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ABB provides electrification, automation for mine of the future

Dec. 17, 2020
The company will provide knowledge and solutions as part of Sustainable Underground Mining future mine project that is hoping to demonstrate zero carbon dioxide emissions and productivity increases of 50%

ABB has provided electrification, connected control and operations management systems, high-visualization and mobile operator workplaces as part of a global mining partnership to visualize a technology shift and reduce climate impact in the Sustainable Underground Mining (SUM) project. Devised by LKAB, SUM has the goal of setting a new world standard for sustainable mining at great depths in partnership with ABB, Combitech, Epiroc and Sandvik. The framework outlines ambitions for zero carbon dioxide emissions, completely safe mines for humans, productivity increases of 50% and deeper mining.

(Source: ABB)

ABB says it will continue to contribute its knowledge in electrification, automation and workplaces together with other suppliers to the mining industry. The collaboration aims to find new methods and solutions for mining operations in the future. Test work in LKAB’s Kiruna mine in northern Sweden, as well as a virtual test mine, will study the best way to build a carbon dioxide free and autonomous production system.

Within the mine, the Konsuln orebody is used to demonstrate future workplaces in a decentralized environment with use of an autonomous electrical mobile transport system in a mixed environment. Real time process information is available to all organizations involved. When combined with the wider efforts of the SUM partnership, this shows a way of bringing new technology solutions to market for safer, more sustainable and more efficient mining production processes.

"We are taking significant strides towards a vision of the future operator environment through smarter working and demonstrable results," said Jan Nyqvist, global product manager for Underground Mining Automation at ABB, and one of the leaders in the project. "Electrification and automation are two important factors for the mining industry to continue its rapid, but effective, modernization. Sharing of information and data is crucial to reach substantial end goals."

"ABB is integral to the next step, which is to build a demonstration workshop to connect electrical and automation systems that have so far been developed for this challenging project," said Nyqvist. "We will, through various developed scenarios, be able to show how the systems work together."

By 2022, the ABB electrification and automation solutions will be fully installed, and it says its aim is that a new standard for mining production will be set globally by 2030.

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