Using digital technologies as part of the “smart mining” initiative will result in better information quality and availability and this should ultimately boost productivity and at the same time reduce the environmental footprint being left by the mining industry. In this respect digitisation covers practically every aspect of the value chain as it relates to modern raw materials production, ranging from the exploration of the deposits right through to site reclamation and recommissioning. While the laboratory analysis of core samples and detrital material has been the traditional method for determining mineral content during both the exploration and the extraction phases, the XRF-based IBERIA tool can now provide real-time analysis …

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


Targeting a Low-Carbon Economy Using China as an Example: The Pros & Cons of a Shift from Coal to Renewables

Common method for benefication (own representation based on Navarro and Zhao, 2014) (15).

Climate neutrality is a global goal that requires the high integration and use of renewable energies to ensure such a transition. In this regard, China in particular, as the largest mining country in the world, is at the forefront of renewable energy production, both through hard coal and rare earths. The great potential faces crucial negative aspects: The production of energy alternatives using rare earths generates environmentally harmful gases and wastewater. Furthermore, the recycling of such products …

Authors: Julia Tiganj M. A. und Prof. Dr. rer.nat. Tobias Rudolph, Forschungszentrum Nachbergbau (FZN) der TH Georg Agricola (THGA), Bochum/Germany

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Post-Mining as an Example of Economic Evolution. Explanatory Elements in the Work of Helmut Arndt.

Evolutionary functions of competition, according to Arndt. Source: Arndt, H.: Lehrbuch der Wirtschaftsentwicklung. Die Evolutorische Wirtschafstheorie in ihrer Bedeutung für die Wirtschafts- und Finanzpolitik, a.a.O., hier: Prof. Heinz. J. Bontrup S. I – XLVI.

Every mining operation and mine site will, as such, come to an end one day and so will transition to the post-mining era. That is simply part of the economic evolution. As for the post-mining sector, which it has long neglected, conventional economic science still finds it hard to accept realistic explanations of evolutionary developments. And yet productive ideas on evolutionary economics have been around for quite some time. One of the German-based trailblazers, who has now been almost forgotten, was the economics professor Helmut Arndt who died in 1997 …

Author: Prof. Dr. rer. oec. Kai van de Loo, Forschungszentrum Nachbergbau (FZN), TH Georg Agricola (THGA), Bochum/Germany

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IBERIA – In Situ Determination of Metal Concentrations

Downhole measurements in blasthole with IBERIA at two different speeds. Source: J&C Bachmann

Ore grade control is often based on geochemical sampling of boreholes cores or detritus. Limitations of this method include a single assay result representing a certain borehole depth, bias generated by sampling of the material and the delay in the delivery of results which can take days or even weeks, so that many decisions in the field have to be taken without fully understanding of the real element contents of the ore body. And this despite elemental analysis is a fundamental component of mining grade control and resource block models. The XRF-based logging tool, called IBERIA, has been developed specifically for…

Authors: Dr.-Ing. Claus Bachmann, Dipl.-Ing. Eduardo Yanez, J&C Bachmann GmbH, Pforzheim/Germany

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Theory and Practical Experience of a Digital Twin for Optimal Operation and Maintenance of Belt Conveyors

Ungleichförmige Beladung als Ursache schwankenden Leistungsbedarfs. Source: Voith

Alarge part of the bulk material transport in mining is carried out by belt conveyors. This will increase in the future. The correct design, operation and maintenance are of decisive importance for their economic operation. Recent developments such as the use of a digital twin of the conveyor can make a significant contribution here. This article is intended to present the theory and operational practice of the digital twin “BeltGenius” for conveyor systems …

Author: Dr.-Ing. Manfred Ziegler, Vice President Engineering Belt Conveyor, J. M. Voith SE & Co. KG, Crailsheim/Germany

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ARTUS: Decentralised Communication of  Mobile Mining Machines

Synergetic application of LoRa and Wi-Fi in the ARTUS project.Source: AMT

The ARTUS research project aimed to develop systems for a holistic implementation of a complete loading-unloading cycle conducted by an autonomous fleet of special-purpose mining vehicles. A key challenge in developing such systems is providing the communication infrastructure and ensuring technical capabilities to fulfil needs for machine-to-machine communication (M2M). This article presents project works and research results of the Institute for Advanced Mining Technologies (AMT) of RWTH Aachen University (RWTH), Aachen/Germany, in the field of …

Authors: Moritz Ziegler M. Sc., Arne Köller M. Sc., Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Elisabeth Clausen, Institute for Advanced Mining Technologies (AMT), RWTH Aachen University (RWTH), Aachen/Germany

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Development of a Platform Demonstrator – an Experience Report

Methodology and study design for the company-specific implementation, testing and validation of the platform solution as well as for the investigation of the transformation process. Source: MRE

Digitalization offers companies strategic advantages through the simplification and optimization of business processes and is an important lever for long-term growth. Numerous industries already benefit from optimized coordination of capacities and resources by integrating digital technologies into business processes. Digital platforms enable, e. g., the demand-based adjustment of asset capacities at peak loads on the basis of data-based forecasts. In particular, small and medium-sized enterprises in the German quarrying industry have so far …

Authors: Julian Lassen, M. Sc., Martin Schulte B. Sc., Institute of Mineral Resources Engineering (MRE), RWTH Aachen University, Aachen/Germany, Jonas Müller, M. Sc., Leon Hecht B. Sc., FIR e. V. at RWTH Aachen University, Aachen/Germany

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The Gomer Slate Mine of MAGOG GmbH & Co. KG – from Roofing Slate to Slate Veneer

Sawing machine in action. Photo: MAGOG GmbH & Co. KG

Slate has been used for many centuries as a natural building material, primarily for roofing purposes, and during this time the slate mining industry has left its mark on entire landscapes. In Germany slate mining has been practised at many different locations, these including the Harz mountains, the Franconian Forest, Thuringia, Vogtland, Siegerland, by the Lahn river, in the Taunus area, at Kaub near the Rhine river, in the Hunsrück and also north of the Moselle river, in the Eifel mountains and in Westphalia. For various reasons, mostly economic in nature, most of these mining operations closed down …

Author: RBr Dipl.-Ing. Markus Billermann, Bezirksregierung Arnsberg, Abteilung Bergbau und Energie in NRW, Dortmund/Germany

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Smart Repositories – BGE Goes Digital

Konrad 2 Shaft repository with surface facilities. Source: BGE

The Federal Company for Radioactive Waste Disposal (Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung BGE), based in Peine/Germany, is in charge of, among other things, the conversion of the former Konrad iron ore mine into a repository for low to intermediate level radioactive waste and the decommissioning of the Asse II mine, after retrieval of the radioactive waste. The following report deals with digitisation for these projects. It discusses digital planning tools and how they are linked to each other.

Authors: Dr.-Ing. Thomas Lautsch, Dr. rer. nat. Ralf Holländer, Dipl.-Inf. Christian Wilkens, Dipl. Wirt.-Ing. David Horner, Olga Grobe, BGE Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung mbH, Peine/Germany Read more

Digital to the Core – E2E Optimization of Mining Operations

Digitalization – the new core for mining operations. Source: Siemens

TDigitalization touches every aspect of the mining value chain – from excavation to transport to benefaction to how minerals are stored and handled. As an end-to-end (E2E) digitalization partner for the mining industry, Siemens Minerals, Erlangen/Germany, offers a complete digital portfolio – some main elements of which are highlighted here. At each step of the way, individual processes are optimized. Yet the biggest effect is achieved when all the data generated in each area is brought together …

Authors: Sunny Schoone M. Sc., Dr.-Ing. Dan Fodor, Bernardo Marinho B. Sc., Dipl.-Ing. Christian Moese-Singer, Siemens AG, Erlangen/Germany Read more

Focusing on the Future – How Rio Tinto Is Shaping Modern and Sustainable Mining

At its Boron operations in California, Rio Tinto produced battery-grade lithium from waste rock. Photo: Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is the second largest mining company in the world. It was founded in 1873 and operates in 35 countries, with its headquarters in London/UK. Managing Director European Operations, Colin Mackey, has led the company’s European operations since October 2021, but has been in the mining industry for over 20 years and has held various positions at Rio Tinto since 2003. He spoke to Mining Report Glückauf, about geopolitical aspects of raw material supply, the supply and role of critical raw materials such as lithium for the energy transition, but also modern and sustainable mining.

Authors: Andreas-Peter Sitte, Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen/Germany, Colin Mackey, Managing Director European Operations at Rio Tinto Group, London/UK Read more