Ore production and trends

SGU annually collects detailed data on Swedish ore production. Swedish ore production reached just over 87 million tonnes in 2022, a 2 percent decrease compared with 2021. Despite the ongoing geopolitical and economic uncertainties, the situation in the Swedish mining industry remained stable. The turnover amounted to SEK 69 billion, a similar level to the previous year.

Sweden's mineral resources and mineral reserves are located mainly in the three ore districts of Norrbotten, Skelleftefältet and Bergslagen. In addition to these areas, there are also assets in the rest of Norrland, Småland and Dalsland.

At the end of the 1910s, there were almost 500 mines in Sweden that produced almost 8 million tonnes of ore. Only 50 years ago, there were about 100 mines in Sweden that produced approximately 20 million tonnes of ore. The statistics for 2022 reveal that ore production in Sweden was 87.2 million tons. Sweden is a major producer of iron ore in the EU, as well as lead and zinc. After the financial crisis of 2008–2009 production recovered, almost doubling since then. Boliden’s Aitik mine is one explanatory factor, but production has also increased at LKAB’s mines and to some extent at others.

There were 12 operational metal ore mines in Sweden in 2022. 

In 2022, metal prices were volatile, with several dramatic ups and downs. The world was characterized by geopolitical instability and economic unrest. Russia's invasion of Ukraine strained global supply chains and triggered an energy crisis. The rate of inflation rose worldwide, and the central banks tried to alleviate the situation through repeated interest rate increases.

Here are some statistics from the 2022 report:

  • Swedish ore production in 2022 reached 87.2 million tonnes.
  • The number of active metal mines in Sweden remained the same: 12.
  • The reported employment in the mining industry for the year 2022 amounted to 7,773 people.
  • The number of women in the mining industry continues to increase. In total 1,993 women were employed by mining companies in 2022, which corresponds to 26 percent.
  • World exploration activities amounted to a value of 13 billion dollars, an increase of 16 percent compared to 2021.
  • Swedish exploration activities reached SEK 1,525 million, an increase of 26 percent compared to 2021.
  • The number of Swedish exploration permits increased to 649 in 2022, compared to 587 at the end of 2021.
  • The total number of exploitation concessions in force at the end of 2022 was 165. One new exploitation concession was granted during the year.
  • During 2022, there was no designation of new Areas of National Interest according to Chapter 3, Section 7, second paragraph of the Environmental Code.
  • The price of iron ore was unstable in 2022. By the end of the year, the price of iron ore had decreased by almost 25 percent in total.
  • The average price of copper and lead decreased by 5 and 2 percent respectively in 2022. The average price of zinc increased by 16 percent relative to the previous year.

Last reviewed 2023-11-30