The communities of the Swedish ore fields and mining and minerals company LKAB have lived side by side for 130 years. The mines continue to grow along the rich ore veins that stretch underneath towns. For LKAB to continue operations, they will need to mine the iron ore that lies beneath the communities.
That means everything above the mines needs to be moved. The urban transformation is another way of saying physically relocating two modern communities, Kiruna and Malmberget, by moving or replacing entire homes, businesses, and other buildings.
This major undertaking, expected to continue to 2035, is a prerequisite for LKAB to continue to be a world-leading export company, contribute to prosperity by offering jobs, and being an active community partner.
Together with employees and the communities of the Swedish ore fields, LKAB has a great value, creating more than 17,000 jobs through direct and indirect employment both locally and regionally. They make an important contribution to the economic development of the region and Sweden.
Above all, however, their iron ore becomes steel, which in turn enables good social development far beyond Sweden’s borders, for example in the construction of roads, buildings and vehicles.
The urban transformation in Kiruna is taking place gradually, with park areas (Mine City Parks) being constructed as the areas are phased out – creating a gentle transition between mine and town.
According to Swedish law, LKAB is required to pay for any costs that arise when the company’s mining activities lead to urban transformations. The goal is for the shift to be sustainable in the long-term and acceptable to everyone who is affected.