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A year defined by macro economic developments

What is your experience of 2023?

“I do not think one should hide the fact that we have experienced a year that has been challenging in several ways. After a strong beginning, the prices of many base metals fell from February onwards, due to economic slowdown in large parts of the world, while Covid-19 recovery in China was weaker than expected. This has affected our revenues for the year, mainly within Business Area Mines. In addition, we faced operational challenges in our own businesses.”

Which events are especially important to highlight?

“A very important parameter for heavy industries in general is that the major investments carried out follow the time schedule and budget. For us, 2023 was a year of historically large investments and we have of course dedicated a lot of energy to the investments at Aitik, the Boliden Area and Odda. These three projects are proceeding according to our plans and will be largely completed by 2024–2025. By then, zinc production in Odda – with world leading technology and sustainability performance – will have almost doubled. Aitik’s tailings pond will have a reinforced dam structure, enabling future deposition, while production in the Boliden Area will be more climate-friendly. On top of this, it should be highlighted that we during the year inaugurated the new port infrastructure for Harjavalta, enabling us to handle concentrate input much more efficiently.

Turning to the challenges we have faced, I would like to emphasize the fire at the Rönnskär smelter and the decision to place the operation at our Irish Tara mine under care and maintenance. For both of these very difficult incidents, we have effectively taken action to minimize the consequences and at Rönnskär, we are especially grateful to have avoided physical harm to our co-workers. In both cases, we work on restarting operations, at Rönnskär through a feasibility study for a new tank house and at Tara by identifying conditions for a restart in 2024 with long-term sustainable production.”

What is your view on the development of operations during the year?

“Our strategy is to continuously develop productivity, while in parallel identifying investments that strengthen our competitiveness and take us towards our vision of being the most climate-friendly and respected metal provider in the world. At the start of the year, we were able to communicate good exploration results from the Garpenberg mine, which in turn made the foundation for conceptual studies on how to expand production. In Aitik, we have piloted autonomous mine trucks and within Business Area Smelters we have increased our offering of metals with a low-carbon footprint.

Towards the end of the year, our climate targets were validated and approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, making Boliden one of very few companies globally within our sector to be given this recognition. I consider this an important proof of us being at the forefront of developing a long-term responsible mining and metals industry. These are just a few examples of how we continue to develop our competitiveness with the metal markets of tomorrow in mind. By clear delegation of responsibility within the organization, similar work is taking place at all our units and in the same way we are making significant efforts to strengthen our common safety culture. In this area too, the performance has been good, with the lowest Loss Time Injury frequency ever.”

"We will shape the success of tomorrow and continue our evolution towards a global role model within our industry."

What focus areas lie ahead for Boliden?

“Our assessment is that the current content of our metal portfolio is beneficial in the long term. Many of the metals, such as copper and nickel, will be demanded in much larger quantities for the expansion of energy infrastructure and the implementation of fossil fuel-free technologies within several areas. We will therefore continue to invest in exploration, both adjacent to our current mining units and in new geographies. One example of a project in a new geography is Laver, where our ambition is to submit a renewed application for mining concession during autumn 2024. In addition, we will continue to develop operations at our existing sites within both our business areas through projects that can contribute to higher productivity and strengthened competitiveness. One should keep in mind that also 2024 is a year of large investments, so naturally we will have a significant focus on, among other things, that the ramping up of production levels at Odda will proceed according to plan.

Boliden turns 100 years in 2024. This will of course be celebrated and serves as a reminder that long-term value is created from actual conditions and that execution of small, continuous improvements often are equally important as large, one-of-a-kind projects. Last but maybe most important of all, I look forward to, just like this year, together with all my talented and ambitious colleagues, continuing to drive and develop our business and workplaces. It is through our decentralized corporate culture combined with skilled and responsible co-workers that we will shape the success of tomorrow and continue our evolution towards a global role model within our industry.”


More information about our operational development can be found in Boliden Annual and Sustainability Report


Boliden Head Office

Boliden Group
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