LKAB plans to resume iron ore production at Mertainen mine

Thursday, 18 February 2021 13:40:43 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

Swedish iron ore producer LKAB has announced that it plans to reopen the Mertainen mine located outside of Svappavaara, to produce more iron ore, in response to increased demand for crude iron in the market as the production in the Kurina mine is still suspended due to the earthquake in May last year. The company intends to resume operation at the Mertainen mine in the autumn this year, running the mine for about six months and building up a stock of crude iron ore.

“We will have built up a stockpile of crude ore that will serve as a buffer for supplying our pelletizing plants. To produce a million mt of crude ore, we will have to mine 1.5 million mt of ore,” Niclas Svanelöv, section manager for mining in Svappavaara. 

According to the company’s statement, mining permits are already in place, though further preparations have to be made for stockpiling to start mine production.

The company’s decision to prepare Mertainen for mining was taken in 2010, when the prices of coarse iron ore fines were high. After a drawn-out permitting process, the market had changed, so that LKAB saw no profitability in a production start-up. By then, the area had already been prepared. These facilities can now be activated for a resumption of mining.

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