LKAB closes part of the Kiruna mine

Kiruna The ore railway's lack of capacity forces the mining company LKAB to put production in Konsuln in mothballs.

Konsuln is part of the mine in Kiruna. Last year, 2.4 million tonnes were mined there. Putting production at Konsuln on hold is part of LKAB's plan to reduce production by one million tonnes per year. The reason is the lack of capacity on the Malmbanan railway line, which prevents LKAB from delivering the full volume it sells.

"We have to review both the cost situation and the volumes produced when we cannot deliver everything to our customers," says Michael Palo, head of the Iron Ore business area.

The decision to close Konsuln is part of the reduction of one million tonnes of finished products. Part of the production that is now stopped is offset by increased production in the rest of Kirunavaara.

"We continue to work for solutions to the difficult situation at Malmbanan going forward and expect to make a decision in the autumn on whether we are forced to make more dramatic cuts in the form of possible closure of pellet plants with associated mine production. All last week, the Ore Line between Kiruna and Narvik was at a standstill again due to solar curves," says Michael Palo.

No employees at LKAB or its subsidiaries will be given notice as a result of the decision. Several contracts with contractors will be cancelled, affecting more than 60 jobs.

Lennart Håkansson