Geografi och historik

Ore field with a sterling history

As a result of the electrification of  society, the demand for copper has risen rapidly. Today, copper is considered an essential component in the continued electrification leap, but the metal has not always been as sought after. After being in use between 1982 and 1997 under the ownership of LKAB and Outokumpu OYJ, the Viscaria copper mine was closed in 1996/1997. At that time, the copper price was USD 1,700 per tonne, compared with the current price of approximately USD 9,000 per tonne.

As early as the 17th century, it was clear that the area around Kiruna had plenty of ore deposits. Thus, mining began, but it was not until the 1890s that LKAB started its operations, focusing on iron ore mining in Kirunavaara. The LKAB manager of the time, Hjalmar Lundbohm, is considered to be Kiruna’s founder. The more the mining industry developed, the more the demand grew for the facilities that a city could offer. 1900 is considered to be the year when the town of Kiruna was born. Three years later, in 1903, the northern section of the Iron Ore Line between Kiruna and Narvik was inaugurated. The Iron Ore Line is the most important transport route from the mining districts in the Ore Fields to the Atlantic, and its construction is usually described as a decisive technological leap in Swedish industrial history.

Geography and geology of the area

Kiruna is the central town in Kiruna municipality, and with more than 22,000 inhabitants, it is Lapland’s largest city. The mining district – located between the mountains Luossavaara, Kiirunavaara, and the southern slope of the third city mountain, Haukivaara – contains large iron ore deposits and has ore bodies with gold and copper.