Questions and answers

Here you can find the most common questions about the urban transformation, and our answers.

About urban transformation

What is LKAB?

LKAB stands for Luossavaara Kiirunavaara AB, one one of Sweden's oldest industrial companies. LKAB's core business is mining and processing iron ore for the steel industry. LKAB's mines and refining plants are located in Malmfälten in the north of Sweden. Our operations are mainly in Kiruna, Malmberget and Svappavaara and we have the world's two biggest underground iron ore mines.

What is an urban transformation?

An urban transformation means that major changes take place in a community. The urban transformation in Kiruna and Malmberget involves moving a large number of properties to enable LKAB to continue mining iron ore in the underground mines. The underground mining affects the ground.

Why do the urban transformations need to be made?

The urban transformations have to be made to make it possible for LKAB to mine the ore located beneath the communities. It is very important for LKAB to be able to continue to create prosperity by offering work, paying taxes and being an active member of Swedish society. LKAB is also one of Sweden's biggest export companies. 30-50% of LKAB's profit goes straight into the public treasury.

Where will the urban transformations take place?

In Kiruna and Malmberget, that are situated in Norrbotten, the area is called Malmfälten ("The Ore Fields"). Kiruna Municipality has decided that about one third of the central parts of Kiruna will be relocated to a new place three kilometres east of the present city centre. Gällivare Municipality has decided that Gällivare will be densified and expanded with public amenities when most of Malmberget is demolished.

Is there any difference between the urban transformation in Kiruna and the one in Malmberget?

Yes. There are some differences but the urban transformations will mostly be made in similar ways. The timetables, the areas and how the transformations are made are different but everyone affected will be compensated in the same way.

How many people have to move?

About 5,000 homes and 700,000 square metres of residential, business and industry premises will be affected. In the long term, almost 10,000 people, about a quarter of Malmfälten's population, will need to move. 160 shops and companies will have to relocate.

When will they move?

The time perspective looks a little different depending on where inside a particular area properties are located. Large parts of the communities are not all affected at the same time.

Here you can find the timetables:
Time to move Malmberget.
Time to move Kiruna.

When will the urban transformations be completed?

They will continue until at least 2035, when the present main levels will have been worked out. If LKAB decides to proceed deeper down into the mines the urban transformations will continue.

Who is paying for the urban transformations?

LKAB pays for everything that is affected. The Swedish Minerals Act states that mining companies that cause damage to the surrounding area must pay for the damage. LKAB will therefore pay the major part of the cost of the urban transformations in Malmberget and Kiruna. Other players will pay some of the cost themselves because they will be talking the opportunity to construct new buildings or convert existing ones when the communities change.

How much has LKAB paid so far?

Since 2006 to December 2018 we have set aside about SEK 17 billion for the urban transformations and paid out about 8,7 billion.

What will the final cost amount to?

We can't say exactly because we don't know how long the urban transformations will continue. In both Kiruna and Malmberget it's a matter of several billion.

How are communities moved?

The urban transformations assume that LKAB and the municipalities agree on how to make the transformations and who is responsible for what. The agreements are regulated in collaboration and implementation agreements. The agreements state what is to be moved, demolished and constructed. This involves complex planning and close collaboration between a number of parties. New homes, services and infrastructure must be ready or under construction before LKAB can close existing urban areas. In summary this means that there is first a great deal of planning, followed by the municipalities adjusting their local plans, and then construction of new communities for people to move to. The old buildings are then demolished or moved and the area becomes a green space before being turned into an industrial area.

What is a local plan?

A local plan defines how land and water are to be used and how the built environment are to look inside a certain area in a municipality. Only the municipality can draw up and adopt a local plan, in other words change how an area is to be used.

How is iron ore mined?

LKAB's mining method, sub-level caving, means that cavities, known as voids, arise in the rock when the ore is mined. The voids are then filled with waste rock that falls down. This automatic filling means that the more ore that is mined the more the rock above subsides. The ground level is affected, ultimately resulting in deformations.

