The mining project in Norra Karr is located in Jonkoping municipality and started with prospecting in 2009. Tasman Metals Ltd (a subsidiary of a Canadian firm) was originally responsible for the project but they merged with another mining company and is now called Leading Edge Metals. They have found rare earth minerals and zirconium in Norra Karr and claim that the deposit is the fourth largest in the world. Leading Edge Minerals also claim the deposit will be important for the whole world and the minerals will mostly be used for green technology. Compared to mining in other parts of the world, the company states that it would be better to mine the minerals in Sweden considering that the regulation is stricter there than in most other countries. Since 2009 they were granted a concession, which gave them permission to continue exploring the ground for minerals. However, the concession permission was appealed to multiple instances including the government, but the appeal was rejected. The Swedish government has a set target to be Europe's leading mining country. Finally, the Supreme Administrative Court overturned the concession permission due to the fact that Leading Edge Materials had not described the potential environmental impact of facilities such as tailing dams on the surrounding environment. Norra Karr is located near a "Natura 2000" area which is protected by EU law. The proposed mine is also located close by and uphill of Vättern, a lake which now (2020) provides 250 000 people in Sweden with fresh water, but the number will in the next 20 years increase to 400000. Even Stockholm and Copenhagen have shown interest for the water from Vättern. Vättern is the biggest fresh water reserve in Europe. A lot of environmental groups including Save the Baltic have been concerned by the impact the mine might have on Vättern. One of their concerns is that sulphuric acid is used to separate the rare earth minerals from other minerals. The waste minerals are then stored in tailing ponds. Environmental groups are concerned that both acids and minerals will leak into the surrounding environment and specifically into Vattern, which could spoil the drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people. Environmental groups are also concerned about the consequences this will have on the surrounding environment, and how this will affect plants and animals in the area. These groups also stress that the company only deposit a small bond as security against damages, this is way to small for the actual damage that could occur. The bond accounts for 50,000 SEK (5,500 USD), comparing to similar companies that have spent up to 200,000,000 SEK (22,000,000 USD) on damages. The environmental groups stress that the company have reserved an insufficient amount of money to pay for the environmental degradation.
The project is still under discussion. In May 2021, the Swedish Mining Inspectorate rejected an application from the company Leading Edge Materials Corp for a processing license on the grounds that a Natura 2000 (natural protected areas defined by the EU with special protection requirements) permit was required. But the decision was appealed and it is still unclear what will happen in the future with the plan for a mine .
The local group Aktion Rädda Vättern (“Action to Protect Vättern”) is monitoring the moves of the companies closely. They have laid out their arguments to be against the opening of the mine: it threatens the lake’s drinking water, it poses a threat to the environment of the lakes east of Nörra Kärr, there’s a risk of constant leakage of heavy metals and other pollutants as well as floodings, rare earth elements can be recycled which will reduce demand for new extraction, the tourism industry provides more jobs than the potential mine, etc. One is the low concentration of rare earth elements in the area: they will need to “break apart” 1000 kg of mountain to obtain 1kg of REE. Currently, there is a process under way to change the Swedish Mineral Law. There is a new proposal under discussion to remove the requirement for a permit in Natura 2000 marked areas prior to the application for a mining concession  .
The mining company is waiting to submit the environmental impact assessments requested by the county administrative board several years ago.
The company's latest idea is to transport the extracted material to a facility in Luleå, which is expected to be built there. LKAB intends to exploit the deposit of rare earth metals found north of Kiruna and do the final processing in Luleå. The company in Norra Kärr would thus be able to avoid the dirtiest part of the mining process taking place at Vättern. However, the landfill of the rest remains, which is a large part of what is mined: the proportion of the mineral is on average 0.4%, more than 99% crushed material is deposited. This mound (the size of at least 50 Globes) causes significant environmental impact through leaching via acid rain and flooding of uranium, thorium and lead in the bedrock. The mineral that contains REM - Eudialyte - is magnetic and should, after crushing, be distinguishable with magnets and not acids. It remains to be seen whether this is technically possible. The Mining Inspectorate has abandoned its rules and postponed its requirement to submit an EIA within three years without the company losing its exploration license.