New world standard for sustainable underground mining

The mines of tomorrow will be carbon dioxide-free, digitalised and autonomous. LKAB has initiated an industrial development project together with ABB, Epiroc, Combitech and Sandvik with the aim of setting a new world standard for sustainable mining at great depths.

The goal of the partnership is to find new methods and smarter solutions for mining operations. This will demand a completely new kind of collaboration in a digital ecosystem where the parties connect both their digital systems and their businesses.

After 2030, LKAB will be ready to mine iron ore deeper in their mines in northern Sweden, to ensure long-term competitiveness. This requires decisions to be taken already in the mid-2020s for one of Sweden’s largest-ever industrial investments.

The sustainable mine of the future will require new control systems, new advanced mining equipment, and complex, efficient management systems that meet tomorrow’s demands for a sustainable industry.

A test facility will be set up in an authentic mining environment and in a virtual test mine to develop and test new technology. The tests are to ensure Swedish mining industry remains competitive and able to create future jobs and growth. The testbeds will be built in LKAB's underground mine in Kiruna; certain tests will also be carried out in LKAB's underground mine in Malmberget.

The work in the Kiruna test mine and the virtual test mine will study the best way to build an efficient, autonomous production system that is carbon dioxide-free and maintains the highest conceivable safety – where people and autonomous machines work side by side. The virtual test mine will enable the simulation of data flows and scenarios that cannot be tested in the physical test mine.

The unique collaborative project was launched in 2018.

Industry, inovation and infrastructure
Sustainable cities and communities
Responsible consumption and production
Climate action
Partnerships for the goals