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Press release

€18+ million to sustainable mining innovation

Published: 1 March 2022

26 new research and innovation projects for increased sustainability and competitiveness in the Swedish mining and metal-producing industry are now starting. The projects are the result of the innovation program Swedish Mining Innovation's annual call with funding from Vinnova. The total budget of €18+ million is more than a quadrupling compared to last year.

This web page has been machine translated. If there are any uncertainties, please refer to the Swedish text.

– Right now there is an incredible innovation drive in the entire Swedish mining industry. The companies are making huge investments which is also reflected in our call. Never before have we received so many project applications, and never before have the industry actors themselves invested so much time and money in the research and innovation projects, says Jenny Greberg, program director at Swedish Mining Innovation.

The call, "Resource efficiency and sustainable production in the mining and metal-producing industry", was open between May and November last year. This year's approved projects have now been announced.

– One of the government's priorities is to drive the green and digital transition and create jobs with good conditions throughout the country. The transition involves electrification and digitalization of society and industry, it will require more metals and minerals. The great interest in the call shows a great need and innovative power in the industry, but also that the innovation program effectively supports and accelerates the development, says Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson.

Boliden is one of the companies that has been involved in Swedish Mining Innovation since the start.

– Swedish Mining Innovation plays a unique role in the industry's innovation ecosystem. Through the call, we as a mining company have a platform for collaboration with research actors, smaller companies and other organizations to solve industry challenges that span a wide range. The projects generate important results in everything from gender equality and safety to the environment, climate and production efficiency, says Daniel Eklund, technical director at Boliden and chairman of the Swedish Mining Innovation board.

The planned call budget was €4,2 million last year, an increase from a normal level of about €2,3 million. However, due to the large number of qualified applications, Swedish Mining Innovation via the financier Vinnova has further increased its share of the financing to €8,2 million. Among other measures, Vinnova’s Advanced Digitalization program has financed certain projects with an especially strong connection to advanced digitalization with an additional €2 million. With the industry actors' own financing of €10 million, the total project budget is over €18 million, shared between 26 projects. More than a quadrupling compared to last year.

– When there is such a great need from both society and industry, it is gratifying that we have been able to increase our support and be the enabler that the industry needs. The mining and metal-producing industry is a cornerstone of the green transition and our goal is for Sweden to strengthen its position as the world's most sustainable mining nation, says Rebecca Hollertz, program manager at Vinnova.

Broad range among winning proposals

This year's approved projects aim, among other things, to reduce environmental and climate impact, streamline production, develop new sustainable offerings, improve the working environment and create conditions for a long-term successful supply of staff and skills in the industry.

– There is a great breadth in this year's approved projects. One of the projects wants to develop a roadmap for creating attractive, inclusive and safe working conditions in connection with the industry's revolutionary digitalization. Another wants to develop techniques for recycling used batteries and battery metals on an industrial scale. In a third, a process is being developed to reduce energy consumption in comminution, the process in mining operations that requires the most energy, by more than 80 percent. These are just a few examples, says Lawrence Hooey, technology and innovation manager at Swedish Mining Innovation.

Increased gender equality

Swedish Mining Innovation works for gender equality in the mining industry and aims to achieve at least a 40/60 balance in the representation of the sexes in the projects, both in terms of the composition of project managers and the distribution of funding.

– In this year's call, 41 percent of project funding goes to projects led by women and 59 percent to projects led by men. In recent years we have focused efforts to achieve a more inclusive balance among applicants and now we see the result of that. This is a significant and necessary progress that will provide a higher rate of innovation in our industry, says Niclas Dahlström, project manager at Swedish Mining Innovation and responsible for the program's work for inclusive innovation.

The program encourages those who apply for the projects to describe how they plan to include the gender perspective and work for gender equality in the projects. The program also offers the projects competence-raising educational initiatives.

Facts about Swedish Mining Innovation

Swedish Mining Innovation is one of 17 national strategic innovation programs started and financed by Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas. The purpose of the program is to strengthen Sweden's competitiveness and create conditions for sustainable solutions to global societal challenges, such as access to raw materials and sustainable raw material production.

Read more about Swedish Mining Innovation at swedishmininginnovation.se.

Facts about the announcement

Swedish Mining Innovation distributes funds each year for a number of research and innovation projects, through an open call. The projects address the challenges defined in a strategic research and innovation agenda developed by a broad range of industry representatives. The applications are assessed by Vinnova’s panel of independent national and international experts.

To date, 237 projects have been funded. The projects are often based on collaboration between large industrial companies, academia and institutes, smaller companies and startups, but also other types of organizations. 72 project applications were received for the call, which closed in November 2021. Funding has been granted for a total of 12 pre studies, 13 full-scale projects and 1 pilot project (a total of 26 new projects).

