Atlas Copco Rock Drills AB is kicking off the Sustainable Intelligent Mining Systems (SIMS) European project in Örebro, Sweden.

The project has received financial support from Horizon 2020, an EU research and innovation program with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years. It also anticipates support from the private investment that this money will attract. Atlas Copco says the project promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

“All agreements have been signed and we are eager to begin the exciting and innovative work that SIMS will deliver over the next three years,” says Morgan Rody, Atlas Copco's senior project manager for SIMS. “SIMS will demonstrate battery mining equipment, demi-autonomous inspection drones, 5G communications network technology, material identification using thermal imaging, an augmented reality controlled scaling machine, faster bolting cycles, the latest in underground tracking and positioning, the virtual mine, production blasting will be optimized and much more. All of these innovative mining technologies will be demonstrated throughout Europe at various mining sites located in Finland, Germany, Poland and Sweden.”

As coordinator of the initiative, Atlas Copco will share information with the project consortium members and external stakeholders including customers, politicians and society in general. All 12 consortium members were presented at the Kick-Off June 1-2 in Örebro, including Atlas Copco, ABB, Agnico Eagle, Boliden, Ericsson, iGW, KGHM Cuprum, K+S KALI, LKAB, Mobilaris, Luleå University of Technology and RWTH Aachen University.

The SIMS consortium is working to not only support economic growth, but also positively change the perception of the mining industry as a whole. With innovative solutions that focus on safe, efficient and ecologically-sound mining, SIMS members aim to demonstrate that sustainable practices are not only desirable, but essential to the transformation of profitable mining operations.

“Now it starts, from the early excitement and associated plans, it is now time to focus and deliver,” says Andreas Nordbrandt, president, Atlas Copco Underground Rock Excavation division. “We hope this project can become a reference and benchmark not only within our business but also how EU-funded projects can deliver results for a more sustainable way of mining.”

To further advance progress in sustainable mining, the work of the SIMS consortium will be well documented, and the data will be shared with stakeholders in the European and global mining industry. The results are sure to demonstrate how innovators from the EU are making the future of global mining possible.

Atlas Copco, based in Stockholm, serves segments ranging from compressors and air treatment systems to construction, mining and drilling equipment. The company, founded in 1873, has more than 39,800 employees worldwide and operates in more than 170 countries. Atlas Copco in North America operates in more than 109 locations and employs more than 4,500 people in the U.S. For more information, visit