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How commodity prices and technical development has influenced exploration strategies: a case study from Sweden

Pär Weihed ()
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Pär Weihed: Luleå University of Technology Sweden

Mineral Economics, 2022, vol. 35, issue 3, No 7, 409-427

Abstract: Abstract In Sweden, mining of metallic mineral resources goes back at least 1000 years, possibly much longer. This paper reviews the development of exploration over the past 500 years and discusses exploration based on 1) demand and price, 2) technical development, and 3) legislation. Without doubt, exploration efforts have been driven by an early demand, especially from the Swedish crown and well-known mines such as Falun copper mine and Sala silver mine sustained the Swedish crown and financed several wars during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for several centuries. The fluctuation in metal prices, basically a function of demand, due to technical development and industrialization, has been an important driver for the focus of exploration over the last 100 years, and even more so during the last 50 years when exploration, besides base metals and iron, has focussed on more critical raw materials for the energy transition and green technology. The technical development has also meant that new methods have become available for exploration, not the least deep exploration methods and Swedish innovations have played a major role in drilling technology, geophysical instrument development and other areas. This is discussed based on development in drilling technology, geological, geophysical and geochemical methods. Finally, a review of the how the mining legislation has changed over the last 500 years is provided where this is placed in the context of how it has influenced private investment in exploration and what role the Swedish state has played.

Keywords: Exploration; Sweden; Commodity prices; Technical development; L10; L61; L72; O13; O31; P48; Q02; Q30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s13563-022-00299-2

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