Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 135

135 Arctic Yearbook 2015 In 2012, mining production value contributed to 0.6 % of the Finnish GDP (ICMM 2014). The annual turnover of metal ore and industrial minerals in 2013 was over EUR 1.5 billion and exports in the minerals industry amounted to around EUR 126.5 million. In 2013, the mining industry directly employed approximately 3,000 people and indirectly 7,500 to 10,500 people through subcontractors (Kokko 2014). Sweden Mining has been an important part of the Swedish economy for centuries. In 2012, mining production value contributed to 1% of the GDP (ICMM 2014). In the end of 2012 there were 16 ore mines in operation (Government Offices of… 2013). Swedish mining accounts for about 11% of all exports and provides direct employment to approximately 10,000 people and indirectly 35,000 people in the country (SveMin 2012: 5). Sweden has a globally competitive minerals cluster with a leading position as a manufacturer of mining equipment (SveMin 2012: 5). The Swedish mining industry’s most important product is iron ore, but it is also an important producer of copper, zinc, lead and silver within the EU (Government Offices of…2013: 11). Some of the most significant mines in Sweden are located north of the Arctic Circle. Kiruna is the largest underground iron ore mine in the world (LKAB 2015a), and is also known for the massive relocation project of the city of Kiruna. Malmberget is the second largest underground iron ore mine in the world (LKAB 2015b). Aitik is the largest copper mine in the country (Boliden 2015). Other Arctic mining projects in Sweden include Rakkuri, located near Kiruna, and Gruvberget. The iron ore industry was long dominated by the state-owned mining company called LKAB, until 20 years ago when Sweden allowed entry of private-sector interests in the mineral resources industry (Walker 2011). By the late 1990s, a number of large-scale international companies entered Sweden and in 2004, the commodity price boom encouraged increasing interest in explorations (ibid; Ejdemo & Söderholm 2011). There is still potential for extensive increases in the mining sector particularly in Northern Sweden (SveMin 2012). In order to further develop mining, Sweden will have to increase its labor supply, improve its infrastructure, develop a more competitive energy supply market and ensure an effective permitting process (SveMin 2012). Specifically the transportation capacity issue is one that is vital to the expansion of the mining industry and is being currently looked at as collaboration between Sweden and Finland (see Rantala et al. 2012). Greenland Planning of exploration and mining activities in Greenland has dramatically increased during the 2000s. With vast resources such as zinc, lead, iron ore, gold, platinum, uranium, rare earth elements and coal (Statistics Greenland 2013), Greenland has recently drawn the interest of several international actors. Greenland has perceived the development of mining as a tool for gaining a more independent position from the rule of Denmark (Nationalia 2013; Government of Greenland 2011: 8; Guardian 2013). Greenland seeks to turn mining into a major contributor into the national economy, whereas currently fishing and the annual block grant from Denmark are the main sources of income (Statistics Greenland Tiainen, Sairinen & Sidorenko