LKAB cuts the ribbon on new mine entrance at Malmberget iron ore op

Earlier this week, a historic moment in the history of the LKAB mine in Malmberget, Sweden, was celebrated when a new mine entrance was inaugurated together with a new workshop area. The relocation of the mine entrance and the construction of the new facilities are some of the first visible signs that LKAB’s transformation to a carbon-dioxide-free process has begun, the iron ore miner says.

The workshop area consists of a new recycling centre, a new workshop for crusher repair and a new piping workshop. Together with the new mine entrance, they are part of the preparatory work that is put through to create the conditions for developing the value chain on site in Gällivare/Malmberget.

“The preparatory work frees up space in the industrial area and brings us closer to our plans to take the next step in the processing of iron ore in Gällivare/Malmberget,” Monika Sammelin, Area Manager at LKAB in Malmberget, says.

A ceremony with a kind of different ribbon cutting was held at the mine entrance where an all-electric truck from Scania was the first vehicle to pass through the entrance and at the same time “cut” the ribbon. Sammelin declared the mine entrance and workshop area inaugurated and says: “Today, the electric truck symbolises the work we are doing to electrify the mine in order to be able to deliver fossil-free iron ore to the demonstration plant for sponge iron that we will build here in Gällivare/Malmberget.”

The electric truck is a Scania Heavy Tipper, which is one of the electric and battery-powered vehicles that LKAB is testing and evaluating in the work of replacing the diesel-powered vehicles and, at the same time, making the mine autonomous, digital and electric. It is not yet approved for underground operation, and is currently only being tested above ground.

Back in 2022, LKAB and Scania agreed to trial an electric Scania Heavy Tipper truck at Malmberget, alongside an electric crane truck specially adapted for these mining operations, giving Scania a chance to test and operate fully-electric trucks in a demanding underground mine environment.

The new mine entrance was opened on June 12, 2024, the day after the inauguration. At the same time, the old driveway, which was built in 1966 and made it possible to travel by car in the mine, was closed.

Sammelin says: “Relocating a new entrance is something that rarely happens during the lifetime of a mine. Starting in April 2022, we have operated a 536-m-long tunnel from level 278 (underground) up to the ground surface. The mining operations has been carried out by our internal employees and it feels great to be able to inaugurate the new mine entrance today.”