Sweden: Mining, Minerals and Fuel Resources

Topics Covered

Welcome to Sweden
Overview of Resources
Metals
Industrial Minerals and Gemstones
Fossil Fuels
Investment
Sources

Welcome to Sweden

Sweden is located in Northern Europe, between Norway and Finland. The total area of the country is 450,295 km2, and has a population of 9,103,788 as of July 2012. The country’s climate varies from temperate in south to subarctic in north.

The national flag of Sweden.
Image Credit: CIA Factbook.

Sweden's economy overcame the 2009 global financial crisis by maintaining a stringent fiscal discipline despite widespread unemployment issues. The GDP of the country in 2011 was $386.6 billion.

Sweden’s natural resources include gold, silver, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, tungsten, uranium, arsenic, and feldspar. The mining sector of the country has been active with mineral resources forming the basis of the economy. The major mineral-rich mining regions in Sweden are the Norrbotten and Skellefte districts.

Overview of Resources

In 2010, Sweden was EU’s leading iron ore producer and ranked 10th in iron ore production in the world. In the past few years, the country has been producing ferrous and nonferrous metals such as gold, silver, iron ore, copper, lead, and zinc, and extracted industrial minerals such as dimension stone, crushed stone, and feldspar.

The map of Sweden. Image Credit: CIA Factbook.

Metals

The Svartliden Mine operated by Dragon Mining Ltd. of Australia is located 700 km north of Stockholm in an area that experts refer to as the gold-rich province or ‘Gold Line’. The Skellefteå district is said to have about 85 known deposits.

The major aluminum producer in Sweden is Kubikenborg Aluminium AB (KUBAL), which owns one of the country’s leading industrial plants.

Avalon Minerals Ltd. of Australia plans to upgrade and expand the Viscaria copper and iron project located in the Norrbotten area of northern Sweden. Deposits at the Viscaria project are estimated to be 66 million Mt of ore as of 2010. The Zinkgruvan mine of Sweden is located south-west of Stockholm. The copper plant started in 2010 is expected to realize 7,000 tpa of copper in 2013.

The Aitik mine operated by Boliden Minerals AB produced 67,168 t of copper concentrate and 3,600 kg of silver and 2,000 kg of gold as byproducts in 2010. The mine currently has a production capacity of 36 Mt/yr. The Rönnskär smelter owned by Boliden Metals AB is considered as one of the most efficient copper smelters in the world. This facility is capable of recycling of copper and precious metals.

Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB) owns the Kiruna Mine, which was the world’s largest underground iron ore mine as of 2010. In the same year, the company was granted an environmental permit to operate a new open pit mine in Gruvberget.

Industrial Minerals and Gemstones

Tertiary Minerals plc of UK was provided an exploration license in 2010 to operate the Storuman fluorspar deposit in Vasterbotten district. The Storuman mine’s fluorspar production was 100,000 t/yr in the same year, thus making this mine one of the leading producers of fluorspar in Europe.

Fossil Fuels

In 2010, the Swedish government lifted the 30-year ban on nuclear power plants, thus giving the country’s nuclear power a significant boost. The policy change was part of a new drive to increase energy security and combat global warming.

The Hotagen uranium mineralized project operated by Mawson Resources Ltd. of Canada in northern Sweden consisted of 8,360 hectares for exploration activities.

Investment

The mining sector of Sweden is likely to continue to play an important role in the country’s economy. Global prominence as a leading iron ore producer is viable as iron production is expected to increase in the next 5 to 10 years to about 50 Mt/yr. Mining companies are looking at feasibility studies and exploration activities to exploit Sweden’s substantial gold, base metal, and iron ore deposits. Global mining companies are especially keen on pursuing exploration activities for Sweden’s diamond and gold.

Experts state that Sweden is an ideal choice for global investments due to the following reasons:

  • Rich mineral reserves
  • Years of mining tradition
  • Readily available geosciences data
  • High level infrastructure in the metal and mining industry
  • Top brands of mining equipment
  • Highly advanced research and development in mining and metallurgy sectors

With the country’s stable and peaceful environment along with its highly skilled labor force, fast growth and development is a definite possibility for its mining sector.

Disclaimer: The Author of this article does not imply any investment recommendation and some content is speculative in nature. The Author is not affiliated in any way with any companies mentioned and all statistical information is publically available.

Sources

http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/country/2010/myb3-2010-sw.pdf

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sw.html

http://www.lundinmining.com/s/Zinkgruvan.asp

G.P. Thomas

Written by

G.P. Thomas

Gary graduated from the University of Manchester with a first-class honours degree in Geochemistry and a Masters in Earth Sciences. After working in the Australian mining industry, Gary decided to hang up his geology boots and turn his hand to writing. When he isn't developing topical and informative content, Gary can usually be found playing his beloved guitar, or watching Aston Villa FC snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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