LKAB's mining activities have an impact on their surroundings. These activities require a permit in accordance with the Swedish Environmental Code, which means that the requirements for knowledge, follow-up and impact minimisation are comprehensive. LKAB's ambition is to be a role model for environmental consideration and sustainability in our industry.
LKAB's activities require land for exploration, mining, processing and transport. Therefore, we are continuously carrying out work to minimise our ambient impact; LKAB's activities must be sustainable – from mine to port.
Mining activities are regulated by legislation which means that LKAB has an obligation and responsibility to live up to the requirements placed on us – but we still want to do more. Our express vision is to be a role model for environmental consideration and sustainability in our industry.
LKAB takes responsibility for the impact of our activities and we work proactively against loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in all our operations. This means, principally, that we minimise the impact but also that we add and create new values. LKAB bases this work on what is known as the four steps of the mitigation hierarchy: avoid, minimise, remediate and offset harm.
This means that we:
- Design facilities to minimise the impact on sensitive areas
- Take all reasonable significant damage limitation measures in order to minimise the impact on land and water
- Plan for ecological remediation of closed mines
- Strive to compensate for any remaining damage to biodiversity once damage limitation measures have been taken
Guidelines for land use
LKAB follows special guidelines for land use that are based on the strategy of managing mining activities responsibly and minimising the impact on people, the environment, society and other industries. The strategy of managing mining activities in parallel with other industries is characterised by early, proactive and continuous dialogue, as well as voluntary and business agreements with affected parties. LKAB strives to reach agreements through good cooperation – based on respect and understanding of other industries and stakeholders.
Cooperation between LKAB and reindeer herding is an important, and always relevant, issue. Mining activities undoubtedly affect reindeer herding because it requires access to land. For that reason, we adopt an approach with dialogue at its centre. This ensures increased opportunities for agreeing and finding effective solutions to issues where the parties have conflicting interests.
Remediation of activities
LKAB arranges an early dialogue with stakeholders, strategic planning and assessment of current status for various areas that have to undergo remediation. In accordance with legislation, remediation plans must already be in place at the time of the permit application for an operation, which means that there are actual plans available for the remediation process as early as the planning stage.
LKAB's remediation plans, which are subject to legal and official requirements, as well as our own guidelines and policies, are aimed at remediating the landscape so that it can subsequently function as a nature area, and of ensuring that the areas in which there are no safety risks can be put to good use after mining activities end. LKAB aims to carry out ecological remediation in order to minimise the impact on biodiversity.
It is LKAB's responsibility and obligation to restore areas through planned remediation and create new environments that form a natural part of the surroundings. During remediation work, a gradual process that begins once mining ends, account must be taken of safety, environmental, financial and aesthetic aspects.