How do you measure the movement of the ground?

The mine and the surrounding area are monitored by an extensive system of geophones located underground and metering equipment placed above ground. Factors that affect the movement of the ground include the shape of the ore body, how we plan to mine it, what the bedrock that is affected looks like and how the actual ground movement spreads.

Kiruna

What is Kiruna?

Kiruna is a mining locality in Kiruna municipality, founded in 1900 and LKAB's first works manager Hjalmar Lundbohm is credited as being the founder. LKAB had begun mining iron ore in Kiirunavaara mountain in the late 1890s and therefore built the town close to the mine. Today Kiruna is LKAB's biggest mining centre.

Where will Kiruna move to?

About one third of the community is affected by the mining, including the entire central district. Kiruna Municipality has decided to relocate Kiruna's city centre three kilometres east of where it stands today, in the direction of Tuolluvaara. New residential areas are being built in many parts of Kiruna.

How many people have to move in Kiruna?

Over the next 20 years about 6,000 people living in the affected areas will move to new homes.

When will Kiruna be moved?

The move is taking place at the moment and is always going on. The time perspective looks a little different depending on where inside a particular area properties are located. Large parts of the communities are not all affected at the same time. The move will continue until at least 2035. You can find the timetable here.

What is a mine city park?

A mine city park consists of green spaces that form a gentle transition between the mine and the community so that no one needs to live or find themselves next to an industrial fence.

What in Kiruna will be moved?

About 3,000 homes and 450,000 square metres of residential and business premises space must be cleared away and rebuilt somewhere else. This includes houses, tenant-owner apartment buildings, rental apartment buildings, shopping malls, companies and other organisations, about 20 cultural buildings, a church, a sports hall, a swimming baths, an upper secondary school, a hospital, five hotels and a community centre.

Malmberget

What is Malmberget?

Malmberget is a mining locality in Gällivare municipality that was built up in the late 1800s for the miners to have somewhere to live close to their work and the houses therefore came to be built on the ore bodies being mined today. Today Malmberget is LKAB's second biggest mining centre.

Where will Malmberget be moved to?

Two places will become one when Malmberget is wound down and Gällivare is developed. Most of Malmberget will thereby disappear. Gällivare together with Koskullskulle will then be the localities that occupy most space in Gällivare municipality.

How many people have to move from Malmberget?

Over the next 20 years about 3,200 people living in the affected areas will move to new homes.

When will Malmberget be moved?

The urban transformation has been going on in Malmberget for over 50 years and many people and buildings have already moved. The move will continue until at least 2032 but much of Malmberget will have been cleared sometime during 2019. You can find the timetable here.

Why is the move in Malmberbet being made in four stages?

For practical reasons it is not possible to clear the whole of Malmberget all at once. LKAB and Gällivare Municipality have agreed on which parts are most suitable to handle at the same time in relation to ground movements.

What in Malmberget will be moved?

About 2,000 homes and 250,000 square metres of residential and business premises space must be cleared away and rebuilt somewhere else. This includes houses, tenant-owners apartment buildings, rental apartment buildings, companies and other organisations, about 30 cultural buildings, a church, a sports hall, a swimming baths, an upper secondary school and two old people's homes.

The move

What happens to the people who have to move?

What happens to the people who have to move?
LKAB will inform people who have to move about when their home or business premises are concerned. Discussions will then begin on a new home or new business premises. LKAB will compensate everyone who has to move with either money, a new house, new premises or a new apartment in the new location. The solutions will be different depending on what property each individual lives in or owns and the person concerned's wishes. Not everyone has to move at the same time; as more homes and premises are built, moving chains will start.

Do I have to move?

Check if you are concerned at "Time to move", where you can find out if and, if so, when you will have to move.
Time to move Malmberget
Time to move Kiruna

Does my business have to move?

Check if your shop and business are concerned at "Time to move", where you can find out if and, if so, when you will have to move.
Time to move Malmberget
Time to move Kiruna

Where are new homes being built?

New homes are being built in both Kiruna and Malmberget and preparatory groundwork is going on.

What if the people concerned don’t want to move?

The mine's and the community's interest in gaining access to the land will then be weighed against the individual's need to stay. The matter will be examined by the Municipality and the Mining Inspectorate of Sweden. LKAB can never force anyone to move.

How is the move made?

First, LKAB has to buy the property. It does so through voluntary agreements with property owners who have decided to sell. When the property has been sold, the person doesn't have to move immediately. They can stay in their home as a tenant on a short-lease contract with LKAB's subsidiary LKAB Fastigheter.

Are the timetables final?

Yes, as far as it can be. If conditions change, the timetables will of course have to be adjusted but the aim is to be able to work according to the timetables we have today.

When it says I have to move between certain years it’s still not clear exactly when I’ll be affected. Why can’t LKAB give an exact date for every house?

That level in the local plan is dependent on so many factors that it can't be decided too far in advance. It depends on when the ground begins to affect an area, individual property owners' situation, infrastructure, and many other things.

If I want to sell to LKAB earlier than shown in the timetable, can I?

No. LKAB has to use its resources and funds to resolve the situation in the areas that are next in line.

Why is LKAB buying buildings closest to the mine first?

Those are the areas that are affected first. Above all it's the infrastructure in the ground, e.g. water and sewage pipes, that breaks first.

Does LKAB also buy buildings outside the affected area?

No. LKAB only compensates people who have to move due to its mining operations.

Compensation

How does LKAB compensate property owners?

House owners and property owners who own rental apartment buildings are offered a choice between a replacement building that is equivalent to their present one or a sum of money amounting to the property's market value plus 25 per cent. The new building will not be a copy of the old one either as regards architecture or material. But it will be comparable. LKAB collaborates with various construction contractors and will order a new building if the owner chooses a replacement building instead of money.

Read more about house owners' compensation here.

Read more about apartment building owners' compensation here.

How are tenants compensated?

Tenants who do not own a property have priority option on both older and new homes. They will also be compensated through an incremental rent scheme that begins with the tenant's current rent the first year and then increases over a period of seven years. Tenants who have to move are covered by LKAB's scheme regardless of landlord.

Read more about rental apartment building owners' compensation here.

How are people in private housing cooperative?

People living in a tenant-owner apartment are compensated with a sum of money. LKAB's offer is made up of two parts. The compensation is an amount per square metre of living space that corresponds to the square metre price for a newly built tenant-owner apartment in Malmfälten and an additional amount based on individual assessment of the condition and standard of the present apartment.

This allows the association's members to choose between buying a newly built tenant-owner apartment in Malmfälten with the money they get from LKAB or doing what they want with the money. It's important for us that the individual can choose to move to a new home.

Read more about private housing cooperative owners' compensation here.

How are companies, authorities and organisations compensated?

Business operators, authorities and organisations who relocate are compensated in several ways. Those who own their property are offered a replacement property and those who rent are offered new premises with an incremental rent plan for a period of up to five years. In addition, LKAB pays the relocation costs and loss of profit in connection with the move.

Read more about how LKAB compensates companies, authorities and organisations here.

What about those who have already sold their property?

The urban transformation process is developing all the time. Agreements already entered into apply and LKAB has been careful to treat everyone the same at any given time. Compensation amounts, conditions in the community and even the housing markets change as the years go by.

What is the difference between buying a building, compulsory acquisition and expropriation?

Both compulsory acquisition and expropriation mean that a property owner has to sell their building as a result of a decision by an authority. It is not something that LKAB can decide. LKAB only buys properties through voluntary purchase agreements. We do so when new areas are needed for mining or if the urban transformations mean that roads or other infrastructure are moved as a result of our operations.

House owners

Who pays the tax on profits?

The property owner. Contact your local tax office or read more on the Swedish Tax Agency's website.

Which house builders does LKAB collaborate with?

