Stockholm, Europe Brief News – A Swedish mining company announced that it had discovered Europe’s largest deposit of rare earth elements.
The discovered elements are essential for making electric cars and wind turbines, according to the Swedish iron ore miner LKAB.
The discovery could have major implications for the European Union’s clean energy transition, boosting its hopes of becoming less dependent on China.
State-owned LKAB said the deposit was discovered right next to its iron ore mine in Kiruna, far north in Arctic Sweden, and that it contained more than 1 million tonnes of rare earth oxides.
LKAB says the site can supply a “substantial part of Europe’s needs” when it comes to EVs (electric vehicles).
Rare earth minerals are vital to making many high-tech goods. They are used in electric vehicles, wind turbines, portable electronics, microphones and speakers.
Rare earth elements are not currently mined in Europe. Most come from China, and demand is expected to increase as industries shift towards renewable energy.
Sweden is seen as a crucial part of the European Union’s strategy for self-sufficiency in critical minerals.
“Electrification, the EU’s self-sufficiency and independence from Russia and China will begin in the mine,” said Ebba Busch, Sweden’s energy, business and industry minister.