Happy miners with all-time high production

The miners down-deep can smile all the way to the bank. Iron-ore production from the 700 meters deep mines under Kiruna in northern Sweden supplies 90 percent of all iron-ore produced in the EU. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Sweden’s mining giant in Kiruna produced a record high 26,3 million tons of iron-ore products in 2012, counting for 90 percent of all iron-ore production within the EU.


The main part of the products delivered last year was pellets, counting for 22,009 tons. LKAB in Kiruna has one of the most modern pellets production plants in the world. Combined with one of the riches grades of iron-ore, the state-owned mining company experiences a Klondike-style growth and a symbol of the booming mining industry in the Barents Region.

Last year’s pellets production was up more than 1,000 tons from 2011, the company reports.

“Despite troubled times we managed to sell all of LKAB’s production and even a bit more,” says Markus Petäjäniemi, Director for Marketing and Logistics.

High demand for iron is mainly coming from customers in Asia and the Middle East. Much of the production of iron is still in Europe and LKAB sold most of pellets to European steelmakers. 

The mining company plans for a 35 percent increase in production over the next two years. Three new open-pit mines in the Svappavaara area south of Kiruna are in the process of being opened.