Critical minerals extracted from mining waste

Using fossil-free technology, LKAB plans to extract phosphorus for mineral fertiliser and rare earth elements, which are critical for sustainable agriculture and the green transition. We are broadening our business, increasing Sweden's and Europe's self-sufficiency and contributing to a better climate.

As the earth’s population increases, so does our need for minerals. They’re used everywhere: phosphorus as the main ingredient in mineral fertiliser and rare earth elements in wind turbines and electric cars.

Rare earth elements

Rare earth elements are needed for permanent magnets used in electric cars, wind turbines and electronics.

Phosphorus for life

Phosphorus from mining waste provides mineral fertiliser, which is vital for global food production.

Many of these minerals are found in the material we pick up from our mines. These are by-products from iron ore mining, which today ends up as waste in our dams. With the help of new, innovative technology, we will take care of more of the waste and turn it into tomorrow’s critical resources, without unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions.

The goal is, in our new industry park in Luleå, to set a new standard for mineral refinery that is fossil-free, electrified and circular.

Illustration of an industrial park.

Circular and fossil-free

The more of the material from our mining we can use, the better from both an economic and environmental perspective. That’s the basic idea.

We want to give access to valuable new products and critical raw materials, such as phosphorus for mineral fertilisers and rare earth elements for modern technology, without the need to found a new mine and extract more material.

Tomorrow's resources

Today, more than a third of LKAB’s industrial mineral business is based on the processing of mining waste and by-products from iron ore mining. In the future, that part of our business will be of even greater importance.

In Europe we are largely dependent on the import of minerals. Increasing self-sufficiency is a high priority for both Sweden and the EU. Both phosphorus and rare earth elements, for example, are listed as critical minerals by the EU.

We will be able to produce: