We do have some really cool industries in this country

At the beginning of this week I had a break in the thesis-writing process to go up to the very northern parts of Sweden (Gällivare) to teach Systems Safety for two days. The students were representing a number of industries dealing with explosives. After I had finished my session on the second day we went for a visit to Boliden's open-cast copper mine (well, they do extract some other metals from that ore deposit). The place is HUGE! I don't think that many people actually know the scale of some of our Swedish industries. In 2014 they will be taking out 36 Million tonnes of ore per year! I took some pictures, and I'll give some facts in connection to each and everyone of them. For more information about this crazy place, please visit Boliden's website. When they blast the ore into pieces (which they do once or twice per week, they use around 500 tonnes of explosives at the time... just to give you an idea about the scale of this place.

Here we are at the first viewpoint. The hole measures 3 kilometers in length and we are now looking across the one kilometer short side. 

The depth of the hole is over 400 meters. On the bottom we can see one of the (huge) stone crushers.
Looking across to the other side again. You see the full depth and if looking closely you will see some tiny looking vehicles.
Well, I tell you what. They are not small - they are enormous! Look at that almost-regular sized vehicle to the right... looks like something the other one would have for breakfast. 
This little fellow takes 300 tonnes (!!!) at her loading platform. And the excavator putting it there takes 80 tonnes in one bite.
Jup, that's me.
Here we are at the processing plant where the copper is separated from the ore. It looks like huge pots in which the copper boils up to the surface and then continues down to the next pot (by the help of gravity). 
The new processing plant was inaugurated in 2010 and has two water power plants connected to it (energy cost: half a billion SEK per year). 
And here is the little truck. Because electric engines are able of generating a higher momentum this thing operates with a diesel engine empowering a generator, generating electricity for an electric energy to spin the wheels.  
Ok, last picture. One of these tires costs almost half a million SEK.
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