Sweden eyes cobalt mining on home turf February 16, 2018 By Editor Sweden is “one of the most interesting areas in the world” to explore minerals like cobalt and lithium, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Mikael Damberg says. A new report suggests that Sweden’s historic mining area of Bergslagen may have great potential for extracting sought-after minerals such as cobalt and lithium and the government is on Thursday set to give the go-ahead to investigate the opportunities to start exploring the matter. The demand for cobalt, lithium and Rare Earth Metals (REE) has soared in recent years due to their contribution to green innovations such as electric cars and solar and wind power stations as well as the production of mobile phone batteries. Congo is today the world’s leading provider of cobalt, with 65 percent of the total production, while China mines 95 percent of the world’s REEs. The report published by the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU) states that “there is great potential for prospecting for many innovation critical resources in Sweden, including graphite, lithium, Rare Earth Metals (REE), volfram etc”. Thursday’s government go-ahead will allow for SGU to explore prospecting opportunities in the area of Bergslagen, near Stockholm, as well as in the northern regions of Västerbotten and Norrbotten. The government is earmarking SGU 10 million kronor ($1.26 million) for the project, of which the results will be presented in the first half of 2020. Sweden’s Enterprise and Innovation Minister Mikael Damberg says Sweden could become a world challenger in exploring the sought-after minerals. “One of the most interesting areas in Sweden, and in the world, is in fact Bergslagen,” he said in a comment to Swedish news agency TT. The demand for the innovation-friendly minerals shows no sign of receding. Last year, Tesla launched its first mass-market Model 3 electric car and Volvo Cars announced that all of its new cars will be electric by 2019.