Strategic priorities for a broader, stronger LKAB

8 May 2020

Our strategy aims to ensure LKAB’s long-term competitiveness.

By efficient utilisation of our existing production structure combined with the development of profitable and sustainable growth opportunities, we create a broader and stronger LKAB.

Establish LKAB more broadly in the industrial minerals market

“We are looking to supplement our iron ore business so that we can fend off fluctuations in the market more effectively – for example, by developing our offering to the industrial minerals market. At the end of 2018, we acquired the UK company Francis Flower, which among other things, processes residual products from the steel industry,” says Jan Moström, President and CEO of LKAB.

He goes on, “We will continue to evaluate value-adding acquisitions while at the same time assessing opportunities to utilise by-products from our existing operations. One example of this is the ReeMap project, which has moved into a pilot phase of extracting rare earth elements and phosphorus from the residual products of iron ore mining. During the year, we also began work to develop extraction of vanadium from the iron ore in Svappavaara.”

Focus on recycling and new products

LKAB is working to evaluate new opportunities for recycling residual products, both in our value chain and in that of our customers. This means processing and developing by-products, which results in better use of resources from existing operations and strengthens profitability.

To this means, we have identified three strategic activities in our company:

  1. Development initiative for extraction of phosphorus and rare earth elements from by-products of iron ore production: ReeMAP.
  2. Development initiative for extracting vanadium from iron ore.
  3. Continual evaluation of product development and acquisition opportunities that result in increased resource utilisation along the value chain.

Development based on by-products

In the development project ReeMAP, we aim to extract rare earth elements and phosphorus from the residual products of iron ore mining. The project is now in a pilot phase for industrialising the process and technology.

Rare earth elements are used in mobile phones, batteries and magnets, among other things. Heavy and light rare earth elements, as well as phosphorus, are all on the EU’s list of “critical raw materials”; that is, materials of great importance for the EU’s future economy, industry, technology and environment. At present, the EU is entirely dependent on imports of such elements which means there are great opportunities here.