Swedish Cement Crisis New No to Cement Threatens LKAB Mining Company

LKAB extracts iron ore from mines in Kiruna, Sweden (pictured). The company purchases some 150,000 tons of cement annually to produce concrete, and most of this comes from Cementa. (Photo: Kiruna municipality)
The Swedish Council on Legislation refutes the Swedish government’s proposed changes to law that would allow Sweden’s largest cement supplier to continue its limestone quarry operations until the summer of 2022.

As previously reported by High North News, the Swedish government recently proposed changes to a law that would allow the Cementa mining company to continue operation of its limestone quarry on Gotland island to continue for another eight months.

When news broke that Cementa probably would have to halt its limestone production on Gotland in the Baltic Sea by the end of October this year, there were warnings of a cement crisis in Sweden. The company accounts for some 75 percent of Swedish cement supplies.

In a statement Thursday, the Swedish Council on Legislation refuses the proposed changes to the law that would allow the company to continue its production until the summer of 2022.

The Council on Legislation considers and expresses opinions on law proposals and amendments that the Swedish government wants to pass on to parliament, the Riksdag. The government may chose to refrain from listening to the Council on Legislation under certain conditions.

The Council on Legislation argues that there are convincing reasons to state that the proposals violate the generality stipulations and thus violate the governing form, according to the Council. The governing form is one out of four constitutions in Sweden.

“One must in this context also take into consideration the risk that the legislative authority – through introducing laws fully focused on mitigating the outcome of one single case that has been treated by the courts – harms faith in the Swedish legal system as well as the respect for the key division of labor between the Riksdag [parliament] and the government, which is to be expressed through the governing form”, the Council writes.

“The conclusion is thus that the Council on Legislation – being fully aware of the importance of covering the need for cement – can not approve of the proposals of the hearing”, the statement further reads.

The Council on Legislation considers and expresses opinions on law proposals and amendments that the Swedish government wants to pass on to parliament, the Riksdag. The government may chose to refrain from listening to the Council on Legislation under certain conditions.

Consequences for LKAB

The LKAB mining company, extracting iron ore in North Bothnia in Sweden, buys almost all its cement from Cementa.

In a previous interview with High North News, Press Manager Anders Lindberg of LKAB said the extended deadline for Cementa improved the situation for the company, as it has started looking for other suppliers, which Lundberg says is challenging.

The company has stated that if LKAB’s cement supplies were to drop, it would be necessary to reduce production with 50 to 80 percent.

 

The Council on Legislation’s text has been translated from Swedish by the journalist.

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This article was originally pubilshed in Norwegian and has been translated by HNN's Elisabeth Bergquist.

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