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Glück Auf!

Technology once again provides the focal point of this latest edition of Mining Report Glückauf, which also includes an investigation of China’s activities in the global raw-materials sector together with our traditional annual review of events in the German coal market.

Intelligent systems are now at the forefront of technical development. These will take us a few steps further towards all-out automation and will help us deal responsibly with the planet’s resources.

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

ISSUE 02/2018

Intelligent Telescopic Boom for Underground Scaling

Fig. 2. Schematic illustration of the tele­scopic boom including the sensor positions of the measuring system. // Bild 2. Schematische Abbildung des Teleskopauslegers inklusive der Sensorpositionen des Messsystems.

The cooperation between the TML Technik GmbH, Monheim/Germany, and the Institute for Advanced Mining Technologies (AMT)of the RWTH Aachen University, Aachen/Germany, will create a synergy between the innovative construction and design of telescopic arms and the development of intelligent, mining-capable condition monitoring systems. As a result, an intelligent telescopic arm not yet available on the market will be build. A mining-capable system for online load monitoring and condition monitoring of individual machine components has never been used before in any comparable machine. For an optimized design of the new telescopic boom, innovative technical approaches will be applied and evaluated accordingly. The investigation and definition of parameters of the dissolution process will enable optimal and efficient operation in the future. The realization of open communication interfaces, and the definition of standards for data communication in the field of telescopic booms, result in a platform for future emerging industry 4.0 services under the special requirements of mining.

Authors: Christian Niedringhaus, M.Sc., Tobias Vraetz, M.Sc., Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Christian Bernet, Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karl Nienhaus, Institute for Advanced Mining Technologies (AMT), RWTH Aachen University, Aachen/Germany

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Smarter Mining – Machine Maintenance by Epiroc

Advances in the operating life and durability of plant and machinery also mean higher maintenance and repair costs due to greater wear and tear. Parts increasingly have to be replaced or repaired as a result. At the same time the true value of the machine will fall as it becomes older. Many companies are therefore repeatedly faced with having to decide whether it is worth repairing a machine or having it overhauled, or instead opting to purchase something new. This kind of problem has a particular impact on efficiency in the mining industry – a sector that requires large machines whose purchase price and operating cost play a crucial role when it comes to economic viability. For this reason further clarification is needed as to whether it is economically more viable to carry out a complete overhaul of the equipment or to plan for a new procurement.

Author: Christel Füllenbach, Business Line Manager Mining and Rock Excavation Service, Epiroc Deutschland GmbH, Essen/Germany

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From Conveyor Element to Intelligent, Interlinked Operating Assistant: Chains – Smarter and more Reliable with Sensors

Fig. 3. Smartphone versus sensor chain. // Bild 3. Smartphone vs. Sensor-Kette.

Developments in mining chain technology have led to a massive increase in the transmittable forces, along with a corresponding rise in production performance, and have helped extend the length of the winning face. At the same time, the potential offered by the available materials has been largely exhausted. In the same way, the space restrictions imposed on underground chain conveyors have seen developments taken to their limits with the introduction of geometrically more compact chain links. Given the power density of today’s face conveyor installations it is now standard practice to spread the forces over two conveyor chain strands.

From the current perspective, ongoing improvements and further increases in performance can be achieved by introducing real-time monitoring of the chain forces and status conditions. Such measures have the capacity to accurately record and evaluate loads and stresses whose nature and intensity have previously only been based on estimations.

Author: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Günther Philipp, Geschäftsführer, THIELE GmbH & Co. KG, Iserlohn/Germany

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Main Mine Fan “Made in Germany” for the Uvalnaya Russian Coking Coal Mine

Fig. 2. Overview of the operating and reserve fan station. // Bild 2. Gesamtübersicht Betriebs- und Reserve-Ventilatorstation. Source/Quelle: Korfmann

There is a new coking coal mine, Uvalnaya, close to the Russian town of Novokuznezk. The Russian company JSC “UK Sibirskaja” operates this mine. The first coal was mined from the first developed working panel in August 2017. It is planned to start mining further seams successively in a two-year cycle. The coal reserves are so big that it is envisaged extraction will continue for a number of decades. In addition, studies and tests have revealed that the coking coal to be found there possesses a number of outstanding characteristics in comparison to other deposits, such as low internal gas pressure. The planning of an efficient ventilation system was of paramount importance for two reasons: to facilitate the underground work carried out in advance for the “Uvalnaya South-West” district, which will be the next to be developed as well as to secure the workplace safety for the miners employed there in future.

Authors: Patrick Schneider M. Sc., Corinna Both, M. Sc., CFT GmbH Compact Filter Technic, Gladbeck/Germany

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Expanding Processing in Chile. A necessary challenge.

Extractive industry is vital for modern civilization, but operations are subject to a number of restrictions centering largely on their negative environmental impacts. This industry is therefore forced to adopt new technologies and processes in order to mitigate factors that drive up costs and threaten profitability. This article sets out to address a key structural factor in the Chilean mining industry – the presence of complex concentrates – and how one of the projects of EcoMetales Ltd., Santiago/Chile, offers a possible solution, with the additional bonus of answering some of the other challenges outlined above.

Author: Iván Valenzuela, General Manager, EcoMetales Ltd., Santiago/Chile

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Learning from China!

The rise of China must be one of the most impressive transformations of our times. And yet many of us fail to comprehend this phenomenon or fully realise the implications of China’s ascendancy, whether in the form of political influence or the impact on world security and the global economy. It therefore cannot hurt to further raise our awareness of these events, especially as China is now actively involved in overseas activities aimed at providing its economy with the fuel it so very much needs. In this regard the regime in Beijing has now also ordered its businesses and expert bodies in China, and Chinese investors abroad, to take into consideration aspects such as sustainability and social justice. China is now the world’s second-largest economic power and operates a clear geopolitical foreign-trade and resources strategy. The Chinese appetite for raw materials is helping to transform the world. This is all being made possible through collective solidarity in a country with a one-party political system and the ambition to make the Middle Kingdom once again the centre of the world.

Author: Peter von Hartlieb, Bereichsleiter Netzwerk Bergbauwirtschaft SMART MINING global der EnergieAgentur.NRW, Düsseldorf

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Coal 2017

Fig. 5. Prosper-Haniel mine. // Bild 5. Prosper-Haniel. Photo/Foto: RAG

In 2017 the German coal market suffered a serious collapse and consumption fell overall by more than 11 % to a figure of 50.3 mtce, its lowest level since 1990. By West German standards the decline was the worst since 1945. The slump was mainly due to displacement effects in the power generation sector. Domestic coal production was further reduced as planned in accordance with the political objectives laid down for a socially acceptable rundown of the mining industry, which has now entered its final year. Over the last year coal production and consumption has held steady around the world, though with some reverse trends at regional level.

Authors: Dipl.-Ökonom Dr. Kai van de Loo, Gesamtverband Steinkohle e.V. (GVSt), Essen, Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte, Moers

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