First blast in Pajala

Chargers in work for the first ore blast in Kaunisvaara on Thursday. Photo: Northland Resources

Largest new mining project in Sweden in 40 years in production from yesterday when Northland Resources blasted off its first detonation in the iron-ore mine near Pajala.


157 tons of blasting agent was triggered Thursday afternoon in the Kaunisvaara iron ore mine outside Pajala near Sweden’s northern border to Finland. 410,000 tons of rocks were flying into the air, including 90,000 tons of ore.

The blast was not only a huge bang for the mine itself; it is a boost for northern Sweden.

““This will be wicked.  It’s when the mine starts up. It will be a boost for the whole region. Of course it’s good for the company too to start bringing in money. Right now it’s just eating money,” says Björn Karlsson, the 29-year-old from Boden who since July has been employed as a charger in Kaunisvaara.

The ore blasted on Thursday will now be taken to the processing plant and then sent by rail to the Norwegian port of Narvik sometime early in 2013. Northland Resources plans to produce 1,4 million dry ton of iron ore concentrate the first year steadily increasing to 4 million tons annually by late 2014.

Northland Resources is also preparing a feasibility study for its Hannukainen iron oxide copper gold project in Kolari on the Finnish side of the border from Pajala.

The perspectives for the mining industry in Sweden is very promising with many new projects in the pipeline and expansion of existing mines, especially in Norrbotten, Sweden’s northernmost region. A report published earlier this week by SveMin, a business association for the mining industry, estimates a triplication in mining activities. This could create 50,000 new jobs by 2025, the report reads.