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Ore production and trends

SGU annually collects detailed data on Swedish ore production. In 2019, production increased to 86.5 million tonnes, the highest ever. Since the decline in 2015, production has increased by 19 percent.

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. Ore production in 2019 was again the highest ever with 86.5 million tonnes, compared with the previous highest quotation from 2018 of 81.4 million tonnes, an increase of six percent. The increase comes mainly from increased production of iron ore from Kaunisvaara in Pajala and increased production of non-iron ore from Aitik, Garpenberg and Zinkgruvan.

The number of active metal mines has decreased from 14 to 13 since 2018 when Gruvberget in Svappavaara was closed. In 2019, the mine in Maurliden was also closed, which meant that at the end of the year 2019, there were 12 mines in operation.

Some figures and trends:

  • The amount of salable iron ore products increased in 2019 by five percent to 29 million tonnes.
  • Metal production from non-ferrous ore mines decreased by two percent. Some metals increased: zinc (+4%), zead (+6%) and gold (+1%) while copper (-6%) and silver (-5%) decreased.
  • Gold production in 2019 was eight tonnes in 2019, the second highest ever after the record year 1933.
  • 92 percent of the EU's iron ore production comes from Sweden. Sweden also has the EU's largest lead and zinc production and the second largest silver production, and among the highest gold and copper production.
  • Exploration costs increased in 2019 by 22 percent to SEK 955 million. Since 2016, the efforts have doubled. The number of current exploration permits was 586, a decrease of 37. Two processing concessions were granted during the year, compared with four in 2018. Fewer and fewer companies are exploring more and exploration for iron, base metals and gold is most intensive.
  • The turnover for the mining industry in 2019 was over SEK 45 billion excluding metal works, compared with the previous turnover record of SEK 40.6 billion from 2013.

Last reviewed 2020-10-13