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Photo: Tomas Bergman
Pär Weihed, Pro Vice-Chancellor and professor in ore geology at Luleå University of Technology. Photo: Tomas Bergman View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Proposal for a new Swedish research center for innovation-critical metals and minerals

Published: 9 November 2022

In a new investigation on behalf of the government, it is proposed to build a Swedish research center for innovation-critical metals and minerals at Luleå University of Technology. The focus is on primary and secondary extraction and enrichment of metals and minerals and with the task of also working with knowledge dissemination.

"A natural place for this research center is Luleå University of Technology, which already conducts a lot of mining-related research today. Luleå is also home to the research institute Swerim and the mining companies LKAB, Talga and Northvolt," says Pär Weihed, Professor in Ore Geology and Pro Vice-Chancellor at Luleå University of Technology.

This research center should be seen as a complement to an earlier investigation proposal on a national center for a sustainable supply of innovation-critical metals and minerals .

Research on a broad front

The investigation suggests that a deeper focus should be on understanding how innovation-critical metals and minerals occur and appear in the bedrock and during extraction, as well as how they can be enriched into products. A research center enables research on a broad front, focusing on a variety of metals and minerals that are innovation-critical for society today but also on those that are predicted to become innovation-critical in the near future. In this way, an anticipation of technological development is created.

"We can never achieve that foresight through company-funded research alone," says Pär Weihed.

The investigation raises competitiveness

The research center is expected to provide basic knowledge needed for the metal and mineral industry to be competitive in terms of extraction and processing of innovation-critical metals and minerals . The previously proposed national center for a sustainable supply of innovation-critical metals and minerals , on the other hand, is primarily aimed at the manufacturing industry, i.e. the customers of the metal and mineral industry.

Pär Weihed

Pär Weihed, Professor, Pro Vice-Chancellor

Phone: +46 (0)920 493987
Organisation: Ore Geology, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering