How our industrial areas will look when the mining is done

January 24, 2023

Press release from LKAB

“Visions for ecological landscape design”, or what our mining areas should look like when the operation ends, is an important tool in the work to reach LKAB’s high goals for biodiversity. Last year, one was presented for the industrial area in Kiruna, now it’s Malmberget and Svappavaara’s turn.

Fotomontage av ett efterbehandlat industriområde i Kiruna
Vision image from Luossavaara in Kiruna. Montage by EcoGain.

Sustainable land use, biological diversity and taking responsibility for people, the environment and society are important parts of LKAB’s environmental work. This means, among other things, that we work according to the so-called mitigation hierarchy: firstly to avoid impact completely, and if that’s not possible, minimise, restore and finally compensate for our impact. And this is where the vision for ecological landscape design becomes an important tool – a way to visualise what the industrial areas might look like when the operation ends and a target image to start working towards today.

The vision for Kiruna has received international attention
Working with visions in this way is still unusual – the one developed for the industrial area in Kiruna in 2020 was actually one of the first of its kind in the world. It has also received international attention, says Emma Nyberg, development engineer in Kiruna:

”The organisation Society of Ecological Restoration brought up our vision as a good example of how to work with ecological restoration around mining operations. So that’s great!”

The vision is already actively being used, for example in projects concerning the attractiveness of the industrial area, and in the creation of new natural environments and the transformation of surfaces.

Malmberget will be completed in the spring of 2023
The work on a similar vision for the industrial area in Malmberget is now in its final stages and will be published in the spring. Here, nature will have the chance to re-establish itself and then reindeer herding, biological diversity, cultural monuments and outdoor life will have their place. People who visit the site in the future will be able to look out over a landscape with rolling heights and low depressions that blend into the surrounding mountain landscape.

”There have been a lot of dialogue with LKAB employees, local residents and interest organisations, such as Norrbotten’s ornithological association, for this project. One of the most enjoyable activities was having contact with students at Myranskolan in Koskullskulle and seeing what ideas they had”, says Sandra Lindgren, development engineer.

The work in Svappavaara begins
In Svappavaara, talks are now beginning with different people who can help make the vision as good as possible – just like the other locations, recreation, reindeer husbandry, nature, cultural environment and other important aspects must be weighed together to make it as good as possible:

”We want to get in touch with employees at LKAB in Svappavaara and residents in the area. Of course, we also gratefully accept comments from those who regularly visit the area or are in some other way affected by our activities in Svappavaara. We want to know more about what visions they have for the area. That input will mean a lot to our work”, says Camilla Esberg, project manager for developing the vision for Svappavaara’s mining operations.

Originally published on 23 January.

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