SUM stands for Sustainable Underground Mining. The goal is to set an entirely new world standard for sustainable mining at great depths.
Work is divided into several phases:
- Construction and completion of test mine and start of pilot trials, 2018–2020.
- Develop and test various solutions in, among other areas, autonomy, electrification, digitalization, location-independent control rooms, sensors and positioning, energy optimization, and establish a virtual test mine, 2020-2022.
- New solutions will be successively introduced into LKAB’s production and decisions will be taken as to future industrial-scale mining, 2022–2030.
- New world standard for sustainable mining deeper in LKAB’s mines, 2030–2060.
During the first phase, conditions and prerequisites will be determined, test mines will be built in LKAB’s underground mines in Kiruna and Malmberget, and a basis for decisions on future main levels will be presented.
After 2030 LKAB must be ready to mine at greater depth in the Kiruna and Malmberget mines. For this, one of Sweden’s biggest industrial investments ever, decisions will have to be taken in the mid-2020s. In the second and third phases, development continues and the aim is to take the decisions as to the choice of new methods and engineering solutions. When decisions as to the nature of future mining are in place, construction of next-generation production systems in industrial scale deeper into the mines will begin.
In the final phase, Swedish industry will lead innovations in a long-term, open and transparent partnership to set a new world standard for sustainable mining at great depths.