Sweden is not only a country with a long established mining history, but due to new mining technologies, investment and global supply cycles and issues, is emerging as a modern era mining nation that is well positioned, with low sovereign risk and a strong minerals profile, to reduce the European Union's mineral resources imbalance.
The EU countries account for more than 20% of the minerals consumed worldwide each year but produce less than 4% of the total minerals extracted globally. This heavy dependence on imported minerals favours Sweden's ability to increase its future supply of raw materials.
Sweden's large mineral endowment is relatively under-explored, with modern exploration by foreign developers only allowed since 1992.
The advantages of developing and operating mining projects in Sweden include:
Copper ore extraction commenced at Falun, central Sweden, in the 11th century and continued for almost one thousand years before ceasing in 1992. During the 17th century the region accounted for two-thirds of total global copper production.
Sweden has a significant iron production history spanning 700 years, and often ranked as one of the world's foremost producers of iron. The Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB ("LKAB") mining company, founded in 1890, currently mines the world class 2Bt+ Kiruna iron ore deposit and is the largest iron ore producer in Europe.
Sweden contains part of the geological region known as the Fennoscandian Shield that also covers Finland, northwest Russia (the Kola Peninsula) and parts of Norway. It primarily comprises Proterozoic age rocks (1.71-1.96 billion years old) hosting significant quantities of iron, nickel, copper, lead, zinc and gold. Approximately 70 million tonnes of ore are mined each year from more than 15 mines, most located in northern Sweden.