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Sweden finds Europe's 'largest known' rare earth deposit: 'Independence from Russia and China'

Could be "significant building block" for alternative energy production.

Published: January 13, 2023 12:50pm

Updated: January 13, 2023 1:07pm

A Swedish mining company this week announced the discovery of a massive deposit of rare earth minerals, reportedly the largest known in Europe and one that could signal future independence from Russian and Chinese supply lines. 

The state-owned company LKAB said in a press release that it had identified a rare earth deposit "exceeding one million tonnes of rare earth oxides," which the company called "the largest known deposit of its kind in Europe."

“This is good news, not only for LKAB, the region and the Swedish people, but also for Europe and the climate," company President Jan Moström said in the release. 

Europe, Moström said, faces "a supply problem. Without mines, there can be no electric vehicles." China, meanwhile, "completely dominates the market," the company said. 

“Electrification, the EU’s self-sufficiency and independence from Russia and China will begin in the mine," Swedish Minister of Energy, Business and Industry Ebba Busch said in the release.

"We need to strengthen industrial value chains in Europe and create real opportunities for the electrification of our societies," she continued. "Politics must give the industry the conditions to switch to green and fossil-free production."

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