Swedish mining company could move an entire town to get at valuable iron ore
The town of Kiruna, Sweden, is very cold, very close to that awesome ice hotel, and very much on top of a valuable lode of iron ore. The Swedish state-owned mining company, LKAB, wants to get at the ore by fracturing that portion of the ground, which wouldn't be so great for the people who live on it. Solution: Make the people live somewhere else. A large portion of the city is being entirely relocated so that mining companies can get in underneath.
Because this is Sweden, the company has to pay for relocating the 3,000 or so people who will have to move, and for tearing down and rebuilding the the historic structures it's displacing. The 1912 Lutheran church, for instance, was Sweden's most popular building a decade ago, and according to the Wall Street Journal, it’s going to have to be knocked down and put back together like a Jenga tower:
"We don't really know where the church is going yet," says Pastor Lise-Lott Wikolm, "but it shouldn't be too difficult. It's made of wood, you can just pick apart the pieces and put them together again."
The company's already spent $460 million buying land. But there's a lot of iron ore there, and huge demand for it from China. The city as a whole has a population of 22,000, and eventually, they might all have to shift their houses away from the mine:
" … the transformation of Kiruna will continue as long as we are mining the ore, so in the end perhaps everyone living in the city," says Johanna Fogman, an LKAB spokesperson. "That might take as long as 100 years."