Kiruna kē´rünä [key], city (1990 pop. 20,470), Norrbotten co., N Sweden. The northernmost city in Sweden, it is the center of the Lapland iron-mining region. The ore is shipped on the Lapland railroad (completed 1902) either to Narvik, Norway, an ice-free Atlantic port, or to Luleå, Sweden, on the Gulf of Bothnia. Kiruna became the most extensive city (c.5,500 sq mi/14,250 sq km) in the world in 1948, when several distant mining villages were incorporated into it. The city is also a winter sports center and has a geophysical institute and the ESRANGE sounding rocket and scientific balloon launch site. In 2014 a two-decade process to relocate the town center, due to the encroachment of mining, was begun; relocation is part of an eight-decade move of Kiruna away from the mine.
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