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It is estimated that one third of the earth's weight consists of iron, and as processed metal, humans have used iron for more than 3,000 years. We like to refer to the first epoch as the Iron Age, and it replaced what we call the Bronze Age. Iron is more useful than bronze and one of the reasons why it is our most widely used metal today. At Rana Gruber, the iron is extracted from mines and open pits, and then ends up as a railway track, a bridge or as a fork elsewhere in the world. And if everything goes according to plan for sustainability goals, Rana Gruber will be the world's first carbon-free iron ore mining company.

The mountains in Dunderlandsdalen contain large deposits of iron ore. Photo: Rana Gruber

As early as the middle of the 19th century, the activity of boat building in the Rana district  became so large that we can almost describe it as our first industrial business. There has been some mining and extraction of lead, silver, sulfur, copper and iron since before 1800, but it was not until British investment and the Dunderland Iron Ore Company that the industry really stood out. To build railways and mines in 1905, more than 2,000 men were employed.

Rana Gruber is today a solid continuation of the ambitions they had in 1905. The company was established in 1964 with a view to supplying the Norsk Jernverk with iron ore. This was only to a certain extent, and when the production of pig iron in Mo i Rana was discontinued in 1989, Rana Gruber was close to ending its fate. But then the employees got to take over the company and its values.

With the employees' intense effort and courage, Rana Gruber is today a state-of-the-art, offensive and profitable mining company. New owners and more capital have been added, and today the company is listed on the stock exchange. Rana Gruber still has many of her employees on the owner side.

The vast majority of us ways iron as an ingredient in steel. The teaspoon you stir in the cup with consists of machined iron to which a number of alloys have been added. The alloys depend on the area of use of the steel, and it must be for a can, in the hull of a ship or be a suspension or brake disc under a sports car. 98 percent of the iron produced ends up as steel, but iron is also used as toner for copiers, for filters in medical laboratories and for castings, e.g. a wood stove.

Rana Gruber extracts ore from the mountain sides in Dunderlandsdalen both through deep mining tunnels and through open quarries. Common to both is that the rock that is extracted from the mountain is transported by rail the 35 km down to Mo i Rana and Rana Gruber's extraction plant. In the plant, the iron ore is crushed and a purer sandy iron is extracted. It is such an iron fines that is Rana Gruber's most important product for the world market.

Ship traffic to Rana Gruber's quay often consists of long-distance visits. Photo: Rana Gruber

In Mo i Rana, it is the ship traffic and the trains that mainly characterize the cityscape and reminds us that we are a mining community. Most of Rana Gruber's business takes place far away from the city and deep underground. Nevertheless, Rana Gruber is one of the district's largest employers with more than 300 employees. In addition, Rana Gruber hires labor from many other companies in the region.

Rana Gruber, Mo i Rana, bergverk, jernmalm
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