Ore train derails in Norway

Miner LKAB said a fully loaded ore train from Kiruna on its way to Narvik derailed at the Vassijaure station near the Norwegian border.

The incident, which occurred on 17 December, has resulted in a stoppage to the Iron Ore Line that will continue until early January.

“This has major consequences for us, every day that we can’t drive brings significant financial losses,” said LKAB Logistics Manager Linda Bjurholt.

The train derailed as it was entering a so-called snow gallery, a building that covers the track to protect against snow. A number of carriages remain on the track at the beginning and end of the train, while several have derailed inside the snow gallery. The crew on board the locomotive escaped without injury.

“That’s the most important thing, that there were no injuries, but it is very serious with such a major derailment that will bring traffic to a standstill for a long time. Every day matters, if we stay for the rest of the year, we’re talking about over a billion in lost revenue,” Bjurholt added.

Due to the fact that the Accident Investigation Commission may be called in, LKAB said has not been given access to the accident site and can therefore not make a detailed forecast. The reason for the derailment is still unknown.

“We are now investigating the consequences this will have for our deliveries and our production. We have some capacity to put products in stock, but not unlimited. In the worst-case scenario, this means that we have to stop production in Kiruna. We have a good collaboration with the Swedish Transport Administration and with united forces we hope this will be solved as soon as possible,” Bjurholt said.

The Kiruna-Narvik route accounts for about two-thirds of LKAB’s deliveries of iron ore products, with 10 fully loaded ore trains a day. On the southern circuit, Gällivare-Luleå, there are four or five trains daily. There is currently no capacity to compensate for the loss by sending products south.

Source: LKAB

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