Work on the application for a new, comprehensive environmental permit for Malmberget has been ongoing since 2018 but is now entering a new, more intensive phase. The goal is to have an application submitted by the end of 2022.
The application includes a continued and expanded production in existing facilities, as well as a new apatite plant with associated operations, an expanded sand and clarification reservoir, a reserve landfill for waste rock and a landfill for lime waste and inert waste. In addition, an assessment is made of the environmental impact that HYBRIT's planned operations within the framework of LKAB's area will entail.
”The production itself can be handled within today's industrial area. However, the restrictions on the disposal of side rocks and enrichment sand have become an increasing problem for us, which means that we cannot produce the quantities that would otherwise be possible under the current permit. So this is very important for us”, says Monika Sammelin, Area Manager in Malmberget.
”This permit is extremely important both in the short and long term. In the short term, it is a prerequisite for ensuring continued operations and to continue the improvements that have taken us to where we are today. In the longer term, it is necessary for the implementation of the business' climate change and other planned initiatives for a more environmentally friendly production”, says Mårten Fäldner, Project Manager for the permit application.
A permit application like this involves very extensive work to, among other things, identify, investigate and describe all the possible environmental consequences that the activity may entail. For an operation like ours, it is first and foremost a matter of avoiding the impact completely, secondarily minimizing it through various protective measures and, in cases where the impact still occurs, compensating. Therefore, the application will also contain proposals for protection and compensation measures. In addition, the post-treatment plan, i.e. how to work to restore the environment when the mining is complete, will be reviewed and updated.
”We’re looking forward to the permit examination. At the same time, the challenges have become ever greater for permit-seeking companies and I’m very hopeful about the initiatives taken to streamline and shorten the permit processes”, says Mårten Fäldner.
During the autumn of 2021, LKAB will begin consultations with authorities, the general public and other stakeholders. More information about these consultations will come when it becomes relevant, including on LKAB.com, in our social media and via advertising. The application is then planned to be submitted to the Land and Environment Court at the end of 2022.