LKAB collaborates with a number of house builders to be able to meet the need that arises.

Do I have to register in a queue to be given a building plot?

You do not have to register in a queue. Building plots will be allocated in stages. You are allowed to say what you would like and if several people want the same plot it will be allocated by drawing lots.

Will my present neighbours be moving to the same area?

That depends on where your neighbours choose to live.

Do I get more compensation if I have renovated my house?

Yes. Your house is worth more if you have renovated and modernised it.

Can I choose a smaller house than the one I have now and get the difference in cash?

You can choose a smaller house but you can't get the difference in cash.

Can I get help with packing?

Yes. You get help to move. LKAB uses a removal company who help you.

Will I get a newly built house or an old one?

LKAB will be offering newly built replacement homes at the present time because there are not enough properties on the housing market in Malmfälten. If there is a surplus of vacant existing properties sometime in the future, these can also be offered provided they are equivalent to the houses to be replaced. Using existing properties before new ones are built is a way for LKAB to take responsibility for managing the community's resources.

Where will my replacement house be located?

Your new house will be located where LKAB has land available in the population centre. We will together try to find solutions that suit your needs and wishes as regards location.

Can I choose a tenant-owner apartment instead of a new house?

No. You cannot choose a tenant-owner flat as a replacement. But you can choose money instead of a new house and buy a tenant-owner apartment on the open housing market.

Owners of rental apartment buildings

Who pays any tax on profits?

The property owner. Contact your local tax office or read more on the Swedish Tax Agency's website.

What is a comparable rental apartment building?

People who choose a replacement building will be given a building that is equivalent to their old one. Factors that will be considered include size, number of apartments, standard and condition. The building will not be a copy of your existing building as regards appearance and material.

Will it be more expensive for me to run a newly built rental apartment building?

It's difficult to say before we know what building you will get. New buildings have lower operating costs and lower maintenance costs.

Which contractors does LKAB collaborate with?

LKAB collaborates with a number of contractors to be able to meet the need that arises.

Where will my replacement house be located?

Your new building will be located where LKAB has land available in the population centre. We will together try to find solutions that suit your needs and wishes as regards location.

Will my present tenants move with me?

One alternative might be that your tenants are offered priority on an apartment in your new building. LKAB and the landlord together agree on how to inform the tenants about the sale.

Will the new rents be higher?

If you choose a newly built building, the new rents will be higher. LKAB offers tenants in both our own and other landlords' buildings an incremental rent scheme when they move.

Do I get more compensation if I have renovated my building?

Yes. Your building is worth more if you have renovated and modernised it.

Will my tenants who have businesses be compensated if their turnover is lower because of the move?

Businesses that rent premises will be offered a move to new premises. If their net income falls during the move and the establishment phase they will receive compensation for this. If their rent for their new premises is higher, they will be offered an incremental rent plan.

Owners of tenant-owner apartments

Who pays any tax on a profit?

The owner of the apartment. Contact your local tax office or read more on the Swedish Tax Agency's website.

Will LKAB’s compensation be enough for a new, equivalent home?

Yes. LKAB's compensation will be equivalent to the market value and the cost of a newly built equivalent home in Malmfälten.

Why has LKAB chosen to compensate tenant-owners like this?

A tenant-owners' association is complex because the association owns the property but gives the tenant-owners the right to use the apartments. This makes it difficult for LKAB to compensate all the members of the association in any other way than with money.

If I choose to remain in my home after selling it, how much do I have to pay in rent?

When you have sold your tenant-owner apartment to LKAB, you can continue to live there as a tenant of LKAB Fastigheter. The rent will begin at the same level as your present tenant-owner fee.

How long can I remain in my apartment after selling it?

If you choose to remain in your apartment, but as a tenant of LKAB Fastigheter, you sign a contract without any tenant's protection rights. The contract is thus short-term and covers a number of years. Exactly how long you can remain is determined by the timetable for the move.

Will there be alternative forms of housing to choose between?

