Sweden’s northernmost town Kiruna is being shifted two miles to the east to make way for the town’s expanding mine.
The plan to move Kiruna’s town centre will take 20 years to complete with about 20,000 people being moved into new homes, The BBC reports.
Works to move the town centre begin in coming months and include relocating more than 3,000 apartment blocks and houses, a school, hospital and even an old church.
The relocation plan is being run by the town’s largest employer, a state-owned mining company, Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB), to make way for its burgeoning iron ore mine.
It is the world’s largest underground iron ore mine and plans to move the town have been in the works for almost a decade.
LKAB has already spent about 4 billion kronor ($AU665 million) on the project and is allocating another 7.5 billion kronor to relocate the town but cautions it’s almost impossible to estimate how much the project will cost.
With residents living so close to the operation, it’s Sweden’s answer to Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia.
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