Far up in northern Sweden, inside the Arctic Circle, LKAB mines one of the world's richest iron ore deposits. Since the start in 1890, we have supplied iron ore products for the global steel market.
It started with a squirrel hunt outside the village Masugnsbyn, near Junosuando in Torne Valley. At least if legend is to be believed. The farmer Lasun Lassi (Lars Larsson) found a peculiar black piece of stone there. The year was 1642. He brought the stone, that turned out to be iron ore, to the merchants in Torneå. The discovery was reported down south, to the Lord High Chancellor of Sweden, Axel Oxenstierna. This became the beginning of the mining and industrial history in Malmfälten and eventually the mining company LKAB.
The company was established in 1890 and has been an important cog in Sweden's export industry and industrial development for more than a century. The company has also been a reliable supplier and business partner to the European steel industry for the same length of time.
Effective transport from the mines in the north to our customers in Europe was decisive for LKAB's competitiveness around the start of the 20th century. Two years before LKAB was founded, on 12 March 1888, the first ore train from Malmberget arrived at the newly established ore harbour in Luleå. Fourteen years later, in 1902, LKAB's entire mining operation was linked by rail from Luleå in the south to Narvik in the north.
LKAB's first managing director
A few years earlier, a man by the name of Hjalmar Lundbohm had been employed as site manager at LKAB. He later become the company's first managing director, the founder of the town of Kiruna and, until his retirement in 1920, a strong driving force behind LKAB and the development of the entire region. From the outset, LKAB worked consciously to be at the forefront of developments in order to meet the needs of the steel industry. LKAB's first pelletising plant was built as early as 1954 in order to increase the degree of refinement and create added value for our customers.