– delivering Performance in Ironmaking
LKAB is a high-tech international minerals group, world leading producer of processed iron ore products for steelmaking, and a growing supplier of mineral products for other industrial sectors.
LKAB is Europe’s biggest supplier of iron ore products. LKAB accounts for 90 per cent of all European iron ore production and 40 per cent of all pellets deliveries.
Most of our steelworks customers are located in northern Europe with Sweden, Finland, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands as the biggest individual markets. There are other important markets in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Performance in Ironmaking
Our customer promise is Performance in Ironmaking. Focusing on the customers and meeting their product and service requirements are fundamental for Performance in Ironmaking.
The LKAB Group’s dominant operation is supplying iron ore products to steelworks customers. Our market strategy is to provide more customer value than competitors. This means that we will deliver such high quality and service that customers will want to retain us as a supplier even in bad times. Our customers will want us to remain on the market, even in a recession, since LKAB’s products will not be easily replaceable. This provides the stability that our investment-heavy business demands. LKAB’s Performance in Ironmaking means increased efficiency in our steelworks customers’ processes. Through close, in-depth collaborations with our customers, we develop our products and help improve their processes, ensuring that we maintain our leading market position.
A Strategy for Growth
LKAB will grow with its customers to be a significant supplier to each of them. As global demand for iron ore increases LKAB will meet its customers demand for increased deliveries. Growth strengthens LKAB’s longterm competitiveness.
LKAB’s delivery capacity has increased to 30 million tons since the turn of the century following major investments in ore processing, production and logistics. The company is now focusing on R&D to maximize production, new mines and prospecting for new ore deposits. The new main levels in Kiruna and Malmberget and the three open pit mines in Svappavaara are crucial for LKAB’s growth strategy. The objective is future annual deliveries of 35–40 million tons of finished iron ore products.
LKAB works in accordance with an ISO-certified quality assurance system that we call Total Quality. The term stands for an overall view of quality efforts that embraces the entire operation and which is based on customer focus and above all constant improvement.
The objective is to respond to the customer’s requirements for products and services and supply the market’s best value-in-use in iron making. The company considers it strategically important that quality and development efforts become a natural, integral part of day-to-day operations.
LKAB’s focus on quality has meant that quality complaints from customers have fallen to a level approaching zero at the same time as productivity has increased.
LKAB Green Pellets provide an important step toward sustainable steelmaking. The entire process from mine to crude steel results in the release to atmosphere of around two tons of carbon dioxide per ton of steel.
Around 250 kilos of that carbon dioxide stems from sintering hematite fines, which today is the predominant process used to bring usable raw material to the steelworks blast furnace. LKAB’s magnetite pellets have major advantages compared to other iron ore products. Just over half the energy requirement in pellets manufacturing is supplied by the magnetite’s oxidizing to hematite during combustion.
This means that carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 85 per cent compared to sintering fines, and by 30 per cent compared to hematite pellets. LKAB’s pellets products reduce total emissions from the mine to the blast furnace by 30 per cent compared to hematite sinter. This is why we call them LKAB Green Pellets.
In addition to the reduced carbon dioxide emissions from the production process, LKAB Green Pellets bring other benefits to the customer’s steelworks production process through what LKAB terms value-in-use. LKAB’s Green pellets improve blast furnace performance and contribute to a lower environmental impact that provides LKAB’s customers with more efficient production and thus improved competitiveness.