Sweden hit a jackpot! It’s not a pot of gold. It’s a trove of rare earth minerals!
Sweden’s iron ore mining company LKAB announced it had found “significant deposits” of rare earth elements. The company mines iron ore at Kiruna. That’s about 600 miles north of Stockholm. Kiruna lies north of the Artic Circle. Brrrr.!
What are rare earths anyway?
Rare earth minerals are any of 17 metallic elements found in Earth’s crust. They have odd-sounding scientific names like cerium, samarium, and europium. They aren’t really rare. These minerals are scattered all over the world. But it’s unusual to find a lot of them concentrated (gathered) in one area.
Representatives for LKAB say there are more than a million tons of rare earths in the deposit they found. That makes it the largest of its kind in Europe. It was discovered near the world’s largest underground iron ore mine. What a resource-rich area God created there!
Swedish official Ebba Busch called Sweden “a gold mine” after the discovery. How exciting!
Christians know that every good and perfect gift is from above. (James 1:17) Rare earth minerals are among those good things. God gives us the resources we need to live, learn, create, serve, and teach. Rare earth materials aid in a lot of that.
Having access to rare earths helps Sweden and nearby countries invent and develop new technology without depending on other countries. That’s a good thing! Sweden—and most of the world—relies on China for almost all its rare earth materials. The new find will help reduce their need to import.
Sweden must wait before it can get those resources to market. Workers need permits to open new mining operations first. After that, the elements can be drawn up from the earth and put to use!
Why? Rare earth minerals are a gift from God that people use every day around the world. It’s a blessing to discover a new source for these resources.