LKAB's operations are decentralized to two separate business areas: Iron Ore and Special Products. Among other things, this division serves to make a clear distinction between group-wide tasks and production-related tasks. Important areas of development are managed by group staff units.
This business area includes three production locations, each of which is tasked with producing uniformly high-quality iron with a high degree of delivery assurance. Operations include exploration and mine planning, mining operations, upgrading of iron ore products, and maintenance of plant and equipment.
Focus areas are increased production, reduced costs, less environmental impact and assured, stable processes.
As a part of the company's logistics operations, LKAB Malmtrafik is responsible for transporting iron ore products on the Malmbanan railway to the ports of Narvik and Luleå for loading to ships and subsequent delivery to customers.
This operation is also responsible for transporting crude ore between production locations. Delivery assurance is a central part of the logistics operation.
The orebody in the Kiruna underground mine is about 80 metres wide and four kilometres long and is one of the world's largest.
The present main haulage level, at a depth of 1,365 metres, came into operation in 2013. The mined ore is hauled from rock bins to crushing plants by remote-controlled electrically driven trains.
As mining progresses successively deeper, stresses in the bedrock increase and rock mass tremors occur. Reinforcement measures, planned and implemented according to the impact of mining operations, are increased successively to secure a safe work environment and meet planned production targets.
After the ore is brought up from the mine by skip hoists it is upgraded in the nearlying processing plants - sorting, beneficiation and pelletizing.
Mining operations in Malmberget are distributed over about 20 orebodies. About ten of these are currently mined. The principal mineral is magnetite, but smaller quantities of hematite are also mined in Malmberget.
The current main level in Malmberget is at a depth of 1,250 metres. The mined ore is hauled by large trucks to the crusher plant, and then carried by long belt conveyors to ore hoists for haulage up to surface level.
Processing takes place in plants at surface level. Pellets are the main product, but fines products are also produced. An unusually high iron grade means that fines from Malmberget are considered the best in the world.
In LKAB's open-pit mines the ore is extracted by means of bench mining. The ore is mined at successively deeper levels by means of drilling and blasting. As more ore is mined out, production progresses successively deeper. In the Svappavaara open-pit mines iron ore is mined and processed for production of pellets in Kiruna and Malmberget.
The Business Area has two main tasks:
- Attractive and sustainable growth based on LKAB's core competencies and resources.
- Develop and provide resources, knowledge and technology for increased competitiveness in iron ore production today and in the future.
The Business Area is located in 11 countries, including China, several countries in Europe, and the United States, but the largest operations are in Sweden and England. 900 employees in wholly and partly owned companies have a turnover of more than SEK 5 billion. Organic, innovation and acquisition driven business development contributes to sustainable growth that broadens LKAB.
Industrial minerals is the largest external market, where more than a third of sales consist of circular products from our own production systems or from other partners. It increases the material efficiency of the material we mine while also providing a good and sustainable business.
A large part of the future growth will come from the extraction of critical minerals from our mining waste in the ReeMAP project, where the goal is to produce:
- Phosphorus, about 5 times Sweden's needs.
- Rare Earth Elements, 30% of today's needs in the EU.
- Fluorine for the chemical industry and medical applications.
- Gypsum that is sufficient for all construction production in Sweden.
In addition, many exciting development projects are being conducted to reduce the environmental impact of our own production, extract new materials and contribute to increased climate efficiency in customers' processes.
Today's activities are organized as follows:
- 400 employees in 11 countries.
- Develops mineral solutions that utilize the mineral's unique properties and maximise its usefulness in the customer's process.
- Magnetite from Sweden, Mica from Finland and hydromagnesite/huntite from Turkey which are used in, for example, construction and water purification.
- Refines and markets a portfolio of other minerals and materials, including blast furnace slag as a cement substitute, limestone for agriculture and construction.
- Develops, manufactures and markets unique water powered drilling systems, which is a prerequisite for efficient underground mining in LKAB's iron ore mines.
- External sales to construction, mining, exploitation, dams and geoenergy. Marketing and sales take place mainly through distributors.
LKAB Berg & Betong
- Carries out, among other things, rock reinforcement and drifting, mining and enriching of ore, crushing and refining of iron ore products and the refining of waste rock into gravel and macadam for concrete ballast and construction.
- Is the world's largest producer of shotcrete.
- Together with Bergteamet AB (where LKAB is the main owner) Sweden's largest mining contractor, with a turnover of approximately 1500 million and 300 employees.
- 300 employees and one of Northern Sweden's largest and broadest mechanical workshops.
- A complete partner for steel construction and machining.
- Product development and construction from small components to large steel structures for mainly the mining, process and manufacturing industries.
- Maintenance and service agreements.
- LKAB Kimit is one of Sweden's largest explosives manufacturers and accounts for approximately one third of Sweden's total production.
- All production takes place in the factory in Kiruna.
- The company also develops and provides charging vehicles for tunnel and pallet charging.
Market and technology - for mining operations that are sustainable over the long term
Product quality, long-term relations and technological collaboration with customers are the basis of sales activities. With indepth knowledge of customers' processes, the company offers unique services, support and technical expertise that create value and differentiate LKAB from competitors in the market.
For technological development, highly productive mining production, development of upgraded products, energy-efficient and and climate-efficient processes, and increased utilization of plant and machinery are priority areas.
Within this unit the company is also pursuing two development projects: SUM (sustainable underground mining), a new world standard for mining a great depths, and Hybrit, where LKAB’s focus is on future pelletizing plants and the energy transition to fossil-fuel-free production.
Exploration, strategy and business development
The task of the exploration organization is to increase mineral resources in Kiruna, Malmberget and Svappavaara. Exploration activities consist of geophysical surveying, drilling and drifting of exploration drifts.
The Strategy and Business Development function is responsible for strategy, business planning and budgeting. Principal activities are macroeconomic development and the markets for steel and iron, and base and industrial minerals.
HR and sustainability – a safe work environment and minimized environmental impact
Responsibility for work environment, environment, HR, quality and energy issues. A safe work environment is our highest priority.
By managing, developing and coordinating the overall work of sustainability, the unit contributes to LKAB's development as a sustainable company.
The Code of Conduct guides sustainability work, which is based on economic, social and environmental factors.
Activities are focused on teamwork and continuous development to improve LKAB and its employees. Diversity and inclusion are keys to success.
Finance - value creation services for sustainable profit
Finance delivers value-adding services to the group and external entities within the areas finance and law.
As a joint group function, the unit has a supporting and developmental role in the company's operations. The task of this staff function is to manage and develop processes and to secure regulatory compliance and good internal control, including risk management.
Communication and Climate - greater knowledge of, and coincidence in, LKAB
The unit is responsible for strategic and financial communication, press relations, the intranet, social media, web, news publications, community relations, events, sponsoring and visitor reception.
By supporting group management, the business areas and staff functions, the unit strengthens the image of LKAB as an attractive company among stakeholders, thereby benefiting the business and attracting new co-workers.
As an in-house consultancy, the unit supports the communications activities of group management and co-workers.
Urban Transformation - community and mine together
The task of urban transformation is to secure access to land for the mining operations of LKAB.
The operation covers estate agents and purchasers of new homes and properties, project managers as well as being responsible for the areas being closed down and the development areas.
The unit is responsible for compensating the affected private individuals, business owners and local authorities in conjunction with the urban transformation.