Rana Gruber has selected Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions to supply a fleet of 19 battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), including trucks, loaders and drills, for its iron ore operations in Storforshei in northern Norway.
The agreement, worth some SEK370 million ($36 million), underpins Rana Gruber’s aim to operate the world’s first carbon-free iron ore mine by the end of 2025.
Sandvik’s second-largest battery-electric mining fleet to date will include six Sandvik TH550B trucks, five Sandvik LH518B loaders, four Sandvik DL422iE longhole drills, two Sandvik DS412iE mechanical bolters and two Sandvik DD422iE jumbos. Delivery of the equipment will begin during the March quarter and is planned to continue through 2024. Sandvik will also provide on-site service support and batteries.
Gunnar Moe, Chief Executive Officer of Rana Gruber, said: “We’re proud that our mining operations already have among the industry’s lowest CO2 footprints but we have even higher ambitions to completely eliminate our carbon emissions. We have a crystal-clear decarbonisation strategy. When we announced our 2025 goal in 2020, many did not believe it would be possible, but we’re taking another major step forward partnering with Sandvik to implement a battery-electric fleet that will improve our work environment and reduce our operational costs. Most importantly, BEVs will help us achieve our ambitious goals for carbon-free mining.”
Moe said Sandvik’s philosophy around batteries and its approach to battery safety was an important factor in Rana Gruber’s selection process.
“This is a new world for us but Sandvik has extensive battery-electrification expertise,” he said. “We are already very pleased with our cooperation with Sandvik and their commitment to support our BEV transition, not as a supplier but as a true partner wanting to take the journey with us.”
Established in 1964, Rana Gruber produces approximately 1.8 Mt/y of iron ore concentrate from its five deposits in Norway’s Dunderland Valley. Its resource base includes more than 440 Mt of iron ore.
Sandvik has supplied underground equipment to Rana Gruber for more than 25 years. The companies signed a cooperation agreement to strengthen their partnership in November 2021. Trans4Mine, Sandvik’s in-house consultancy, conducted studies and simulations to advise Rana Gruber on BEV fleet requirements, charging station locations and other mining cycle optimisation opportunities, resulting in a letter of intent in November 2022.
Mats Eriksson, President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: “BEVs have demonstrated their power to reduce a mining operation’s carbon footprint. Rana Gruber is a pioneer in the mining electrification shift in Europe, and we look forward to supporting their battery-electric transition.”