Critical minerals extracted from mining waste
Using fossil-free technology, LKAB will 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, electric cars and fluoride for dental care and medicinal applications.
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.
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.
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:
- phosphorus corresponding to five times Sweden’s entire need
- 30 percent of Europe’s need for rare earth elements today
- fluorine for the chemical industry and medical applications
- enough gypsum to cover Sweden’s entire need
Recycling and innovation secure critical raw materials for use in green technology and food production. This is the basis of the ReeMAP project.Learn more at ree-map.com
We are in the middle of the biggest change in our 130-year history and perhaps the largest industrial investment ever in Sweden. By 2045, we will be carbon dioxide-free.Learn more about our transformation