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Sweden mining industry
Sweden mining industry
Sweden is one of the larger European countries with an area of approximately 450,000km2. This is roughly 1.8 times the land area of the United Kingdom. Within Sweden about half of Sweden's land is forested and less than one-tenth is farmland.
Sweden's population is just over 9 million (July 2008 estimate) of which over half live in the south of the country. The northern two thirds of Sweden is very sparsely populated.
Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. It has been a Member of the European Union since 1995.
Natural resources have always formed the foundation for Sweden's economic success. Infrastructure is well developed and financial and professional services are widely available. The currency is the Swedish Kroner (SEK).
Sweden's Mining History
Mining is a traditional industry in Sweden with a history extending back several hundred years. The copper mine at Falun was for hundreds of years the most important industrial site in the country producing, at times, up to two-thirds of Europe's copper requirements. The following centuries saw deposits of base metals, silver and iron ore discovered and exploited. Notable early discoveries include the giant iron ore mines of Kiirunavaara and Luossavaara discovered during the 1730's and operated today by Luossavaara - Kiirunavaara AB. In 1924 prospecting in the Skellefte district led to the discovery of the Boliden deposit and the foundation of Boliden Limited now listed in Toronto. Historical restrictions (removed in 1991) on foreign participation in Sweden's mining industry have led to its domination by a small number of large domestic mining companies. Mining has traditionally been concentrated in the Bergslagen region, north west of Stockholm, and in the Skellefte and Kiruna districts in the north and far north of Sweden.
Sweden's Mineral Code
Until recently the State took a major role in the mining industry through State run exploration and the right to acquire a major stake in any new mining venture.
In 1991 however, following a change in Government and an application to join the European Union, Sweden adopted new policies to encourage foreign investment including cuts in the level of taxation, better business conditions and the privatisation of state industrial interests.
These new policies extended to the mining industry with the lifting of foreign investment restrictions and the abolition of State participation in mining projects. A new mining law was introduced to give effect to these new policies.