ABB signed a long-term agreement with LKAB to provide service to 12 mine hoists and now hoisting motors at the Kiruna mine. Located in northern Sweden, Kiruna is the largest underground iron ore mine, producing more than 85,000 metric tons per day (mt/d).

ABB has provided LKAB Kiruna with maintenance and hoist cycle optimization since 2010. The new contract extends these services to the end of 2023 with an agreement that LKAB may sign up for a further three years on a rolling basis.

Most of the ore mined at Kiruna is at depths of more than 1 kilometer (km). Local ABB engineers have worked with Kiruna to increase hoist capacity, and through a reduced hoist cycle time to optimize production. They have improved equipment use, balancing capacity and wear and tear of the hoist equipment.

“LKAB places great emphasis on refining every element of the underground mining process in order to make it as efficient as possible,” said Peter Ylivainio, senior maintenance engineer at LKAB. “Mining ore at great depths is a logistical challenge that places demands for a well-functioning infrastructure and safe and resource-efficient production, with well-developed production methods and processes vital.”

ABB Strategic Account Manager ABB Erik Kjellgren said, “This new agreement means ABB will ensure optimal capacity, greater efficiency, lower energy consumption and extended equipment lifecycles across control systems, motors, drives as well as the hoists up to 2023 and beyond.”