Malmbanan derailment hits mining industry hard

Kiruna Both state-owned mining company LKAB and private Kaunis Iron have been severely affected by the derailment of the Malmbanan railway line at Vassijaure, near the Norwegian border, on December 17. On Wednesday, a meeting was held in Kiruna on the consequences and repair work.

Since December 17, traffic has been at a standstill on the northern part of the Malmbanan, between Kiruna in Sweden and Narvik in Norway. A 15-kilometer stretch of track has been destroyed and will take a long time to repair. It will not be ready until the end of January at the earliest.

For LKAB, the train stoppage means a loss of revenue of around SEK 100 million per day that traffic is at a standstill. This means that the loss can now be summed up to over SEK 2 billion.

For the private company Kaunis Iron, which mines iron ore in Pajala and transports the ore by rail between Svappavaara and Narvik, the accident means a loss of well over SEK 50 million. If traffic cannot be resumed by the end of January, the company will be forced to reduce production as it has limited storage capacity. Should this happen, it would mean a cost of about SEK 10 million per day.

On Wednesday, representatives of LKAB, the Swedish Transport Administration and the contractor BDX who is carrying out the restoration work on the railway met. Approximately 60 people are working to repair the 15-kilometer-long section that has been torn up by the derailed ore train.

Lennart Håkansson