LKAB believes there will be both older and newly built rental apartments, tenant-owner apartments and houses so you will have plenty of options when you choose a new home.

Can I choose a new tenant-owner apartment instead of money?

No. You cannot choose a tenant-owner apartment as a replacement but LKAB's compensation will allow you to buy a new tenant-owner apartment on the open housing market.

How are shared areas in the property valued?

They are not valued separately but are included in your compensation.

Can I get help with packing?

Yes. You get help to move. LKAB uses a removal company who help you.

Do I get more compensation if I have renovated my home?

Yes. You get an additional amount of money based on your present apartment's condition and standard. The amount is higher if you have renovated and modernised your apartment.

Business owners

Is it possible to choose the location of my new premises?

Yes. LKAB compensates business owners for both function and location. This means that we do our best to offer an equivalent location. We try to satisfy the wishes of the business concerned.

How will the move take place?

LKAB uses a removal company who help you and your business to pack, move and unpack. Cleaning after moving out is included.

When will I be told where my new premises are located?

We will contact you in good time before you you need to choose new premises and move.

Will all businesses move at the same time?

Our aim is for as many businesses as possible to move at the same time. We think this will be good for everyone concerned.

Can I choose between newly built and older premises?

If no suitable premises are available among those that exist, LKAB will offer newly built premises as a replacement. There is a shortage of business premises in Malmfälten at the present time and we think most people will be offered newly built premises. If in the future there is a surplus of existing premises, these can also be offered provided they are equivalent to the premises to be replaced.

How can I make the time to relocation as short as possible?

If we collaborate on the move and everyone moves together the standstill will be shorter and the financial effects less serious. LKAB wants those who are to move to feel as little effect as possible.

What applies if I also own the property where my business is located?

You are then compensated both as a tenant and a property owner.

Do I get help with telling the market I have moved?

Yes. LKAB will help you with your market communication about your relocation and any clearance sales you hold.

What if my profit falls drastically at my new location? Does LKAB pay me compensation?

Loss of profit will be calculated during your move and your re-establishment. Compensation can be paid for up to five years depending on how much you are affected by moving to new premises. The analysis of your loss of profit also includes general factors that affect the company's market, e.g. changes in the business climate.

Can I find new premises myself and still get help from LKAB?

Yes. Everyone who has to relocate will get the same help and support.

Tenants of rental apartments

Can I move with my landlord?

LKAB hopes that tenants living in rental apartments will be able to move with their landlord if the landlord chooses a replacement apartment building.

Can I keep the same rent level if my landlord chooses a replacement apartment building?

If your landlord chooses a newly built replacement apartment building, the new rents will be higher but LKAB offers all tenants an incremental rent plan for a total of seven years regardless of landlord.

How many years does an incremental rent plan cover?

Seven years. During the first year you keep your present rent level if you move to an apartment of the same size. If you move to a larger or smaller apartment, you pay a monthly rent equivalent to an apartment of the same size in the building where you live at present. You pay the full rent in the ninth year. This only applies if you move to a newly built apartment.

Does my incremental rent plan still apply if I move somewhere else after a couple of years?

No. The plan is linked to you as tenant and your replacement apartment.

Where can I move to?

It depends partly on what your landlord chooses as a replacement and partly on your own wishes regarding your new home. LKAB believes that there will be both older and new apartments to move to, of different sizes and standard, in unaffected residential districts and development areas.

Is the rent higher in new apartments?

The price per square metre is higher in newly built apartments than in older ones, which means the rent is higher because the apartments have a higher standard and more functionality.

Can I get an older apartment with a lower rent?

That depends on what your landlord has available. LKAB hopes there will be both new and older apartments to rent but new ones will need to be built for that to be possible. Then there'll be some rotation in the housing queues and older apartments will become vacant.

Can I choose a bigger or smaller apartment than I have now?

You discuss with your landlord what alternatives they have available.

Can I choose financial compensation instead of a new rental apartment?

No. You cannot choose financial compensation because you rent your home and do not own it.