To realise the project a range of challenges must be tackled successfully.
Challenge 1: The technology
First of all we must develop the hydro process.
Challenge 2: Industrialisation
This is an extensive, complex and new large-scale industrialisation.
Challenge 3: Environmental permits
Environmental permitting processes for the mining and minerals industry are long and unpredictable. For LKAB, this process is complicated by ongoing application for comprehensive permits for the operations in Malmberget and Kiruna, where the apatite plants will be located. The latter can potentially affect the entire timeline for the project.
LKAB’s ambition is to achieve a high degree of environmental performance, which is also the ambition of the public authorities. Our hope is that, aided by the authorities, we can satisfy all requirements and that the process is efficient and helps to create environmental benefit by realising the ReeMAP project.
Challenge 4: Localisation
For ReeMAP, localisation must meet all requirements; otherwise, we cannot realise the project.
Challenge 5: Expertise
Knowledge gap in ReeMAP project
The ReeMAP Industrial Park will require leading-edge expertise in a range of areas. LKAB currently lacks some of this expertise. Examples of areas in which some know-how is lacking include chemical engineering, hydrometallurgy, process control, automation and other engineering disciplines. Even agronomists and other professionals in fields related to the agriculture sector may be needed. In addition, we will need operators and other technical personnel to run and maintain the plants.
Technical expertise for Northern Sweden
Besides ReeMAP, there are several other exciting projects and emerging industries in northern Sweden in which there is similar demand for technical expertise.
Collaboration on research and development with academia will also be necessary. As well as more study and degree programme places will be needed to meet the needs of these new industries.
Challenge 6: Market and policies
Premiums on sustainable minerals products
Demand for, and possible premiums on, sustainable mineral products are significant. There is currently a certain demand, but there is at present little evidence that anyone is prepared to pay a premium, which could lead to the realisation of more innovative industrial transformations.
LKAB is prepared to invest in future products with high environmental performance, and we are convinced that the market will set a higher price on these in future. It will be important to highlight the best alternatives and create incentives for choosing them.
Policies to support sustainable production
Similarly, it is also important that policies directly or indirectly support the establishment of new and sustainable production.
In terms of both market and policies, the trend is favourable. The EU’s Green Deal, Sweden’s ambition to be the world’s first carbon-dioxide-free welfare state and clearer insight, after the covid crisis, as to the importance of increasing our self-sufficiency within several sectors are a few of the drivers.