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Regional, rural and urban development

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Mining Regions and Cities Case of Västerbotten and Norrbotten, Sweden

Sweden’s northern region, Upper Norrland, is one of the most important mining regions in Europe and has the potential to become a global leader in environmentally sustainable mining. With the largest land surface and the lowest population density in Sweden, Upper Norrland contains two sub regions, Västerbotten and Norrbotten. Both sub regions host the greatest mineral reserves in the country, containing 9 of the country’s 12 active mines and providing 90% of the iron ore in the European Union. Upper Norrland has the potential to become a global leader in environmentally sustainable mining due to its competitive advantages, including a stable green energy supply, high-quality broadband connection, a pool of large mining companies working closely with universities to reduce the emissions footprint across the mining value chain, and a highly skilled labour force. Yet, the region must overcome a number of bottlenecks to support a sustainable future, including a shrinking workforce, low interaction of local firms with the mining innovation process and an increasing opposition to mining due to socio environmental concerns and land use conflicts. This study identifies how Västerbotten and Norrbotten can build on their competitive advantages and address current and future challenges to support a resilient future through sustainable mining.

Forthcoming, will be released on January 27, 2021

In series:OECD Rural Studiesview more titles