Wow. If true, this eliminates a major geopolitical lever that China currently has.
Swedish government-owned mine operator LKAB on Thursday announced the discovery of a major rare earth mineral deposit in the northern city of Kiruna, potentially significantly reducing reliance on China for electric vehicle components.
The deposit, the largest such discovery in Europe, is equivalent to more than 1 million metric tons of rare earth oxides, according to LKAB.
“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. We face a supply problem. Without mines, there can be no electric vehicles,” LKAB President and CEO Jan Moström said in a statement.
The discovery could be a game-changer for Europe, which currently has no rare earth mining operations and is entirely dependent on Chinese imports for the metals, which are used in the manufacture of wind turbines and electric cars. As of 2020, 99 percent of rare earth imports to the European Union came from China.