LKAB extends Kiruna hoist deal with ABB

Swedish iron ore producer LKAB has extended a service agreement with engineering technology firm ABB for the former's Kiruna mine.
LKAB extends Kiruna hoist deal with ABB LKAB extends Kiruna hoist deal with ABB LKAB extends Kiruna hoist deal with ABB LKAB extends Kiruna hoist deal with ABB LKAB extends Kiruna hoist deal with ABB

A hoist located 740m underground at Kiruna

The agreement, which covers 12 hoists that are the main artery of the production flow at the Kiruna mine, now lasts until at least the end of 2023.

Kiruna in Northern Sweden is the largest underground iron ore mine in the world, producing more than 85,000 tonnes per day.

The hoists raise the ore hundreds of meters, from the sublevel to ground level.   

ABB noted in a statement that LKAB Kiruna has used its maintenance and hoist cycle optimisation services since 2010. The new contract comes with an agreement that LKAB may sign up for a further three years on a rolling basis.

Local ABB engineers, supported by ABB globally, have worked on site at Kiruna to increase hoist capacity through a reduced hoist cycle time to optimise 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. We have a long successful relationship with ABB and their local presence, global expertise and remote operations technology support our goals."

"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," said Erik Kjellgren, Strategic Account Manager, ABB. "Our experienced team of engineers provides regular support to LKAB and we look forward to seeing increased benefits for our customer in terms of insights and actions to optimize equipment performance."