March 21, 2022
“LTU, Luleå University of Technology, is the leading mining and rock engineering university in Sweden, making us a natural partner for SIMS and NEXGEN SIMS. We often work in industry-related projects.
The SIMS project got excellent evaluations, and everyone involved was pleased with the results. Since the project exceeded expectations, the consortium was entrusted to follow up and continue development in NEXGEN SIMS. LTU is happy to be a part of it again this time around.
Our university will contribute to a number of work packages, with focus not only on our traditional strengths within technology and processes related to mining, but also on tasks concerning education, VR and the actual work roles in future mining. Skills and labor supply will be crucial, and we need to know how to shape future mining experts. We will take what we learn during the course of the project and bring it back to the university, to hone the education there. As a university, we have to be at the forefront.
"We feel that Epiroc has taken a firm hand in the project, shaping it to stimulate collaboration between academia and industry. "
Another task is to conceptualize the modern electric and autonomous mine. What do you need to consider when planning for new mines? What will it take to transform old sites? We will also take part in the analysis and evaluation process in several work packages, making sure that it will be objective, correct and stand on scientific ground. Our experience from SIMS shows that the evaluation of the tests and demos will be highly important.
Sweden is a small country globally, and we’re actually not a major actor in mining. But we’re a leader in innovation, and the fact that we’ve been entrusted to lead this EU project shows that we are a player to count on. We feel that Epiroc has taken a firm hand in the project, shaping it to stimulate collaboration between academia and industry. I believe that we have created a strong team to face future challenges.
There are highly set and ambitious goals to reduce emissions and increase productivity stated in the EU application, and three years is not a lot of time. But we have built a great consortium of partners. If we can’t do this, nobody can.”
NEXGEN SIMS is a consortium of 13 partners collaborating in an EU-sponsored project to develop autonomous carbon-neutral, sustainable mining solutions, building on the successful SIMS project, which ran from 2017 to 2020. The partners are: Epiroc Rock Drills, AFRY – ÅF Digital Solutions, Agnico Eagle Finland, Boliden Mineral, Ericsson, KGHM Cuprum, KGHM Polska Miedź, K+S Minerals and Agriculture, Luleå University of Technology (LTU), LTU Business, Mobilaris MCE, OZ Minerals and RWTH Aachen University. The project has a budget of 16 million euros and will run from May 2021 to April 2024.