Sweden’s state mining company has announced the discovery of the largest deposit of rare earth metals ever found in Europe, raising hopes that the continent could reduce its dependence on China. Mining company LKAB announced on Thursday that it had found at least a million tonnes of rare earth oxides in the Kiruna region in the far north of the country.
“This is good news, not only for LKAB, the region and the Swedish people, but also for Europe and the climate,” claimed company CEO Jan Moström. Rare earth metals are crucial components of the permanent magnets that are used in the motors of wind turbines and the batteries in electric vehicles. The EU sees the metals as a crucial ingredient of its push to reach climate neutrality by the middle of the century. But the bloc is currently heavily dependent on China for supplies, with close to 98 percent of all imports coming from the Asian powerhouse.

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