LKAB is an international, high-tech ore processing company.
They are the only iron ore exporter within the European Union, and are therefore often referred to as "Europe's home mine". Most of their export shipments (80%) go to European steel mills.
They have two underground iron ore mines; in Kiruna and Malmberget.
Crude ore from their mines is upgraded to fines, pellets and special products in our processing plants in Kiruna, Svappavaara and Malmberget. The products are transported by rail to their two shipping harbors in Luleå and Narvik. From there, they are delivered to customers around the world.
I suggest a guided tour in the mine for those who has the interest! It can be very scary, but it's all worth it for those who have phobia about lifts or other phobias
Up here there are mostly tundra, with lots of wetlands and bogs. These enviroments are excellent for mosquitos. I strongly recommend some mosquito protection, the "Roll-on" protection is the best!
If you're worried about mosquito bites, don't be. How hard you try to keep away from them, in the end they will hunt you and they will get you! ;-)
If you want mountains, go to the west!
If you want great forest, go to the east!
The great woods in the south and east parts of Kiruna is astonishing! All of them are untouched and you have great chances to spot a large Elk!
The great mountain in the west and north parts are amazing. And if you want to see mountains covered with snow this must be your choise!
Area: 19 447 km2 = 1,2 inhabitants/km2
Population: 23 844 (2002), of which approx. 80 % live in the population centre
Language: Swedish, Sami (Lappish) & Finnish
Average age: 36,3 years
Sweden's largest and northernmost municipality.
There are 6000 lakes and 6 rivers: Torne-, Kalix-, Lainio-, Muonio-, Könkämä- & Rautasälven.
Longest river: Torneälven, 510 km
Highest mountain: Kebnekaise, 2117 metres above sea level (Sweden's highest mountain)
Largest lake: Torneträsk, 322 km2, 70 km long & 11 km wide, 230 metres deep.
Kiruna was founded in 1900.
Kiruna City is located 550 metres above sea level.
Kouksu & Lainio are probably the oldest villages in Kiruna municipality. Lainio celebrated 350 years in 1981.
Kiruna municipality is in the county of Norrbotten & the Province of Lappland.
From Riksgränsen in the west to Saivomoutka in the east, it is 370 km.
To spot the midnightsun Is on top of that peak, Luosavaara.
The arrange bus trips up to the top. But don't take that! Walk, you'll need some exercise! :-)
I hope you'll get at least one Sunny day if you go here! To see the nidnightsun is only once in a lifetime for many!
This is me getting ready to lay some tracks in the fresh snow.
Since Riksgransen is located above the arctic-circle there will be midnight sun here for a couple of months. During these months you can go skiing in the middle of the night!!! All the lifts are opened for a couple of hours each night. This is awesome!!
A warning: the sun can some days cause a blinding effect where you lose all the contures of the slope, and the lack of trees makes things worse. This is scary since I tested many different goggles and none worked well to reduce this.
When you see this sign, wherever you are in the world. You know you're going to tread into wilderness.
This sign is located 200km south east of Kiruna.
The arctic cirkle moves every year so they have to move this sign every year...
I was only short time here in Kiruna. It is a mining city that has nothing really special to offer as a city, but the surrounding and the nature around is amazing, so you can use Kiruna as your base for supply and other city needs that you might have.
If you visit Kiruna during the winter, take advantage of the winter stuff - the ice hotel, wild moose safari, dogsledding, etc. After all, when and where else are you going to have a chance to do these things? For a small snow-covered village, there are a lot of things to do in winter in Kiruna. In the Yellow House youth hostel, there are a few posters and signs advertising these activities, so just pick which ones you want and call the number on the poster to book it. Be sure to bring warm clothes and boots though!
Fondest memory: I enjoyed the ice hotel, especially the theme rooms. Also, the wild moose safari was good. A few people in my group went dog-sledding instead of the safari, and they enjoyed that too.
The weather changes very rapidly and very locally. On this picture you see the clouds over the Kebnekaijse mountains (the highest peak is not visable).
When we got to Kiruna/Nikkaluokta/Kebnekaijse, the sun was all shining, the morning after we tried to get up on top of Kebnekaijse, but was stopped by fog, hail and heavy winds.
After that the clouds were covering the mountains the rest of the week, although in Nikkaluokta 20 km away the sun were shining. New clouds was driven over and over again by stormy winds towards us in Nikkaluokta but was heated up by the sun and disappeared on the way. Due to the winds we had rain driven over us now and then in the sun.
That sort of changes and variations is the fascinating thing about nature.
Actually we wanted to take the mine tour in Kiruna - it was fully booked. We were told by the tourist information that you have to book early in advance to take the tour. So we couldn't see it.
The mine is the largest iron ore mine. A tour by bus offers you insights in drilling and loading processes and shows you the cultivation of shii-take mushrooms.
Relax and prepare for hiking in the national parks. The town is quite unsignificant and there are no many buildings to admire. It is located by a lake and by huge mountains formed by the detritus of the coal mines. It is certainly not the coolest place on Earth, I guess.
Fondest memory: Kiruna is over the polar circle, so there is always light during the summer. That's a great experience.
Kiruna is a very nice small Swedish town. The town hosts the international snow sculpting competition. The Ice Hotel, www.icehotel.com is just south of Kiruna. The Ice Hotel is beautiful. There are ice sculptures in most of the rooms. The bar is ice and serves expensive vodka (Absolute) in large ice cubes. The hotel requires reservations and it is very important to call in advance. The best deal is to stay in the cabins and drink at the ice hotel bar in the evening. The cabins have water, bathrooms, and heat. The shock comes in the morning if you stay inside the Ice Hotel. There is a wakeup call early (8:00am) and you have to vacate your room. They have to clean the rooms to start the tours. Pictures were taken with a digital Sony Mavica
Fondest memory: The Ice Hotel was very nice but the biggest surprise came at the Kiruna hotel the next day. The hotel restaurant was filled with people that spoke American English. They were from NASA doing ozone hole research. SOLVEIII studies. NASA was providing the U2 aircraft for the studies. As a pilot, I was thrilled to be invited to visit the airport and see the U2 up close. If you are a pilot, e-mail me and I will send you some very nice pictures of the U2 in Kiruna.
Something different is the SolveIII activity being undertaken in Kiruna. NASA is providing the vehicle, a U-2 Spyplane, as a platform to study the ozone hole. Many universities all over the world are participating.
Fondest memory: For most this information isn't that important but for a science and aviation buff this is like gold. I was invited to visit the hangar where the U-2 is kept. The folks were so nice that I was able to climb onto the plane and take pictures.
In addition, some of the university folks showed me their results and explained the data capture process and the interpretation. Very interesting. The ozone hole is not being destroyed or getting unexpectedly larger.
This is a picture of the U-2. It is officially not a U-2 but an E-2. (I think that was the nomenclature) It is a giant glider with big engines. It lands on one wheel like a glider. Most of the missions last for 8 hours. The pilot wears a space suit.
It is almost impossible to get this close to this aircraft when it is in the US. It is based at Edwards Airforce Base in California.