Creating a seat for Great Minds at the table of Great Mines

Creating a seat for Great Minds at the table of Great Mines

Great Minds, Great Mines is about bringing new and broader perspectives to what is often known as a traditional industry. Our industry is now changing, and to meet the new challenges of the energy transition, we need great mines.

   

Terése Edholm, Technology Manager, ABB Process Industries, Sweden
Terése Edholm, Technology Manager, ABB Process Industries, Sweden
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"I believe this industry to be an actual gold mine for early talents to start their careers – either in existing mines expanding their technology capabilities to meet the challenges of the future, or within any of the new players in the field. But this requires us to create more seats at the table."


When I started working within the mining industry 13 years ago, I was young and fresh out of school, and started off working within mining logistics. Back then, the industry looked different and my seat at the table did not come easily. My academic background had thought me how to find new solutions to problems, and I had a lot of ideas and new perspectives I wanted to contribute with, but it’s true I didn’t know much about heavy trucks back then.

The platform where people can speak out

Today, I have knowledge across a range of mining technologies. I also know that we are at a point where all of us – to some extent – must change our way of thinking. Great Minds, Great Mines is encouraging that progress – creating a platform where people can speak out, be positive about challenging things and ideas, even if they don’t have years of experience.  


Sometimes it is just about asking different questions. It takes courage to question the way things are done – sometimes you are suggesting changes to make a process more efficient, safer or with lower emissions, but the benefits may not be seen immediately. ABB is fortunate to have customers who have the courage to see that they must think and act for the long-term.  


Working with ABB is interesting because we are a global company, but we are also very local – we are close to our customers, quite literally. It’s not seldom you run into each other while picking groceries! We share the same everyday life and knowing them, and their business well, helps us to better understand their challenges.  


With that local understanding, we can bring in ABB’s global muscles. When our customers are discussing problems with us and we ask them what solution they want to bring in, they often say, ‘You tell us, you work all over the world with so many different customers – what are they doing?’ We offer that breadth and depth of expertise and combine it with genuinely close personal relationships – it is really the best of both worlds.  

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The Swedish Mining Cluster

The mining industry in Sweden has a known collaborative approach. We even have a name for it: The Swedish mining cluster. It is where mining companies unite to drive progress for the industry as a whole. The Swedish mining cluster with mining companies like Boliden, LKAB and Zinkgruvan (Lundin Mining) have for a very long time collaborated closely with academia and with technology suppliers such as ourselves to drive innovation. The mines have been subjects for test beds to find new solutions for common industry challenges and to enable digitalization, automation and reduce the environmental impact of mines. All for the greater good, because these mining companies know what tremendous effect they have on society at large. 


From a technology point of view, ABB can provide solutions that makes these collaborations and the responsibility easier, especially when we work in partnership with them early on (for new mines, from the beginning!). We have solutions to help minimize noise and pollution. Greenfield miners must show how they’re going to mitigate such things, so speaking to us as soon as possible will help them get their license to operate. If we know the problems early, we can help offer better solutions. Even if it’s not something that we have in our portfolio today, it’s something that we can work on because we’ve just discovered a problem we didn’t yet think about. This is how great minds and great mines thrive together.


I’m lucky to have so many great minds in my team in Norrbotten, Sweden. We are very proud of all our people. Their interest in technology is truly deep and genuine, and our customers often tell us that working with my colleagues to solve a challenge is a huge blast for them as well.

Creating seats at the table

I am very happy to now have a ‘seat at the table’. I urge all talents in our industry to have the courage to create that space for themselves and make it clear that your mind matter. I also urge us, who has been in the game for a long time, to create these spaces. The people around me today create a culture that supports Great Minds and Great Mines. And it’s a great culture to be working in. We need to make sure that we see every person, open doors and invite everyone to our table. It’s the only way we will get the new ideas we need for today – and tomorrow.

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