Mining trucks in the north of Sweden. File photo: Scanpix
A thousand workers a week fly in for work in Kiruna

Booming mines offset auto industry gloom

The mining industry in the north of Sweden is booming. The newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reports that the industry has seen investments of over US$ 6 billion in the past four years.

"Most investments in industry in Sweden are happening in the northern mining industry," says Magnus Ericsson, a professor at Luleå University and founder of the mining analyst company Raw Material Group.

Ericsson tells Svenska Dagbladet that the automobile company Saab's struggles have shifted attention away from the unprecedented levels of investment up growth.

"The focus on Saab and its survival has been exagerrated in relation to the opportunities and investments being made in the north."

Spurred by the demand for iron ore in China, the Swedish mining company LKAB is shipping workers on a weekly basis.

"There is pratically no unemployment in the town of Kiruna right now," says Lars-Eric Aaro, head of LKAB. "We fly in 1,000 people per week to work here. There are no apartments, all of them are rented."

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