The world’s largest underground iron ore mine is located in Kiruna, Sweden. The Swedish iron ore mining company LKAB (abbreviation of Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB) was established in 1890, which makes it one of Sweden’s oldest industrial companies. The mine has been in operation for over a hundred years and has been incredibly important for the Swedish economy .
The ore is being extracted all year round from the underground mines in Kiruna and Malmberget and at the surface mines of Gruvberget and Leveäniemi in the town Svappavaara. Every time the ore is removed it causes a collapse of rock underground, which automatically fills the cavity and creates clogging.The more ore that is extracted, the more the ground above sinks . In 2004 the mining company LKAB publically announced that the mine was caving in, destabilizing the ground that the town is built upon. Since then, there has been an ongoing project funded by LKAB and the Swedish government to relocate the town centre roughly 3 km east. The completion of the relocation of Kiruna was officially set to take place within 2019, but has recently been postponed until 2022  .
Most of the discourse and media coverage of the moving of Kiruna presents the situation as uncontroversial, emphasising the technical and architecturally interesting perspectives and the co-dependence of the mine and the city of Kiruna. Some criticism has emerged from researchers and journalists, but there has been little organised opposition. Residents have however reported they are unhappy with the new location of the city and the prospect of relocating is a cause for sadness and the stresses of uncertainty. The new site has been criticised for being colder, more windy, lacking a view of the mountains and unfavourably located in an industrial area sometimes referred to as the ‘valley of death’ .
The choice of the new site was also regarded by some as undemocratic and unclear, with no open discussion on which location would be good for everyone. Concerns were also raised as residents expected the relocation would be key-to-key, however, the price offered by LKAB for their accommodation was much smaller than what the price will be in new Kiruna hence leaving Kiruna altogether is a real possibility for some .