KIRUNA, SWEDEN (AFP) – Europe’s largest known deposit of rare earth elements – key for the production of electric cars – has been discovered in Sweden’s far north, Swedish mining company Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebolag (LKAB) said yesterday.
LKAB said the newly-explored deposit, found right next to an iron ore mine, contained more than one million tonnes of rare earth oxides.
“This is the largest known deposit of rare earth elements in our part of the world, and it could become a significant building block for producing the critical raw materials that are absolutely crucial to enable the green transition,” LKAB’s Chief Executive Jan Mostrom said in a statement.
“We face a supply problem. Without mines, there can be no electric vehicles,” Mostrom added.The full extent of the deposit has not been established yet.
Mostrom said it would likely “take several years to investigate the deposit and the conditions for profitably and sustainably mining it”.