Mining has undeniably an adverse impact on the environment and this is why in Germany the mining industry has such a poor image in many social and political circles. Yet it is an important contributor to the nation’s economic performance, while the high standards that have been achieved in the redevelopment of its legacy landscapes are acclaimed around the globe. It is no coincidence that the world’s only research centre for post-mining activities is to be found at the TH Georg Agricola University in Bochum. The German mining industry continues to produce special technical solutions …

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

ISSUE 04/2023 // FOCUS OF THIS ISSUE: Technical Solutions in Mining

Mine Water Monitoring in Closed Mines at RAG Aktiengesellschaft

Framework installation on the roadway floor. Source: RAG

The shutdown of hard coal production in 2018 implicates a challenge in deriving of physical and chemical parameters of mine water in situ. Finishing underground activities is going along with a limitation of alternative application of monitoring methods. This report is focussing on measures to derive sufficient information about water rebound in former mines. Exemplarily results of an underground monitoring system, which was developed in cooperation between TH Georg Agricola University (THGA) in Bochum/Germany and RAG Aktiengesellschaft, Essen/Germany, are presented. The system includes four probes at the former …

Author: Dr.-Ing. Holger Witthaus, Servicebereich Technik- und Logistikdienste, RAG Aktiengesellschaft, Essen/Germany

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Integrated Monitoring of Rising Mine Water Levels in the Hard Coalfields of North Rhine-Westphalia – a System under Development

Organisational make-up of the Integrated Monitoring bodies. Source: Bezirksregierung Arnsberg

The year 2020 marked the start of an integrated process aimed at monitoring rising mine water levels in the former hard coal mining industry of the Ruhr coalfield and the Ibbenbüren coalfield. This paper presents the different topics that are to be dealt with and the assessment strategy that has been laid down for the monitoring operation and also examines the make-up and previous activities of the various bodies involved. After establishing the scientific and technical bases of the operation …

Authors: BD Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang Dronia, OBVR Dipl.-Ing. Philipp ­Hensel, BD Dipl.-Ing. Jürgen Kugel, BR Dipl.-Ing. Martin Wissen, ­Bezirksregierung Arnsberg, Abteilung 6 – Bergbau und Energie in NRW, Dortmund/Germany

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Environmental Pressures of Current Mining in Germany: a Critical Comment

Table 1. Examples of environmental indicators describing the interactions between mining and the environment according to the DPSIR framework (Driving Forces, Pressures, States, Impacts, Responses). Source: MRE

Mines interfere with the environment. However, active mining in Germany in its various forms causes only small overall environmental pressures, based on data from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, due to its limited land use, waste production, water extraction as well as particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, federal politics should acquire and present to the public strategies, key issue papers, writings and websites on German mining that reflect these scientific facts. In future, it is important for the German mining sector …

Author: Univ.-Prof. PhD Bernd G. Lottermoser, Lehrstuhl für nachhaltige Rohstoffgewinnung, Institute of Mineral Resources Engineering (MRE), RWTH Aachen University (RWTH), Aachen/Germany

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Experiences and Outlook for Machine Sinking of Shafts and Developments in Conventional Sinking with Drilling and Blasting

General view of the construction site of Woodsmith mine with MTS shaft (back right), service and production shaft (one behind the other on the left). Photo: Redpath Deilmann

Conventional shaft sinking with drilling and blasting has been the predominantly used method for more than 100 years. The method is very flexible for all kinds of geological conditions and always applicable. Since most shafts were sunk for hard coal, the equipment used for drilling or for loading the debris away was compressed air-powered because of the firedamp protection. For decades, different shaft sinking companies have been developing technologies for mechanised sinking from the solid in cooperation with various mining machinery manufacturers. Mechanical sinking offers considerable advantages …

Author: Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Ahlbrecht, Technical Director, Redpath Deilmann GmbH, Dortmund/Germany

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Head Frame of the Research and Training Mine Reiche Zeche − Spectacular Renovation of a Landmark

The guide frame (a) and the diagonal brace (b) were lifted out of the shaft house. Photos: Kerstin Rysavy, SBN

Since the 1950s, the head frame shaft Reiche Zeche of the research and training mine of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg in Freiberg/Germany has shaped the silhouette of the city. The head frame had to be refurbished almost 70 years after its construction − a demanding project in the conflict area between technical regulations and monument protection …

