World-leading metal recycling
Boliden’s mining and smelting plant is the world leader in the recycling of base and precious metals, for example from electronic scrap. The plant in Rönnskär in Skelleftehamn deals with deliveries of copper and lead concentrates from its own mines, as well as from external suppliers. Thanks to significant investment and further development of Kaldo technology, the smelter is a world leader in the recycling of electronics. Copper, gold and silver are the metals mainly extracted from this scrap.
Västerbotten is one of the most mineral-rich mining regions in the world and the Skellefteå area is a hub of skills-intensive operations.
Most of Sweden’s academic and professional mining organizations are located in the region. In addition, there are a number of world-class manufacturers focusing on mining equipment, machinery and mining software. However, despite the well-developed mining industry, there is still room to expand further as only about 20% of the mineral resources are estimated to have been excavated.
Sweden is Europe’s largest producer of iron ore and the second-largest producer of silver, gold and zinc, with a significant chunk originating from the Skellefteå region, where new mines are opened almost every year.
The discovery of gold in Boliden meant a large industrial explosion in the municipality and talk of a “Sweden’s Klondyke”. The Rönnskär smelter was commissioned in 1930 and was adapted to the ore’s properties (including its high arsenic content) and meant another major industrial establishment. Today, Rönnskär is one of the world’s most environmentally friendly and efficient smelters and also specializes in recycling metal scrap. Rönnskärsverkken is still the largest industrial workplace in Skellefteå municipality with about 800 employees. In the Boliden area, there are about 600 employees. Another leading player is Bergteamet AB, which has about 500 employees.