Strategic port location
The Boliden ore’s composition was complex and contained large quantities of arsenic, among other things. In those days, at the end of the 1920’s there were only two smelters in the world capable of processing this type of ore – one in Germany and one in the USA. Furthermore, they could only cope with small quantities at a time. On top of this, the Boliden mine was in a fairly inaccessible area, with neither its own process plants nor acceptable transport systems.
It was for these reasons that the company back in 1927, had resolved to build its own smelter. The initial idea was to locate the smelter close to the mine, but for many reasons – of which environmental consideration was one – the company stopped to think again. On the coast, near Skelleftehamn, they would have access to a working port, railway, electricity and a workforce. So the smelter was built on the two islands called Hamnskär and Rönnskär. The islands were filled in, joined together, and connected to the mainland. Rönnskär had been created.