Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions liefert batterieelektrische Bergbauflotte an Rana Gruber in Norwegen. Foto: Sandvik

Decarbonization of mining: The mine of the future is electrified and digitalized

The mine of the future will be electrified and digitized, offering a range of benefits from lower emissions and an improved working environment to higher productivity and cost savings. To realize the full potential of electrification and meet customer needs, the fundamentals of mining equipment design must be rethought. To drive innovation in mining, it is important to understand the issues facing mining companies today and in the future, and which of those issues are most pressing. This means examining every aspect when it comes to how mining vehicles are designed and built.

Over the past decade, the pace of innovation in the underground mining industry has been remarkable. The first generation of BEVs (battery electric vehicles) essentially removed the diesel engine and fuel tank and replaced them with a battery. Today, the vehicle is built around the battery, with major improvements in efficiency and performance.

We are constantly adapting to the latest technologies

“We have to rethink the whole machine from the ground up,” says Kyle Hickey, vice president of engineering at Sandvik in 2021. “We have to “throw away” everything from the diesel machine and look at what it really takes to build the best battery electric machine for this industry.” One key, he said, is looking at other industries to ensure access to cutting-edge technology.

“An important factor when we talk about our BEVs is the ability to leverage the latest technologies from other markets like automotive and other industrial sectors,” Hickey says. “When we see technologies that can be used for industrial applications, we focus a lot on how they can be used to not only improve the machine, but also reduce complexity, lower costs and increase reliability.” The strong global momentum of electrification is increasing customer interest in this technology and further stimulating the pace of innovation. “As far as electrification is concerned, it’s very easy to get customers on board today, says Mikko Valtee, Manager Applied Research at Sandvik. “We learn together,” he says. “We learn from them and they learn from us.”

Major order for e-mine vehicles from Rana Gruber

Sandvik signed a major order with one of these pioneering electrification customers in February. Sandvik was contracted to supply a fleet of 19 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) for use at Rana Gruber’s iron ore mine in Storforshei in northern Norway. The order is worth approximately SEK 370 million and includes trucks, loaders, drills, on-site service and batteries. Deliveries are scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2023 and continue until 2024.

Northern Norway: first carbon-free iron ore mine.

The BEV fleet will support Rana Gruber’s ambitious goal of operating the world’s first carbon-free iron ore mine by the end of 2025. Sandvik’s BEV solutions not only enable a reduction in CO2 emissions, but have also been proven to provide significant benefits to the working environment by eliminating exhaust emissions and reducing heat and noise pollution. Rana Gruber produces approximately 1.8 million tons of iron ore concentrates annually from its five deposits in Norway’s Dunderland Valley. The company’s resource base includes more than 440 million tons of iron ore.

“I am very pleased to see the high level of customer interest in our battery electric offering and especially the increase in larger and repeat orders, which is a testament to the high performance of Sandvik equipment and service. Our battery electric offering is a strategic focus area for Sandvik and a key enabler in shaping the sustainable mining of the future. We are very much looking forward to supporting Rana Gruber in implementing their decarbonization strategy,” says Stefan Widing, CEO and President of Sandvik.

“Rana Gruber is a pioneer in the electrification of mining in Europe and a long-standing partner of Sandvik. We are very pleased to further deepen our cooperation and support the company in its transition to battery operation,” says Mats Eriksson, president of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions.;

This and other articles on the topic of Monilität 4.0 electric-networked-autonomous can be found in the current eMove360° magazine – download free here or order print version at


05.04.2023   |  

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