Talga wants to boost Kiruna municipality

By Lennart Håkansson, North Sweden Business - March 14, 2024
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Martin Phillips
Martin Phillips, CEO of Talga

The global mining company Talga, which wants to mine graphite in Nunasvaara in Kiruna municipality, is writing to the government requesting a planning injunction so that Kiruna municipality can finalise a new local plan that has been delayed.

According to Talga, Kiruna municipality’s slowness threatens the project where graphite will be mined in Nunasvaara outside Vittangi and then refined into material for battery anodes in a factory in Luleå on the Gulf of Bothnia coast.

The mining company has therefore submitted a request for a planning order to the Ministry of Rural Affairs and Infrastructure. The request is for the government to order the municipality of Kiruna to adopt a new local plan that has been in the pipeline for several years. A new local plan is required to authorise a mining industry in the area.

Planning permission was granted as early as October 2020 and was expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022. However, the process has been delayed several times. In early 2024, the local plan and review documents were finalised by municipal officials and submitted for political decisions. However, the matter was then withdrawn from the municipal council’s agenda and has now been postponed again. So Talga, with the help of the government, wants to give the municipality a boost.

“Talga’s mine at Nunasvaara South is a designated national interest with a critical and strategic raw material for the EU and has been granted an environmental permit after being assessed by an independent court. We hope that through a planning order the government can help all parties to get a local plan in place and thus ensure that the green transition is not delayed,” says Talga’s CEO Martin Phillips in a press release.

The graphite deposit in Nunasvaara is one of the best in the world. Talga expects to extract 16% of the EU’s demand for natural graphite by 2030. Today, China controls more than 90% of the value chain for battery graphite anodes. A year ago, the Land and Environment Court granted Talga permission to mine 120,000 tonnes of graphite per year in Nunasvaara.

Australia’s Talga Group, which includes Sweden’s Talga AB, is a global mining company that mines and enriches graphite ore into graphite and graphene products, which are used in the manufacture of environmentally friendly solutions in batteries, carbon fiber composites and in the coating of many materials for increased sustainability.