Strategic partnerships

Boliden creates a positive financial, ­environmental and social impact through its business relations.

To be the most ­sustainable metal ­producer...

...we need to have the most sustainable supplier ecosystem

Rapid global development has led to an increased demand for raw materials such as minerals and metals, which is a trend that has benefited Boliden. However, as there are economic, environmental and social challenges related to the extraction of minerals and metals, it is important to collaborate with business partners to ensure high-quality suppliers. We work closely with strategic partners and expect them to follow the same sustainability practices and to contribute toward our sustainability efforts, such as by improving safety, reducing environmental impact and contributing to productivity.

Automation of our processes to remove potentially dangerous phases of production is always a high priority at Boliden. Cleaning and repairing anode plates at the Kokkola zinc smelter used to entail several manual steps, which put worker safety at risk. Our supplier Algol Technics developed an automated solution to improve the safety and working ergonomics for Boliden’s own personnel. The anode plate refurbishment no longer requires any manual work, and the workers can sit safely behind a remote-controlled system. A common understanding of the challenges with the previous solution was the key to success.

Another way to thrive through strategic partnerships is to trial new technologies together. For example, in close cooperation between Boliden and Hypex Bio Explosives Technology, a new emulsion has been successfully tested and approved for production. A fully functioning small size test factory has been built in connection to Boliden’s Kankberg mine and Hypex and Boliden have shared knowledge and experience during testing in a live environment. The nitrate-free emulsion significantly reduces the need for water treatment and can lower the CO2 emissions from the manufacture of explosives by up to 90%. This project is a good example of how strategic partnerships can tackle sustainability challenges.

toward a more Sustainable future

Our journey toward electrification outside our mines and smelters is made possible through solutions together with suppliers. In early 2022, Boliden, together with Scania, Renfors Åkeri and Norrlands bil, piloted the then heaviest electrified truck on public road. The pilot truck is one of several transporting ore 17 km from Renström mine to the mill. This could reduce CO2 emissions and further contribute to our climate targets.

We also work closely with strategic partners in long-term investment projects. Metso Outotec has been involved in the Green Zinc Odda project. The electrification of autonomous trucks is made possible together with Komatsu and Epiroc is a strategic partner in realizing our vision of a fossil-free mine. Early engagement between Boliden and strategic suppliers will continue to be key to reduce climate footprint, while ensuring the health and safety of our people.

We ask our strategic partners to allocate R&D resources to tackle sustainability challenges within:

  • Health and safety
  • Reduction of CO2 and other emissions
  • Energy efficiency
  • Electrification and automation
  • Waste reduction
  • Local community support

To further enhance the innovative spirit of our suppliers, we have asked participating companies at the Boliden Supplier Summit 2022 to submit their best ideas to promote the above focus areas. The ideas will be evaluated during 2023 with the aim of creating new strategic partnerships.