All parts for the apatite flotation process pilot plant will be delivered to our R&D-station during March 2020.
Once on-site, we will assemble all parts, test and verify the system to make it operational.
A mobile Apatite production plant
“The plant is mobile and we will, once operational, move it to Kiruna for a campaign production during May. In Kiruna, the plant will be part of the production process in the concentration plant KA3. Here, we will process the tailings sand from the iron ore production to produce apatite concentrate. Following that we are planning another campaign production at our other mine in Malmberget,” says Ulrika Håkansson who is the project manager for ReeMAP.
Groundbreaking technology for high-value products
At the same time, pre-engineering is ongoing for the full-scale plants for apatite flotation. This encompasses placement and designing the production flow, logistics and preparations for operational permit applications.
But it is not the production of apatite that is the main objective; it is to establish a new industry in Sweden and Europe with groundbreaking technology to produce high-value products such as phosphorus, rare earth elements and gypsum.
Evaluating potential partners
In December 2019, LKAB terminated the cooperation with Ragn-Sells whose technology was supposed to enable us to recycle our tailings sand.
“It became evident to us that it was not realistic to achieve the project objectives through that cooperation. Therefore, we are currently evaluating three potential partners. We believe these companies have the relevant competence and technology that can be industrialised. We are very positive after having studied these closer. It is realistic to recycle our mine waste to produce critical raw materials. As soon as we complete the evaluation, we will be able to release more details about this part of the process,” confirms Ulrika Håkansson.