Everything starts in the mine. With the iron ore as our starting point, we have developed a wide range of innovative technologies, products and services that many people nowadays take for granted in their everyday lives.
Minerals like iron ore are all around you. They play a crucial role in your life several times a day, often in situations when it probably seems obvious.
For example, it’s a given that the steel produced from iron ore is found in certain structures and infrastructure – in the bridges you cross the river on, the train and rails that take you down south, the bike you ride to work, the stroller that carries your daughter to nursery school, and the buildings you live and work in.
But the iron ore and minerals we produce can also be found in many other contexts – some far less intuitive. It may be because you did not know we sell these materials, but most of us don’t know which raw materials make-up our everyday objects. For example, did you know there’s an average of 62 metals in the average smartphone?
Our subsidiary LKAB Minerals develops and sells raw materials that are used in many different contexts that affect your everyday life:
- Car interiors: Where surfaces are hard, our polymer MicaFort is used for it’s acoustic properties to soften sounds, as well as to counteract scratches and improve surface finishes in automotive interiors.
- Paints: Our MicaFort range is also used in paints, for example to make decorative paint glitter and boat paint non-corrosive. MagniF can be used in chalkboard paint and furniture coatings to make it magnetic, without risking rust like with iron powder based alternatives.
- Food: The calcium-based product line Calcifert, and the phosphorus we plan to extract, can be used in soil improvement and mineral fertilisers to improve crop yield as well as quality at a low cost for the agriculture industry.
- Cosmetics: The natural mineral Mica is also used in cosmetics to, for example, create pearl effects or gloss in make-up, and to make creams lump-free.
- Safe roads: Several of the minerals we sell are used to improve safety on the road. Our marble is added to paint to make road markings bright and reflective, while MicaFort and MagniF makes brake pads more resistant to pressure and temperature than graphite and other platy minerals.
- Recycling: Magnetite is used to separate metal from plastic when sorting the material you bring in for recycling.
Several of the products we will start producing in our transformation will also be used in similar fashion. As mentioned above, the phosphorus we plan to extract from mining waste could be used in fertilisers and replace Europe’s total import of the same material from Russia.
Rare earth elements on the other hand are important in the manufacturing of everything from mobile phones and computer screens to electric cars, with the added bonus that it too could make Europe more self-proficient in the value chain.
In other words, starting with our own deposits and some external sources, we manufacture a number of raw materials found in a variety of products in our everyday life. This includes our core product, the iron ore pellet, as the demand for it will remain significant as an enabler in the steel industry’s transition.
This means that as we at LKAB lead the transformation of our industry to a more sustainable future, we are also enabling others to follow suit. The transformation of industries like steel, construction, agriculture, food, automotive, and tech all rely on what we bring to the table. And everything starts in the mine.