the products phosphorus, rare earth elements and fluorine, as well as gypsum as a by-product.

“We have assessed several locations in Sweden and Norway for the site of the circular industrial park. Luleå has good logistics, sufficient land, electricity, lower costs, a good labour market and housing and, not least, synergies with our existing operations. We are now initiating consultation and inviting the public and important stakeholders to meetings in preparation for our coming permit applications,” explains Leif Boström, Senior Vice President, Business Area Special Products, LKAB.

LKAB is, however, leaving the door open for the other operating locations, since a future volume increase in production may necessitate expansion at other sites. All focus is now on the development of the industrial park in Luleå.

“LKAB is important for Luleå and Luleå is important for LKAB. We have been active here for more than a century and we have close collaboration with, for example, SSAB and Luleå University of Technology. And we already have more than 220 employees and our head office, R&D and shipping facilities, as well as stockpiles and production of additives in Luleå,” says Leif Boström.

Norrbotten and Luleå have attracted global attention as a centre for the green transition. A lot will be happening in the region, which presents both opportunities and challenges.

“We have good co-operation with the Municipality of Luleå and the County Administrative Board of Norrbotten, both of which are acting to create the prerequisites for the green transition and new industrialisation. This has to do with attractiveness, permitting issues and infrastructure, for example, and it is a task that has only just begun and must accelerate,” adds Jan Moström.

For Luleå, LKAB’s planned industrial park means important development for local business. In addition to major investment and up to 500 new jobs, a whole new industrial cluster for chemical engineering will be created.

“Fantastic news! LKAB’s investment means many new jobs in an exciting future industry and that we can further strengthen Luleå as a hub for the green transition,” says municipal executive board chair Carina Sammeli (S).

The original article can be found on the LKAB website

Arctic Business Profiles

LKAB chooses Luleå for the circular industrial park for phosphorus and rare earth elements

03 May 2022

By-products from iron ore mining will be extracted via innovative circular and fossil-free processes. LKAB can increase Europe’s self-sufficiency in the critical raw materials phosphorus and rare earth elements that are needed for sustainable agriculture and the green transition · LKAB is now initiating consultation on the establishment, which will be operational in 2027 and can entail investments amounting to as much as 10 billion kronor and create more than 500 jobs.

“LKAB is leading the transformation of the iron and steel industry with the transition to carbon-dioxide-free sponge iron. We will now broaden our business by extracting phosphorus and rare earth elements as residual products from iron ore production and increase Europe’s self-sufficiency in these critical raw materials,” explains Jan Moström, LKAB’s President and CEO.

Initially, apatite concentrate will be extracted in Kiruna and Gällivare/Malmberget. The concentrate will then be hauled by rail to the industrial park in Luleå, where it will be dissolved and processed to separate the products phosphorus, rare earth elements and fluorine, as well as gypsum as a by-product.

“We have assessed several locations in Sweden and Norway for the site of the circular industrial park. Luleå has good logistics, sufficient land, electricity, lower costs, a good labour market and housing and, not least, synergies with our existing operations. We are now initiating consultation and inviting the public and important stakeholders to meetings in preparation for our coming permit applications,” explains Leif Boström, Senior Vice President, Business Area Special Products, LKAB.

LKAB is, however, leaving the door open for the other operating locations, since a future volume increase in production may necessitate expansion at other sites. All focus is now on the development of the industrial park in Luleå.

“LKAB is important for Luleå and Luleå is important for LKAB. We have been active here for more than a century and we have close collaboration with, for example, SSAB and Luleå University of Technology. And we already have more than 220 employees and our head office, R&D and shipping facilities, as well as stockpiles and production of additives in Luleå,” says Leif Boström.

Norrbotten and Luleå have attracted global attention as a centre for the green transition. A lot will be happening in the region, which presents both opportunities and challenges.

“We have good co-operation with the Municipality of Luleå and the County Administrative Board of Norrbotten, both of which are acting to create the prerequisites for the green transition and new industrialisation. This has to do with attractiveness, permitting issues and infrastructure, for example, and it is a task that has only just begun and must accelerate,” adds Jan Moström.

For Luleå, LKAB’s planned industrial park means important development for local business. In addition to major investment and up to 500 new jobs, a whole new industrial cluster for chemical engineering will be created.

“Fantastic news! LKAB’s investment means many new jobs in an exciting future industry and that we can further strengthen Luleå as a hub for the green transition,” says municipal executive board chair Carina Sammeli (S).

The original article can be found on the LKAB website

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