There are hopes that China will be challenged by the largest ever discovery of rare earth elements in European history.
Swedish mining company LKAB claimed it discovered more than 1 million tonnes of rare resources that were used in making smartphones, electric vehicles, wind generators, and speakers in the country’s Arctic region.
EU leaders believe the discovery will challenge the Chinese and Russian dominance in the mining of rare Earth metals.
Europe has not had the rare earth elements mined, which makes it dependent on imports from other countries.
Due to the increased demand for renewable energy products and electric vehicles, their demand is expected to increase in the coming years.
Jan Mostrom, chief executive of LKAB, stated that this was good news for LKAB, the area and the Swedish people but also for Europe, and for the climate.
It could be a key building block to produce the crucial raw materials necessary for the green transition.
“Independence will start in the mine”
The majority of rare earth minerals are mined in China where most of the world’s most recognizable electronics are made.
Ebba Busch, Swedish energy minister, stated that “Electrification and the EU’s self sufficiency will start in the mine.”
However, LKAB stated that it would take at least 10 to15 years to begin mining the deposit and shipping it to market.