Author: Dipl.-Ing. Danny Bodenstab, Geschäftsführer, SCHACHTBAU NORDHAUSEN GmbH (SBN), Nordhausen/Germany

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ELMAR: Research on Electric-Autonomous Transportation and the Implications for Mine Design and Energy Management

ELMAR use cases. Source: Mineral, AMT, Knauf

The ELMAR research project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (BMWK), aims to integrate and demonstrate electric and autonomous transport vehicles in raw material extraction operations. This will be done with special consideration of maintaining process reliability and ensuring electrical supply security, as well as their coupling to renewable energy sources within the framework of suitable representative application scenarios (use cases) …

Authors: Dennis Wagner M. Sc., Pablo Muñoz Sánchez M. Sc., Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Elisabeth Clausen, Institute for Advanced ­Mining Technologies (AMT), RWTH Aachen University, Aachen/Germany

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Weir Motion Metrics Unveils Cutting-Edge Product Catalogue Empowering Mines with Advanced Technologies

Weir Motion Metrics’ solutions provide mining operators with reliable, high-quality imaging systems to enhance performance and productivity. Source: Weir

Weir Motion Metrics, a Canadian technology company that uses its expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision to improve mine safety and energy efficiency, presents its comprehensive product catalogue, delivering state-of-the-art, AI-enabled, 3D vision technologies to revolutionize the mining industry. With a focus on machine vision, AI and cloud computing, Weir Motion Metrics offers rugged solutions engineered to withstand …

Author: Mike Passen, Sales Manager EME (DACH), Weir ESCO® − Weir Motion Metrics®, Mönchengladbach/Germany

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High-Voltage Power Cable Project – the SuedLink Line Goes Underground at the Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke Salt Mine near Heilbronn

Schematic illustration of the different cable laying arrangements Source: TenneT TSO GmbH und TransnetBW GmbH: SuedLink unter Tage − Broschüre − Die Gleichstrom-Erdkabelverbindung im Raum Heilbronn.

The final 16 km of the 700 km long SuedLink high-voltage direct current transmission cable will pass through − or more precisely beneath − the conurbation of Heilbronn and in doing so will follow a route through the existing rock salt mine operated by the salt mining company Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG (SWS), Heilbronn/Germany. This energy scheme, which is being implemented under the Federal Requirements Planning Act, is being delivered by two project developers TransnetBW, Stuttgart/Germany, und TenneT TSO, Bayreuth/Germany. The underground phase not only involves the sinking of two vertical shafts and …

Authors: Lauritz Albrecht-Vogelsang M. Sc., Projektleiter, und Robby Schmidt M. Sc., Bereichsleiter Steinsalz, Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG (SWS), Heilbronn, Dipl.-Ing. Dirk Fraas, Teilprojektleiter Bergwerk, und Dipl.-Ing. Peter Herzel, Teamleiter Technik Bergwerk, TransnetBW GmbH, Stuttgart

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Innovative Closure Concepts around the Water-Energy-Nexus in Mining – a Case Study from South Africa

AMD from flooded deep level gold mines in the Eastern Basin (top, 2009) and the Western basin (bottom, 2012).Photo: Winde

Since the earliest days of extracting and processing minerals, access to both, water and energy, has been indispensable. Using historic and contemporary examples at various scales the paper explores the interdependencies between both resources in the context of mining. For the semi-arid mining nation South Africa water and energy security are currently posing significant challenges as the recent AMD crisis and the ongoing energy shortage illustrate …

Author: Dr. habil. Frank Winde, Wismut GmbH, Chemnitz/Germany, and North-West University, Potchefstroom/South Africa

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Chile, Salt Lakes and Lithium: Current Production Status

The Salar de Atacama is the deposit with the best conditions for lithium mining worldwide. Photo: AHK Chile (I. Wunderlich)/Albemarle

The Chilean Ministry of Mines and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK) expanded the raw materials coorperation that had existed since 2013 into a partnership for mining, raw materials and the circular economy. Among other things, this gives special place to cooperation on critical minerals and environmental aspects for mining in the 21st century. Among the critical minerals is not least lithium, which plays an important role in achieving the climate goals …

Authors: Dipl.-Wi.Hisp. Iris Wunderlich, Deutsch-Chilenische Industrie- und Handelskammer, Santiago/Chile, Dr. Stefanie Schmitt, Germany Trade and Invest – Gesellschaft für Außenwirtschaft und Standortmarketing mbH (GTAI), Santiago/Chile

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