A new world standard for sustainable mining

Everything starts in the mine. That goes for the biggest change in our history, too. Through innovative technology and improved processes, we will set a new world standard for sustainable mining at great depths.

Man in front of machine in darkness.
Photo: Fredric Alm

We are already mining our ore in two of the world’s largest underground mines in Kiruna and Gällivare, more than 1,000 meters below the surface. As we must go even deeper while at the same time reducing our climate impact, we have to find new ways of working.

To take on this challenge, we have embarked on a journey together with some of Sweden’s largest and most innovative industrial companies: ABB, Epiroc, Sandvik and Combitech. Together, we are creating the carbon-free, digital and automated underground mines of the future.

By 2030, we will be ready to mine iron ore even deeper in our mines.
We have to go even deeper, down to 2,000 meters below the surface and beyond.
A new world standard for mining.

Focus on people

The mine of the future will not look like it does today, but that does not mean jobs will disappear. However, the content of the work will look different for many of our employees.

Right now, we’re developing the new and innovative solutions that are needed. Through digitalisation and new technology, the work in the mine will become easier, safer and more efficient – all of it with a focus on the people.

Drones and robots, such as the robot dog Spot, help gather information that can be used by employees to make quicker and better decisions. Hard-to-reach parts of the mine become easier and safer to reach, while autonomous and manually driven vehicles work side by side to solve the tasks.

The iron ore goes deeper

We have two of the world’s largest underground mines in Kiruna and Malmberget. Now we have to go even deeper – much deeper. With that comes greater distances, more rock stresses and increased costs. This is a challenge we must solve.

Thanks to large investments in exploration, we now know that the ore bodies in all our mines continue towards the depths. The conditions for continued mining beyond 2060 are there, but it will require huge investments in new infrastructure, new mining methods and new ways of working.

It’s about continuing to mine iron ore in an even safer way at greater depths and at the same time continuing to make money. We’ll do this through automation, digitalisation and electrification. In the mine of the future, we can solve our tasks efficiently and without interruption.

Sustainable Underground Mining

In 2018 we launched a development project together with ABB, Epiroc, Combitech and Volvo, to set a new world standard for sustainable mining at great depths. At the time, we called it SUM, Sustainable Underground Mining.

Our transformation

We are in the middle of the biggest change in our 130-year history and perhaps the largest industrial investment ever in Sweden. By 2045, all our processes and products will be carbon-free.

Learn more about our transformation