City in transformation
The iron ore deposit gave rise to the city of Kiruna, and now the mining activity is the reason for the city transformation
The kick-off for the city transformation project was in 2004, when the mining company LKAB sent a letter to Kiruna municipality asking for changes in the comprehensive plan due to the effects the expansion of their mining activity would have on the ground underneath the city.
The changes in Kiruna are nothing new; rather, they have been going on since LKAB began underground mining in the 1960’s. During the 1970’s the area called “Ön” (the Island) was emptied of residents and is now a part of the fenced-in industrial estate. Part of the lake Luossajärvi has been drained and the road to the LKAB industrial estate has been relocated due to deformations in the ground.
Deformations occur long before cracks appear. Just a few centimetres of subsidence can damage electricity lines and water pipes. Buildings are affected later. This was why the electricity supply system and the main sewage line in the affected area had to be relocated at an early stage.
In the coming 20-25 years, the mining will affect approximately 2 500 apartments as well as approximately 200 000 square meters of commercial, office, school and health care premises.