The 9th Regional Meeting of the Society of Mining Professors (SOMP), which was held in Bochum from 17th to 20th October 2018, was hosted by the TH Georg Agricola University (THGA). The event was opened jointly by the President of the THGA, Prof. Jürgen Kretschmann, and Peter Schrimpf, Chief Executive Officer at RAG. Under the chosen theme “Technological Footprints of German Hard Coal Mining” 105 international experts from ten countries took part in an exchange of views on the important role that the German coal industry and RAG has played in global development. The papers that make up the current edition of Mining Report Glückauf capture the essence of the Bochum meeting.

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With my best regards // Mit freundlichem Glückauf
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen

ISSUE 01/2019

Underground Farming

Fig. 1. Cavity at slate mine, MAGOG (3). // Bild 1. Hohlraum im Schieferbergwerk der Firma MAGOG (3).

Mine closure is a topic that is being discussed frequently as illustrated by the closure ceremonies of the last two German deep coal mines in December 2018. Besides the commemoration of the miners, the main question is what is to be done with the underground infrastructure of the abandoned mines? The closure of a mine can be cost-intensive; backfilling of cavities and shafts, and the necessary operation and maintenance of pumping systems, are only a few examples of this expense. Therefore, experts all over the world are researching possible subsequent uses of closed mines. Some interesting ideas for a subsequent use of underground cavities can be found under the keyword “Underground Farming”.

Authors: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Oliver Langefeld, Mining Institute, Clausthal Technical University and Prof. Dr. Martin Tegtmeier, Schaper & Brümmer GmbH & Co. KG and Institute for Separation and Process Technology, Clausthal Technical University, Clausthal-Zellerfeld/Germany

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SOMP 2018 – Greetings of RAG Aktiengesellschaft

Fig. 1. RAG CEO Peter Schrimpf presented the role of his company to international guests. // Bild 1. Der RAG-Vorstandsvorsitzende Peter Schrimpf stellte den internationalen Gästen die Rolle seines Unternehmens vor. Photo/Foto: THGA

It’s a pleasure for me to welcome all of you to the 9th regional conference of the Society of Mining Professors (SOMP) at the TH Georg Agricola University in Bochum. As Chair of the University board, I would like to thank you all for coming to this prestigious institution to share your valuable knowledge and experience.

Author: Peter Schrimpf, Chairman of the Executive Board, RAG Aktiengesellschaft, Essen/Germany

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Technical Developments at RAG over the past 50 Years

The new series of publications under the generic title “Documentation of technical developments at RAG” aims to preserve the know-how that the German coal industry has built up over the last 50 years, to provide a knowledge platform for specialists in this area and to disseminate this information to an international audience. This initiative may well also inspire engineers to develop new technologies for the future. Of course it would not be within the scope of this series to cover all the individual themes in full along with all the individual features and particularities involved. Nevertheless, the authors have attempted to collate and present all the key relationships …

Authors: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Junker, RAG Aktiengesellschaft, Essen/Germany, et al.

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50 Years of Research and Development at RAG

Fig. 1. Investments and projects (1974 – 2015) by fields of research. // Bild 1. Verteilung der Mittel und Anzahl der Projekte 1974 bis 2015.

This article aims to lay out the basis of and steps toward the variety of technical developments leading to the current state of technology. It starts with a quantitative overview of the past 50 years of research at RAG Aktiengesellschaft, Essen/Germany, followed by some aspects of the research content, the financing and organisation. This contribution can be seen as a summary of all, whereas the other contributions in this issue will go into further detail with the individual developments and subjects.

Author: Dipl.-Ing. Karsten Jaeger, RAG Aktiengesellschaft, Essen

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Longwall Mining – Development and Transfer

Fig. 1. Hard coal deposit in the Ruhr area. // Bild 1. Steinkohlenlagerstätte des Ruhrbergbaus.

Longwall mining technology has made significant progress in the last 50 years of German hard coal mining. At the same time, the geological conditions in multi-seam mining where all but favorable, hard coal was mined in the world’s greatest depths in the Ruhr area. At the same time, coal seams had different heights and varying inclinations. Furthermore, they were often geologically disturbed. High support resistance of long-life shield supports, powerful and low-wear face conveyor systems, extremely productive shearers and plough systems and foremost an extremely high degree of underground automation when compared to other markets have helped German longwall mining technology to become the products of choice of customers worldwide. The main steps in product development at RAG, Essen/Germany …

Authors: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Oliver Langefeld, Technische Universität Clausthal, Clausthal-Zellerfeld/German, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Paschedag, Technische Hochschule Georg Agricola (THGA), Bochum/Germany

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Ruhr Area – Strata Control under Challenging Conditions

Fig. 7. Basics of the knowledge management system at RAG. // Bild 7. Ansichten des Wissensmanagementsystems der RAG.

Main achievements in strata control at German hard coal mines of RAG Aktiengesellschaft, Essen/Germany, are described in this report. Exemplarily it is figured out for the Ruhr area – one of the great hard coal deposits in Europe. After a short review on geological orogenesis the challenges of the deposit will be explained regarding matters of strata control in roadways. From the last 50 years of development, only some fundamental results are highlighted. There are additional attainments of strata control in longwall faces, which are included to the report of technical development in longwall mining. An important restriction of this report is a focus on the last 50 years – so this is not a complete summary of historical retrospection.

Author: Dr.-Ing. Holger Witthaus, RAG Aktiengesellschaft, Essen/Germany

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Developments in Mine Logistics at RAG

Fig. 2. Complex layout of an underground roadway network. // Bild 2. Komplexität des Streckennetzes unter Tage.

The history of mine logistics at RAG, Essen/Germany, since the company was founded some 50 years ago traces the developments that took place at a wide spread of collieries where multi-seam working was practised on different levels and at different depths. As the overall evolution of this technology is extremely complex it would not be possible here to describe these events in their entirety. For a more complete picture of how logistics developed at RAG refer to the recent publication “Technical developments in logistics at RAG”.

Author: Dipl.-Ing. Michael Lemke, RAG Aktiengesellschaft, Essen, Germany

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