Intending to restart operations at the Grängesberg iron ore mine in Sweden, UK minerals development company Anglesey Mining is due to investigate plans to transform it into an energy storage project after mining ceases.
In order to exploring the potential for the mine to be converted into a pumped hydro storage project at the end of its producing life, this mining company has concluded a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Swedish energy storage company Mine Storage International.
Following producing over than 150M.t of iron ore, Anglesey Mining that owns 49.75% of the mine in central Sweden, closed in 1989.
While the purpose is restarting the mine as one of Europe’s largest individual producers of high-grade iron ore concentrates, a program has been developed to look closely at geo-mechanical and hydro-geological aspects of the site, which will be critical components of the permitting regime required for the dewatering and reopening of the mine.
The intended program will involve drilling boreholes into the general mine area and the capture and interpretation of key data on the physical aspects of the ground and hydrological conditions.
Additionally, surveying conceptual plans and designs for a pumped hydro energy storage project at the mine, is going to be company’s coming plans after the recent MoU.
Pumped hydro storage utilizes water and gravity to store electrical energy. An underground mine can provide a closed-loop solution using proven, pumped hydro power technology.
In order to generating the required electricity for supplying to the grid and also pumping the water back to surface, the system uses water being gravity fed through pipes down a shaft into the turbines. The mine storage system has a high round-trip efficiency of 75-85% and proven durability.
According to Anglesey Mining chief executive Jo Battershill: “We are very pleased to have signed this MoU with Mine Storage over our Grängesberg project. The Mine Storage team has identified the Grängesberg mine as one of the most suitable locations to design, install and operate what could potentially be a significant pumped hydro-storage project.”
He continued: “As we have stated previously, we believe the Grängesberg project provides substantial strategic value and has the potential to be restarted as one of Europe’s largest individual producers of high-grade iron ore concentrates.”
“Any potential to covert the mine into a long-term source of hydro-storage power only adds to the strategic value of the asset. We look forward to working with Mine Storage on the options for integrating a pumped hydro-storage solution into the mine plans,” added Mr. Battershill.
Mine Storage International co-founder and chief executive Thomas Johansson said: “This collaboration with Anglesey is a great confirmation of the value Mine Storage can offer not only in the global energy transition, but also for a sustainable mining industry. Anglesey Mining and Grängesberg Iron show a great leadership and we are both pleased and honored to have entered into this collaboration with them.”