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The first iron ore mine in the world aiming to cut all carbon emissions

Rana Gruber in Mo i Rana in the Nordland region bets on electricity driven operations and aims to cut all CO2 emissions by 2025. The company has now been awarded the Renewables Award from Energy Norway.

– We are very pleased to receive this award. It’s a confirmation that we have made the right choice by working towards cutting all carbon emissions through electrification. This is a recognition for the entire company, says Gunnar Moe, CEO of Rana Gruber.

A Society Run on Renewables

Rana Gruber received the Renewables Award from Energy Norway on Tuesday morning. Energy Norway is part of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) and is one of several players that work to make Norway the world’s first society running on renewable energy only. The Renewables Award is an award for companies that strengthen Norway’s position as the world’s leading renewables-driven society.

Director of Communications at Energy Norway, Christina Søgård, pointed out during the award that the winners of the Renewables Award are characterized, among other things, by the fact that they dare to have ambitious goals.

– Every time we issue the Renewables Award, there are new players who have entered the scene. If Norway shall lead the transition towards a renewables-driven society, the country needs ambitious companies willing to put their bet on renewable energy. These companies are found within all sectors and function as good role models for everyone else. In 2020, Rana Gruber announced that they aim to be the first carbon-free iron ore producer in the world. Over the next three years, Rana Gruber will replace all the machinery run on fossil fuels with electrical alternatives. I think this goal is both impressive and ambitious, which is why it deserves the Renewables Award and the attention that comes with it, says Søgård.

Praise From the Jury

The jury of the Renewables Award consists of Kristin Halvorsen from Cicero, investor Jens Ulltveit-Moe, Liina Veerme from the hydro power producer Salten Kraftsamband, Anders Bjartnes from the Norwegian Climate Foundation, and Therese H. Woie from the climate activist group Natur og Ungdom.

 The jury’s statement is as follows:

“Rana Gruber’s efforts to explore the potential of electrical solutions in the mining industry may speed up the process of phasing in heavy, electrical machines. This has global significance, as the world must deal with an all-time-high demand for minerals, while simultaneously cutting emissions. If Rana Gruber succeeds in reaching their zero-emission targets while creating industrial jobs, the company deserves appropriate credit.”

The Right Way to Go

Rana Gruber is the only iron ore producer in Norway and produces up to 1.8 million metric tonnes of iron ore concentrates each year. The company emits around 10 000 tonnes of CO a year, which already makes it the iron ore producer with the lowest carbon footprint in the world. Still, the company aims to achieve even more, and work is currently being done to cut all carbon emissions.

– It’s important to us that every investment we make should be rooted in environmental considerations. Our goal of becoming carbon-free does require large investments, but it’s clearly the right way to go for a mining company like us, says Moe.

Expects Norway to take responsibility in climate matters

Rana Gruber has iron ore reserves corresponding to several decades of production, which means that carbon free operations would be of great significance. 

– We believe that our operations can make a big difference if we make the right investments. Therefore, it is right for us to take responsibility and invest in sustainable alternatives. We start by replacing fossil-driven machines and equipment in the mine with electrical alternatives, as well as replacing the current rail transport with fossil-free transport, says Moe.

Moe hopes that the measures they take at Rana Gruber will have a positive impact on the local community as well as the region.

– We think it will become more attractive to work with us. Our young and recently employed colleagues are much better at taking sustainability into account, and they want to work in leading companies, says Moe.

For Norway to lead the transition to a society run on renewables, Moe believes that owners and leaders in the mining industry should set clear, ambitious goals for a sustainable development of the sector.

– Norwegian industry is already world leading when it comes to technological knowledge. Therefore, we should expect that Norway takes responsibility in climate matters.


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