Inspenet, August 15, 2023.
The reason for the transfer? this swedish city sits on top of the largest rare earth mine in europe. The idea is to move “building by building” to the new location to preserve its roots.
The 23,000 inhabitants of the Swedish town of Kiruna will be forced to change their location due to the discovery of what could be the largest rare earth mine in Europe , which lies right next to the existing iron ore mine in the town.
The new location will be approximately 3 km away, in the area known as “New Kiruna”. It is planned to gradually relocate every building in the city, including a total of 450,000 m 2 of public, residential, commercial and entertainment structures. This includes the town’s Lutheran church, built in 1912.
This process will be extensive. It is estimated that full relocation will not be completed until 2035 and, despite the desire of the inhabitants to preserve their traditions, they also hope that the new place will have more pedestrian areas and more convenient access to nature for various outdoor activities.
Kiruna was established around 125 years ago to provide accommodation for employees working in the region’s industrial complex. Its residents are distributed in an area of 20,000 km 2 , surrounded by 6,000 lakes, seven rivers and an extensive amount of forests.
Why will they move this Swedish town?
The reason behind this location change is due to the possible discovery of the largest rare earth mine in Europe. According to the LKAB mining company, this mine could accommodate around 585 million tons of ore , including at least one million tons of praseodymium or neodymium oxides, essential components for the manufacture of electric vehicles .
Although the exploitation of this mine will not be immediate and could take 10 to 15 years, it could represent a great advance for Sweden in terms of ecological transition. According to Ebba Busch, the Swedish Minister for Energy, Trade and Industry, “Electrification, the self-sufficiency of the European Union and the independence of Russia and China will begin in this mine.”
With the new location of the city, the Swedish government hopes to build an urban environment specifically designed to be environmentally friendly, with more efficient buildings and various sustainable mobility solutions.
Although it faces challenges for both authorities and residents, this project represents another step forward in a country that aspires to establish energy communities “committed to making a difference” and a government that aims to reduce 70% of carbon dioxide emissions. carbon emissions from transportation by the year 2030.