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The new projects are the result of the innovation program Swedish Mining Innovation's annual call with funding from Vinnova. Photo: Epiroc View original picture , opens in new tab/window

34 million for new mining research

Published: 1 March 2022

Luleå University of Technology will lead twelve new research projects aimed for increased sustainability and competitiveness in the Swedish mining and metal-producing industry.

The projects are part of the innovation program Swedish Mining Innovation's latest call, with funding from Vinnova, on the theme of resource efficiency and sustainable production in the mining and metal extraction industry. Of the total budget of SEK 195 million, more than SEK 34 million goes to projects led by Luleå University of Technology, which is also included as a partner in further projects.

– 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.

The 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.

"The national mining university"

The two largest projects that Luleå University of Technology has been granted in the call are "Oxygen as enabler for energy-efficient and climate-neutral iron oxide processes and products", led by associate professor Charlotte Andersson, and "A road map for attractive, inclusive and safe mine work", led by Lena Abrahamsson.

– The new projects are a proof that this is research in our core area. We are the national mining university, which is also shown by LKAB's donation of SEK 200 million to a new foundation with the aim of promoting the university's research and education related to sustainable mining, says Pär Weihed, Pro Vice-Chancellor at Luleå University of Technology.

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.

– 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.

Record number of project applications

Luleå University of Technology is the host organization for Swedish Mining Innovation and Jenny Greberg, associate professor of mining and rock engineering, is program director. The applications are assessed by Vinnova’s panel of independent national and international experts.
– Swedish Mining Innovation's management works very actively to receive applications from many universities and partners in the industry, says Pär Weihed, who are a member of the board of Swedish Mining Innovation.

– 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.

 

The projects led by the university:

Oxygen as enabler for energy-efficient and climate-neutral iron oxide processes and products
Project leader: Luleå University of Technology – Charlotte Andersson, associate professor of process metallurgy
Funding granted: SEK 9 970 000 kr

A road map for attractive, inclusive and safe mine work
Project leader: Luleå University of Technology – Lena Abrahamsson, professor of human work sciences
Funding granted: SEK 7 878 735 kr

Stress changes in underground mines – from investigation to practical tools
Project leader: Luleå University of Technology – Savka Dineva, professor of mining and rock engineering
Funding granted: SEK 5 019 805 kr

Development of digital twin for rock drilling
Project leader: Luleå University of Technology – Simon Larsson, associate senior lecturer of solid mechanics
Funding granted: SEK 4 082 744 kr

Fossil-free combustion in grate-kiln pelletizing plants using co-jet burner
Project leader: Luleå University of Technology – Sofia Larsson, senior lecturer of fluid mechanics
Funding granted:  SEK 2 838 000 kr

Reduced environmental impact and promote safety during blasting RENIS
Project leader: Luleå University of Technology – Nikolaos Petropoulus, senior lecturer of mining and rock engineering
Funding granted: SEK 1 385 500 kr

Full Metal Extraction from Smelter Sludges (FUMES)
Project leader: Luleå University of Technology – Lena Sundqvist-Öqvist, associate professor of process metallurgy
Funding granted: SEK 500 000 kr

HIPECS - High-performence computation of comminution in large particle systems
Project leader: Luleå University of Technology – Pär Jonsén, professor of solid mechanics
Funding granted: SEK 500 000 kr

Numerical investigation on impacts of blast-hole deviation on fragmentation
Project leader: Luleå University of Technology– Changping Yi, senior lecturer of mining and rock engineering
Funding granted: SEK 500 000 kr

Ultrasound intensified production of titanium phosphate from mine waste streams
Project leader: Luleå University of Technology – Örjan Johansson, professor of engineering acoustics
Funding granted: SEK 500 000 kr

AGtrition – Conceptual design for developing a multidimensional small-scale AG mill test
Project leader: Luleå University of Technology – Jan Rosenkranz, professor of mineral processing 
Funding granted: SEK 498 000 kr

ReCalc – Industrial carbonates as a byproduct from the Garpenberg mine
Project leader: Luleå University of Technology– Christina Wanhainen, professor of ore geology
Funding granted: SEK 490 622 kr

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