All approved projects in the call

Automatiserat demonteringssystem för återvinning av batterimetaller
Semi-automated Dismantling System for Battery Metal Recovery and Recycling
Project leader: Northvolt Revolt AB
Funding granted: 4 991 130 kr

Omvandling av järnsand till högkvalitativ järnklorid och silikatsand
Conversion of iron sand into high purity iron chloride and silicate sand products
Project leader: EasyMining Services Sweden AB
Funding granted: 500 000 kr

Reducerad miljöpåverkan och förbättrad säkerhet vid sprängning
Reduced environmental impact and promote safety during blasting RENIS
Project leader: Luleå tekniska universitet
Funding granted: 1 385 500 kr

Fossilfri förbränning i grate-kiln pelletsverk med hjälp av co-jetbrännare
Fossil-free combustion in grate-kiln pelletizing plants using co-jet burner
Project leader: Luleå tekniska universitet
Funding granted: 2 838 000 kr

Sannolikhetsbaserad dimensionering av underjords- och dagbrottsgruvor
Probabilistic design for underground and open pit mines
Project leader: Itasca Consultants AB
Funding granted: 499 393 kr

Syrgas som möjliggörare för energieffektiva och klimatneutrala järnoxidprocesser och produkter
Oxygen as enabler for energy-efficient and climate-neutral iron oxide processes and products
Project leader: Luleå tekniska universitet
Funding granted: 9 970 000 kr

ARBS – Energieffektiv malning
ARBS: Energy Efficient Comminution
Project leader: Comminution Reimagined Sweden AB
Funding granted: 15 000 000 kr

Icke-giftig lakning och utvinning av guld med tiosulfatbaserad lixviant och Selmet metallseparationsteknologi
Non-toxic leaching and recovery of gold using thiosulfate based lixviant and Selmext metal separation technology
Project leader: Chromafora AB
Funding granted: 8 146 856 kr

Processer som möjliggör metall- och fosforåtervinning från ståltillverkningsslagg
Processes enabling metal and phosphorus recovery from steelmaking slag
Project leader: Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan
Funding granted: 375 000 kr

Dynamisk provning av kompletta bergförstärkningssystem för underjordsgruvor
Dynamic testing of full rock support systems for underground mines
Project leader: SWERIM AB
Funding granted: 500 000 kr

Full metallutvinning från slam producerat vid smältprocesser
Full Metal Extraction from Smelter Sludges (FUMES)
Project leader: Luleå tekniska universitet
Funding granted: 500 000 kr

HIPECS Högprestandaberäkning av krossning och malning i stora partikelsystem
HIPECS - High-performence computation of comminution in large particle systems
Project leader: Luleå tekniska universitet
Funding granted: 500 000 kr

Sulfatrening från gruvlakvatten – utveckling av fullskalig bioreaktoranläggning (SULFREM)
Sulfate removal from mine leachate - development of full-scale bioreactor system (SULFREM)
Project leader: Uppsala universitet
Funding granted: 4 569 064 kr

Numerisk undersökning om effekterna av spränghålsavvikelse på fragmentering
Numerical investigation on impacts of blast-hole deviation on fragmentation
Project leader: Luleå tekniska universitet
Funding granted: 500 000 kr

Spänningsförändringar i underjordsgruvor från teoretiska studier till praktiska rekommendationer
Stress changes in underground mines - from investigation to practical tools
Project leader: Luleå tekniska universitet
Funding granted: 5 019 805 kr

Bedömning av syrabildningspotential utifrån XRF/XRT-skanning av borrkärnor
Prediction of acid rock drainage potential using XRF/XRT drill core scanning
Project leader: Örebro universitet
Funding granted: 491 826 kr

Ståltillverkning med låga järnförluster under smältning
Low Ironloss-Melting Steelmaking
Project leader: Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan
Funding granted: 499 632 kr

AGtrition – Koncept för att utveckla ett multidimensionellt småskaligt test för AG kvarnar
AGtrition - Conceptual design for developing a multidimensional small-scale AG mill test
Project leader: Luleå tekniska universitet
Funding granted: 498 000 kr

ReCalc – Industrikarbonater som biprodukter från Garpenbergergruvan
ReCalc - Industrial carbonates as a byproduct from the Garpenberg mine
Project leader: Luleå tekniska universitet
Funding granted: 490 622 kr

Ultraljudsintensifierad produktion av titanfosfat från gruvavfall
Ultrasound intensified production of titanium phosphate from mine waste streams
Project leader: Luleå tekniska universitet
Funding granted: 500 000 kr

En färdplan för attraktivt, inkluderande och säkert gruvarbete
A road map for attractive, inclusive and safe mine work
Project leader: Luleå tekniska universitet
Funding granted: 7 878 735 kr

En generell digital tvilling baserad på statistiska och logiska modeller för innovationer inom gruvindustrin
A general digital twin driving mining innovation through statistical and logical modelling
Project leader: Örebro universitet
Funding granted: 4 900 000 kr

Radarize: Avancerad perception och navigering för självkörande underjordsfordon
Radarize: Advanced Perception and Navigation for Autonomous Underground Vehicles
Project leader: Örebro universitet
Funding granted: 5 435 512 kr

Adaptiv automation för ortdrivning
Adaptive automation for face drilling
Project leader: Epiroc Rock Drills AB
Funding granted: 5 569 930 kr

Utveckling av digital tvilling för bergborrning
Development of digital twin for rock drilling
Project leader: Luleå tekniska universitet
Funding granted: 4 082 744 kr

Realtidsmätning av slaggvolym inuti pelletsverk av Grate Kiln med hjälp av stereoteknik och maskininlärning
Online estimation of slag volume inside the grate kiln pellet plant by stereo vision and machine learning
Project leader: RISE Energy Technology Center AB
Funding granted: 2 289 439 kr

Questions?

Rebecca Hollertz

Programme Manager

+46 8 473 30 76

Last updated 1 March 2022

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