LKAB’s investment in carbon-free underground mining supported by Swedish Energy Agency

March 30, 2020

The Sustainable Underground Mining initiative, which has a long-term vision to develop carbon-free, digitized and autonomous underground mining at great depths, has been granted financial support of SEK 207 million by the Swedish Energy Agency.

SUM was initiated in June 2018 in cooperation with four other strong players in Swedish industry, the Volvo Group, ABB, Epiroc and Combitech.

It is now confirmed that the Testbädd (Testbed) project for the integrated, efficient and carbon-free mining system, which is part of SUM, has received financial support from the Swedish Energy Agency. The support amounts to SEK 207 million. The total cost of the project is estimated to be SEK 1.1 billion

The goal is to implement carbon-free and autonomous mining in a physical as well as a virtual test mine, and then scale up and implement the mining methods in LKAB’s underground mines in Kiruna and Malmberget.

“Among other things, the project is driving developments towards the elimination of diesel-powered mining machines and thus a carbon-free mining operation. We will also develop and evaluate management and integration systems that collect data that is then linked together in an efficient ecosystem. With this investment, we are taking one of several important steps towards switching to a climate-smart industry with people at the centre,” says Jan Moström, President and CEO of LKAB.

“With our commitment to a fossil-free mining operation, we are driving the transition to a fossil-free value chain in the iron and steel industry. This will ultimately contribute to achieving the Swedish energy and climate goals and long-term competitiveness for Swedish industry. The initiative becomes even more important in the current situation when many Swedish companies face major challenges”, says Robert Andrén, Director General of the Swedish Energy Agency.