The iron and steel industry accounts for a quarter of the total industry's global carbon dioxide emissions. At the same time, steel demand is expected to increase by 50% by 2050. For LKAB, the challenging task is to produce iron ore responsibly and innovatively. The answer is to be sustainable in every process.

LKAB operational reliability for sustainable mining

130+ Years of Mining History

2046. This is the year of the current life expectancy of the Kiruna iron ore reserves at level 1365, which recently increased from about 700 to more than 800 million tonnes. After significant exploration efforts, the resources have increased by 10 per cent compared to 2020. Since the start of mining operations in 1890, LKAB has mined more than 2 billion tonnes in all of its sites in Kiruna, Malmberget and Svappavaara. An absurd big number to swallow.



Today, more than a third of LKAB's industrial minerals business is based on upgrading waste and by-products. Circular business models increase materials efficiency and could become an attractive and increasingly important business in the future.

Extracting critical minerals such as phosphorus and rare earth elements from LKAB's existing waste streams requires significant quantities of sulphuric acid. Rather than this being produced from fossil products from oil refineries, LKAB partners with other companies and use their waste streams as raw material.

Safety Standards

Mining always bears some risks in terms of occupational safety. In May 2020, an earthquake of 4.9 Mw was triggered in the footwall of the mine. It was induced by the mining activity, a testimonial of the immense tensions in the ore body.

At the same time, being one of the world's biggest underground iron ore mines, LKAB in Kiruna is also a high-tech venture. Exploration, production, and safety enable profitable, efficient, and safe mining businesses. The Kiruna Mine is a perfect example.

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10 Years in use: Crew Companion

On an individual level regarding safety, LKAB uses a miner tracking solution from IDENTEC SOLUTIONS. In general, Crew Companion allows to oversee all of his staff in all mine areas at once and in real-time. Before a blast, all personnel will move out into safety zones before an explosion happens. Everyone remains away for the time hazardous gases and dust are ventilated. Miners return as soon as it is declared safe to finish their work.

Tobias Johansson is responsible for different automation projects at LKAB, and Crew Companion is one of them. He has been working for years now for the Swedish mine and saw it growing deeper and deeper. "It is important for me that a system like Crew Companion can grow as the mine expands. We are now at level 1365, and maybe we will go deeper. That's what I like about Crew Companion: I can install the reader by myself, IDENTEC SOLUTIONS adds them to the database, and I start monitoring in new areas immediately."


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  • Insights into LKAB's safety concept

  • Future trends: sustainable mining

  • LKAB capabilities in research and automation


Download a free copy of our success story "LKAB: Operational Reliability for a Sustainable Future"