Sustainable Underground Mining

Published On:
June 30, 2020

Sustainable Underground Mining

A unique partnership in Swedish industry



The mine of the future is carbon dioxide-free, digitalised and autonomous. To handle the technology shift and reduce climate impact, LKAB, ABB, Epiroc, Combitech and Volvo Group are joining forces with the goal of setting a new world standard for sustainable mining at great depths. This demands a completely new kind of cooperation, a digital ecosystem where the parties connect both digital systems and businesses.

After 2030, LKAB will be ready to mine iron ore deeper in the mines in Kiruna and Malmberget, to ensure long-term competitiveness. This presupposes that decisions are already made in the mid-2020s for one of Sweden’s largest industrial investments ever. The sustainable mine of the future requires new control systems, new and developed mining equipment and complex and efficient management systems that meet future demands on a sustainable industry.

Together, the five companies will set up a test facility where new technology will be developed and tested in a real mining environment, as well as a virtual test mine. The tests are done to ensure that the Swedish mining industry is competitive in the future as well and can create jobs and growth, both locally in Norrbotten and nationally. The test bed is being built in LKAB’s underground mines in Kiruna and Malmberget.

The goal of the cooperation is to find new methods and smarter solutions for mining operations of the future. The work in the test mine in Kiruna and Malmberget, as well as the virtual test mine will study the best way to build an efficient and autonomous production system, which is carbon dioxide-free and maintains the highest conceivable safety when people and autonomous machines work side by side. The virtual test mine makes it possible to simulate data flows and scenarios that cannot be tested in the test mine.

The work of developing the sustainable mine of the future requires significant national efforts and the parties are therefore seeking cooperation with other actors – suppliers and the government, research institutes and universities.

Sustainable Underground Mining in brief

The sustainable mining industry of the future.
Everyone will need to mine deeper, and we are developing the solution.

A unique partnership in Swedish industry
Large industrial companies are joining forces in open and transparent cooperation.

Test mine and virtual test mine
Technology is being developed and tested in a real mining environment as well as in a virtual test mine.

Full use of digitalisation
A digital ecosystem with information sharing and coordination of activities. People are in the centre.

Dramatically reduced environmental impact.
Carbon dioxide-free production.

Please see link below for more details

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