LKAB Gruvar

During the Sportlov break, the other exchange student, Celine (who is from Germany) and I went on a tour of the LKAB iron ore mine! Friday the plan was originally to meet with Gustav, who was in charge of the photography for Lilla VM, but he asked us if we wanted to go on the tour at LKAB instead. Which of course we did want to do! LKAB is the mining center of Europe, here in the north of Sweden. We got on the bus in Malmberget to go to LKAB at 3, and ended up being the only two people, besides the driver and the guide, on this huge bus meant to hold around 50+ people.

It was about a 10 minute drive from Malmberget to Koskullkulle where the LKAB “headquarters” so to say is. On the way there they talked about where the mine was going to eventually be in the future, and where they were building new houses. A sad part of the mine is that most of Malmberget is going to be destroyed (whether it be now or 15 predicted years in the future), because the mine is underneath houses, stores and even the school I go to now.

Once we arrived at LKAB, we got off the bus and went inside to watch a 15 minute video about the mining process. The video was in Swedish, so I of course didn’t understand everything, but I understood the big picture. We also had a little fika while we were watching the video, which is so Swedish.

LKAB 001 LKAB 004 LKAB 005After the video, we asked some questions about what we didn’t understand, and then we suited up to go into the actual mine.

LKAB 007 LKAB 011 LKAB 013

After we put on long coats, boots, and helmets, we were given a flash light and a ‘tracking device’. Everyone that goes into the mine, including workers have one so they know who’s in the mine. When you go in and out of the mine there is a big screen that pops up with the trackers number on it.

LKAB 015Our transportation in the mine was a smaller carvan. We ditched the huge bus, since it was only Celine, the tour guide, and I. The carvan had 3 front seats, so we all sat in the front! It was great that it was just Celine and I on the tour, we were able to see a little bit more stuff and of course got to learn more and had the opportunity to ask questions and have conversations with the guide.

It was fun to go around and take pictures of everything, although I don’t really know what most of it was!

Click on the picture to make it bigger and scroll over it to see the caption, if there is one.

It was a quite fun trip to see something that is mentioned (what it seems like) almost daily in our community and has an impact on almost everyone here. We were also around 1,000 meters underground and couldn’t even remember what time of day it was. It’s definitely not my kind of thing, I couldn’t imagine working in the mine all day I need fresh air and sunshine. It was interesting to hear that they export a lot of the iron ore to Asia and Germany, and how even our economy in America affects the LKAB mine here in Sweden.

This is something I’m sure I could learn a whole lot more about, but for now I think this gives a nice introduction to it.

What do you think about the mine?

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4 thoughts on “LKAB Gruvar

  1. It seems a whole world in it’s own. A bit surreal. I can imagine you forget what time of day it is and I wouldn’t want to work there either! It must’ve been very special tho to get such a private tour!

    1. Yes it definitely seems like a special own world! It’s not right for me but I’m sure everyone who does work there really likes it and they get paid well for the work they do. The company does really well to try to keep its workers and the community happy 🙂

  2. Really must be very difficult to work in this environment. I can not even spend much time in enclosed shopping centers. Imagine being there to work !:)
    Do you have any idea how many people work at the mine?
    I think the iron came from exploding stars.

    1. Sorry for the late reply! I believe 1,200 people work at the mine currently, and in the summer they hire young adults for summer jobs, and they are always hiring new people I believe with the expanding of the mine! 🙂

      The environment may not be right for me but the workers do get paid very sufficiently to do their jobs and the company strives to keep everyone working there and in the community happy!

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