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Experimental blast furnace in Luleå.

Sorting, concentration and pelletizing are processes that help turn the mined mineral into ore, which is an economic concept. LKAB’s competitiveness is based on our ability to supply high-quality iron ore products to customers with high product demands. New deposits often contain more complex minerals that have to be processed in order to achieve the level of quality that we and our customers expect. It is market conditions that determine the development of new and ever more efficient methods and increasingly customised products.

LKAB’s work to develop our internal processes involves a chain that starts with development on a laboratory scale and runs right through to pilot plants and full-scale facilities. For development to be successful and for a complete solution to be introduced and put into production, there has to be cooperation between personnel from all areas of the company. This approach has enabled LKAB to position itself as a leading supplier of high-quality pellets with attractive properties for blast furnaces and direct reduction, with the market’s lowest energy consumption.

There has to be reduced dependence on fossil fuels in the future. LKAB’s goal is to have achieved carbon-dioxide-free pellet production by 2040.

LKAB’s development work builds on a basic understanding of how the products function in the customers’ processes. LKAB is able to satisfy new quality requirements by keeping pace with the market and cooperating with customers on process development. Metallurgical research is conducted in partnership with our customers. New products and process methods can be tested on a pilot scale using LKAB’s experimental blast furnace in Luleå.

Read more here about LKAB’s partnership with SSAB and Vattenfall, which aims to develop a unique process for steel making with virtually no carbon footprint.