Entire sinking city being moved 'building by building' after world's most valuable treasure found underneath | The Sun

AN ENTIRE city that has been sinking into the ground for years is being moved "building by building" after a rare discovery.

A "goldmine" of rare and valuable minerals was found in the ground under Kiruna, a Swedish mining town home to almost 20,000 people.

The town sits above the largest known deposit of the rare elements, which are used to make electric car batteries and wind turbines.

But sadly, Kiruna itself is not as robust.

Home to the world's largest ore mine, Kiruna's site extracts six Eiffel towers worth of the material every day.

The Kiruna mine produces 80% of the European Union's supply and Sweden's deputy prime minister, Ebba Busch, said the country "is literally a goldmine".


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But after years of mining, the land has been deformed and cracks have even started to appear in the community's hospital and school.

Locals are no longer safe and a project to move the entire city to a new location is underway so the mine can be expanded in the dig for precious materials.

Kiruna, in Lapland, is set to be shifted building by building to a spot almost two miles away, in the bold initiative due to be finished by 2026.

450,000 square metres of homes, schools, community buildings and businesses will be relocated in what might be the world's most radical relocation project.

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Local official Nina Eliasson said that while most people are maintaining a positive outlook on the move, many are sad.

"Then you feel that this is for real. And of course [it is about] your memories, the place that you grew up in," she told The Guardian.

The town's iconic red church is one of the buildings that will be taken with the locals when they resettle.

Built in 1912, the vicar, Lena Tjarnberg, described it as "the living room of the community".

“We are more than happy that the church can move… Of course, I know people can be sad.

"Kiruna church is a landmark here, you can see it everywhere. You can feel sad about the skyline," she told The Guardian.

Almost 6,000 residents will move their homes as part of the bold initiative.

Many will also see their rent go up by as much as 25% compared to their previous rates.

While locals have embraced the project, some are worried about the expansion of the mine in the search for precious metals.

In part because the fragmentation of land makes it difficult to herd reindeer, an ingrained part of life above the Arctic Circle.

The indigenous community who live there, the Sami people, have largely made their living off herding reindeer through the area for centuries.

Stefan Mikaelsson, the deputy chair of the board of the Sami parliament, told the Observer: "We have the railroad and we also have the mining business and now the movement of the city centre.

"It is more and more difficult to continue with the movement of reindeers."


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The Swedish mining company involved in the project, LKAB, said they are now "much better" at listening to herders.

Their spokesperson, Anders Lindberg, did admit that the project may require the reindeer herding routes to be changed again.

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