Kiruna and Malmberget are home to the two largest underground iron ore mines in the world. Today, the mining operations are encroaching on the settlements and the position of the iron deposits means that the mining is taking place at greater depths. Existence for people living around the mines will be radically affected. It is simply not possible to stay when mining operations are consuming the ground beneath. So that the mining can continue, major parts of the settlements must therefore be moved.
The urban transformation is also a large and complex process which will continue for many years. It is a condition of life with mutual dependence which everyone here is well aware of and which we must relate to in the best way possible.
Residential and commercial area.
Underground iron-ore mines
So that both LKAB’s business and the surrounding communities can continue to develop, the urban transformation must be implemented in collaboration and mutual understanding with those affected. We do our part to ensure that it is so.
In all, around 5.000 homes and 700.000m² of housing and business premises will be replaced. This means that some 10.000 people – roughly a quarter of Malmfälten’s population – will need to move.The urban transformations are estimated to continue at least until 2035, when the current main levels will have been extracted.
Along with employees and the communities, LKAB has a great value. We create approximately 17.000 jobs through direct and indirect job opportunities, locally and regionally. We make an important contribution to the economic development of the region as well as for Sweden. Our iron ore becomes steel which in turn facilitates good social development in the form of roads, buildings, vehicles and even washing machines.
If LKAB is to be able to continue creating jobs, paying taxes and being an active part of society, Kiruna and Malmberget must be moved. Even though it is an accepted fact, all change is stressful in practice, whether it is positive or negative. It is important to remember that the urban transformations are an important piece of a bigger puzzle.
The urban transformation of Kiruna is capturing attention worldwide. Never before has such an advanced and modern community undergone transformation due to industrial needs for land.
In Malmberget and Gällivare, the urban transformation is not something new. The mining industry's land requirements have been impacting these communities for over 50 years. Blocks and buildings have been demolished, and in some cases, relocated.
Together with the municipalities, LKAB establishes time schedules for when and how the urban transformations are to be conducted. The municipalities decide what the new communities will look like and according to the Swedish Minerals Act, it is LKAB that will pay for the costs incurred when the company’s mining makes the urban transformations necessary.
LKAB’s ambition is to facilitate the transformation and compensate for the direct affect that the urban transformations have on the people concerned.
LKAB is a part of the community, and therefore, it is natural for us to take our environmental, social, and economic responsibilities seriously. This is referred to as sustainability today – something we have been committed to for over 125 years.