After exploration in 2022 LKAB now provides summary technical reports on the Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves. ”The teams have again delivered very successful results for the year” says Ian Cope, Vice President Exploration at LKAB. Compared to 2021, the Mineral Resources have increased by 18 percent and Mineral Reserves have decreased by 6 percent. The Per Geijer deposit in Kiruna has for the first time reported a “rare earth element” Mineral Resource.
The iron ore Mineral Reserves in Kiruna and Malmberget have decreased in line with mine production, also with some downgrading in the Kiruna mine due to the seismic event in 2020. Mineral Reserves in the Leveäniemi mine in Svappavaara have increased by about 13% to almost 100 million tonnes. Mineral Resources in Kiruna have increased by 16% to 800 million tonnes, whereas Malmberget also reports a significant 22% increase to about 1.2 billion tonnes. In Svappavaara, the Mineral Resources at Gruvberget have increased by 10% to more than 400 million tonnes.
Exploration at Per Geijer, as previously reported, has increased the Mineral Resource to 585 million tonnes of iron ore and phosphorous. Significantly, this same increased tonnage has for the first time been reported as an Inferred Mineral Resource of rare earth oxides, at grades much richer than those found in LKAB’s other deposits.
At the end of 2022, LKAB had identified Mineral Reserves of more than 1.1 billion tonnes and Mineral Resources of some 3.2 billion tonnes in Svappavaara, Malmberget and Kiruna (including Per Geijer). Since the start in 1890, LKAB has mined a total of more than 2 billion tonnes. In addition to iron ore, all of LKAB’s ores contain minerals from which the critical materials of phosphorous and rare earth elements may be obtained.
“The outlook for continued increases to the life of LKAB’s mines has been greatly enhanced by these additions to the mineral assets of the company,” says Ian Cope.