The group of Swedish industrialists that last week bought the Kaunisvaara processing plant from bankrupt miner Northland Resources had hoped to strike a deal with state-owned LKAB to buy iron ore below the market price . However, LKAB is not interested, saying it cannot afford to indulge the industrialists, merely to save jobs in northern Sweden.
“A state-owned company does not have the right to give any kind of support to a private company, and we cannot afford to either. We are ourselves working hard to save money in order to keep profitability at a reasonable level,” remarks LKAB chairman Sten Jakobsson.
According to Mats Leifland, the spokesman for the industrialists, who include BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, the aim within the next 3-6 months is to find a solution with LKAB that is beneficial to both parties. If this does not happen, operations will be discontinued.