<p>Emil Dæhlin is responsible for drilling operations at the Sydvaranger open pit iron mine in Arctic Norway.</p>
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Emil Dæhlin is responsible for drilling operations at the Sydvaranger open pit iron mine in Arctic Norway.

Arctic born and bred

Living in remote Arctic Norway may sound like a challenge for some, but not to lifelong resident Emil Dæhlin. He’s responsible for drilling operations at the Sydvaranger open pit iron mine, where eight Sandvik DP1500i drills help his team get the job done efficiently in harsh conditions. During winter, they must deal with heavy snowfall and permanent darkness, along with the tough local rock.

What’s it like living and working here?
When the mine closed in 1997 many people moved away so it was bad for the area. The Australian company Northern Iron purchased the mine in 2007, refurbished it and in 2009 it reopened, reinvigorating the area and now people are moving back. Living in Kirkenes is great as long as you are the kind of person who likes to be outside. There are possibilities all around us, from hiking in the forest to ice fishing. Of course, it’s challenging during the dark and cold winters, but you get used to it. I’ve worked farther south in Norway but I always wanted to come home.

About Emil Dæhlin

Job title: Project manager for drilling operations
Age: 33
Hometown: Kirkenes, Norway
Family: Lives with his girlfriend and 3 children (ages 2, 5 and 7)
Hobbies: Fishing in the local lakes

Why did you choose Sandvik equipment?
We had our field test here in November 2012, pitting the Sandvik DP1500i against other machines. We tested it for a month and it performed well. Sandvik DP1500i is a known machine with hundreds in operation around the world, so we were confident in its proven capabilities and strengths.

Importantly, it has all the features we need to work with the tough rock in this area. They are very easy to move around the small pits here. We use top hammer technology rather than down-the-hole (DTH) or rotary drilling because it’s better and more efficient for us. Among other things, it uses much less fuel and results in a lower cost than DTH.

How is the relationship with Sandvik?
We were impressed with Sandvik during the pre-sales process and testing period. Since then the follow-up communication has been good, and we are working together to manufacture new drill bits that are better suited to this kind of rock. It’s an abrasive material, so we need to find drill bits that last as long as possible. We are working with Sandvik to develop something suitable to help the economics of the operation and benefit us both in the long run.