Glück auf!


Mining is and will remain an important international industry. The major globally-positioned mining companies are in need of trained personnel, as even the world‘s main mining regions suffer from a skills shortage in this area. This creates wonderful career opportunities for German-trained engineers and technicians. This is why we think it is very important to take a global view of what is happening in the mining sector beyond our shores and to look at the developments under way elsewhere in the world. This will work both ways, as our readers in other countries will also gain an insight into the realities of the German mining industry.

With my best regards

Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chiefeditor Mining Report

ISSUE 01/2015

Has Mining Report Glückauf a future?  Findings of a discussion session held  at the “150 years of Glückauf” symposium

Fig. 1.  The discussion panel (left to right: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Günther Apel, Dipl.-Ing. Helmut Ehnes, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Per Nicolai Martens,  Dipl.-Ing. Karsten Gutberlet, Dipl.-Ing. Volker Haakert, Dr.-Ing. Helmut Richter, Dipl.-Ing. Karl-Heinz Rieser). Bild 1. Die Teilnehmer der Diskussionsrunde (v. l. n. r.: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Günther Apel, Dipl.-Ing. Helmut Ehnes, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Per Nicolai Martens, Dipl.-Ing. Karsten Gutberlet, Dipl.-Ing. Volker Haakert, Dr.-Ing. Helmut Richter, Dipl.-Ing. Karl-Heinz Rieser). Photo / Foto: RAG Aktiengesellschaft

The mining journal Glückauf, which was founded by the Association for Mining Interests (VbI) of Lower Rhine and Westphalia, first appeared on 1 January 1865 as a supplement to the Essener Zeitung. When the last edition was published with volume number six in 2014 the journal had been in existence for 150 years. It was against this background that the German Coal Association (GVSt) in Herne and Berlin-based Verlag Ernst & Sohn, which had published the magazine up to the end of 2014 under the name Mining Report Glückauf, decided to arrange a joint technical and scientific symposium at the Philharmonie Essen on 12 November 2014. More than 330 key technical and managerial personnel from the mining and energy sectors, mining supplier companies, trades unions, employee organisations and welfare associations had accepted the invitation to share in an interesting look back over some 150 years of industrial history. In addition to the speeches and presentations, which were reported on in some detail in the previous edition of the magazine (1), there was also a discussion session focussing on the requirements and expectations that should be met by a modern mining magazine. This paper will attempt to summarise the results of this debate.

Modern freeze technology in action as five shafts are sunk at two project sites

Thyssen Schachtbau GmbH, based in Mülheim an der Ruhr, has for the last five years been increasingly engaged in drilling and freeze-shaft sinking operations in the Russian Federation. A whole range of projects of this kind have been delivered during this period. The most notable of these has been a shaft sinking in the Perm region and another in the Volgograd area, both of which were commissioned by the Russian chemical company EuroChem. In the Perm -region freeze technology was employed for sinking two potash shafts for the Usolski Potash Combine. The freeze holes employed here were drilled to a depth of 270 m. After the freeze process had been completed the company used an innovative thawing technology for the first time in order to reduce theice-wall around the shafts as quickly as possible after the shaft lining had been installed, the aim being to speed up the project‘s progress. In the province of Volgograd three shafts are currently being sunk at the Gremyachinski GOK potash mining complex, each of these featuring a world record-setting uninterrupted freeze depth of 820 m. In each of the projects completed to date modern and innovative drilling, ground-freezing and thawing technology was successfully employed and as a result the client‘s requirements were met in full. Thyssen Schachtbau GmbH will continue to develop technical equipment and calculation methods for applications of this kind so that highly challenging shaft construction projects of this type can be successfully delivered in the years ahead.

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Optimization of mucking and hoisting operation in conventional shaft sinking

The mostly applied shaft sinking method is conventional shaft sinking by drilling and blasting. Using this method, almost any shaft geometry is feasible and challenging ground conditions can be sunk through with acceptable sinking performances. Particularly mucking and hoisting operations of the sinking cycle have a relevant impact on sinking performance and offer a considerable optimization potential. Nevertheless further developments concerning sinking performance are only rarely noticeable over the last decades.

At the beginning, this paper discusses parameters influencing mucking and hoisting performance. Furthermore, it is shown with assumed sinking scenarios that the selection of appropriate mucking equipment reduces mucking time significantly. The paper ends with concepts of pneumatic loading technology that offer additional options to improve sinking performance.

Shaft filling at RAG – technical options for future requirements

The colliery closure programme under way in the German coal industry has also involved the permanent filling of mine shafts after underground operations have come to an end. The chosen filling technique depends very much on the future requirements that the shaft will have to meet. At RAG-operated sites the fill column in the disused shaft becomes a technical structure that has to take on important functions associated with the coal industry‘s long-term burdens and responsibilities. The planning, execution and monitoring of these shaft filling measures represent a real challenge for everyone involved.

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Shaft sealing concepts for high-level radioactive waste repositories based on the host-rock options rock salt and clay stone

Unlike the shaft barriers used for the dry preservation of former mine workings and underground storage sites, shaft seals designed for radioactive-waste repositories must also fulfil additional requirements associated with the design diversity of the sealing system. This diversity makes use of the simple redundancy principle in order to prevent the proliferation of defects. In practice this means combining several sealing elements made from different materials or from materials with different properties. The R&D project, Shaft sealing systems for final repositories for high-level radioactive waste (ELSA) – phase 2: concept design for

shaft seals and testing of the functional elements of shaft seals‘, which was funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), set out to investigate potential sealing  elements for the two host-rock options rock salt and mudstone. This paper combines the text that the authors presented at the First International Freiberg Shaft Colloquium held at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology on 01.10.2014 with a presentation on the sealing elements that were investigated as part of the R&D project.

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Energy reference projection  for Germany to 2030/2050


In July 2014 the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in Berlin published a new Energy Reference Projection for Germany (1). This study was carried out for the BMWi by the Institute of Energy Economics (EWI), Cologne, the Institute of Economic Structures Research (GWS), Osnabruck, and the Economic Research Institute AG, Basel and Berlin, under the title‚ Development of energy markets – energy reference projection‘. The three institutes had already produced case scenarios for the Federal Government back in 2010 and 2011. The current energy reference projection prepared by EWI, GWS and Prognos contains in particular a ‚conditional projection‘ with a timeline to 2030, in accordance with the existing and foreseeable framework conditions and trends in the German energy market. It therefore essentially raises the central question: ‚What is set to be the most likely energy-policy development by the year 2030?‘

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