ABB plans Swedish iron ore mine

Sept. 13, 2021

ABB reported Aug. 26 that it's providing mine design consultancy and recommended scope of supply for reopening the former Blötberget mine near Ludvika in the Dalarna region of Sweden. Closed since 1979, the mine is being redeveloped by Nordic Iron Ore, and is transitioning from study phase to construction.

ABB is addressing automation, digitalization and electrification for long-term, safe, sustainable and efficient mining operations at the site. The technology provider analyzed a detailed feasibility sudy by Nordic, and advanced definitions and scope of supply. To design the new mine at the site, ABB draws on its comprehensive Ability MineOptimize portfolio of electrification and automation solutions, engineering, digital applications and collaborative services. MineOptimize integrates individual mining solutions into a secure, structured, plantwide system to optimize all stages in the lifecycle of any open-pit or underground mine and/or minerals processing plant.

“We want to draw on the strong technology knowledge that exists in Sweden to open a mine with a low environmental impact and footprint and that's also competitive and safe,” says Lennart Eliasson, managing director of Nordic Iron Ore. “The early involvement from ABB, which has a track record of working with innovative mines in Sweden, ensures that the construction design and planning for the development of the mine can take a step forwards and with improved costs and benefits forecast accuracy.”

ABB automation and digital solutions for meeting the challenges in designing and developing a new mine include ABB Ability System 800xA distributed control system (DCS) and cloud-based ABB Ability Genix Dashboard, which supports digitalized ways of working with reports and increases transparency. ABB Ability Operations Management System software that maximizes coordination between weekly production plans and dynamic situations will be used in the mine to improve efficiency, increase productivity and maximize profitability. ABB also looked at electrical infrastructure requirements for Blötberget, including surface and underground containers, switchgear and transformers.

The new Blötberget iron ore mine is expected to be operational in 2024. Iron ore was mined there until 1979 when it was closed due to low iron ore prices. Nordic was formed in 2008 with the main aim of resuming mining in Blötberget and Håksberg, and exploring the expansion potential of the Väsman field, which together form the Ludvika Mines in southern Dalarna.