Worldwide, but particularly in Germany, mining is caught between the conflicting demands of supplying industry and the population with mineral raw materials and ecological and social requirements. How to apply innovative technologies and processes for the sustainable extraction of minerals is therefore one of the greatest challenges facing this branch. Our latest issue of Mining Report Glückauf outlines some of the approaches being adopted in this area. Expansion plans for surface mining projects have increasingly stringent regulatory barriers to overcome …

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

ISSUE 02/2024 // FOCUS OF THIS ISSUE: Sustainability in Mining

Change-Management in the Mining-Life-Cycle Needs Trust!

The four aspects of knowledge/science transfer and communication. Source: FZN

Trust is a valuable asset that must be built and maintained in scientific and technical projects. Especially in projects of the mining life cycle, which are due to the change of the social perception towards a circular value chain, trust is under special observation and has to be built up actively. The difficulties here lie in the transfer of the scientific-technical content in change management for the different target groups, which have different social as well as societal requirements. The transition from the exploration phase to the production phase or from the production phase to the post-mining phase …

Authors: Prof. Dr. rer.nat. Tobias Rudolph, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Goerke-Mallet, Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Christian Melchers, Forschungszentrum Nachbergbau (FZN), Technische Hochschule Georg Agricola (THGA), Bochum/Germany

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Rock Mechanical Issues of the Planned Opencast Mining Lakes

The construction of opencast mining lakes on a scale that has not yet been achieved anywhere in the world represents a complex task for the mining operator and the responsible authorities. Source: RWE Power AG

After the end of lignite mining in the Rhenish mining area, the remaining volume of the three existing opencast mines will be filled with water. The creation of opencast mining lakes on a scale that has not yet been achieved anywhere in the world represents a complex task for the mining company and the responsible authorities. The authorisation and supervisory tasks are carried out by the Mining and Energy in NRW department of the Arnsberg District Government, located in Dortmund/Germany, which is responsible for the entire state. 

Author: Rbe Annika Mittmann M.Sc., Abteilung 6 Bergbau und Energie in NRW, Bezirksregierung Arnsberg, Standort Dortmund/Germany

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The WISSYM 2023 symposium took place with 200 participants from 15 countries in Dresden. Photo: Wismut

Under the motto “Rethinking rehabilitation mining – Innovative approaches on the road to sustainability”, the Wismut GmbH, Chemnitz/Germany, the Association of Mining, Geology and Environment (VBGU), Berlin/Germany, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna/Austria, organized the 5th International Mining Symposium WISSYM 2023 from 25th to 28th September 2023. In Dresden/Germany, 200 participants from 15 countries discussed issues of innovation, technology development and resource efficiency, as well as the highly topical subject of public perception and acceptance of mining within society. The article includes five selected presentations and a summary of the conference results in short form.

Author: Wismut GmbH, Chemnitz/Germany

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Social Acceptance of Mining and Remediation Projects – the Role of Associations/the VBGU

Structure of the VBGU’s areas of work. Source: VBGU

Awareness of raw materials and the acceptance of mining, remediation and industrial projects has become a key factor for society in Germany. For this reason, increased attention must be paid to this social acceptance. This concerns, among other things, the extraction of raw materials from near-surface raw materials, underground mining projects as well as remediation projects in old mines. Some of the options for achieving social acceptance are outlined in this article. Realisation often requires financial resources that exceed the potential of individual associations. In any case, the time factor is an essential framework condition for the realisation of projects

Author: Dipl.-Geol. Olaf Alisch, Geschäftsführer Verband Bergbau, Geologie und Umwelt e. V. (VBGU), Berlin/Germany

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Certificate for a Better Future – CERA 4in1 Is the First Holistic Certification System for Sustainability in the Raw Materials Sector

CERA 4in1 offers a holistic certification solution that extends from the exploration of the deposit to the end product. Source: TÜV NORD CERT

The raw materials sector has recently attracted a lot of attention. Geopolitical conflicts and other crises make supply chains more volatile, raising awareness amongst the wider public of how essential the raw material sector is. This is particularly true for mineral raw materials, as they are essential for the energy transition, climate protection and digitalization. The increased attention leads to noticeably higher demands. The sector should operate as sustainably as possible and be able to prove this sustainable development. Technological developments have already enabled enormous progress to be made in this area …

Author: Dr. rer. nat. Andreas Hucke, TIC-Manager CERA 4in1, TÜV NORD CERT, Essen/Germany

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Sustainability – Climate Change, Raw Materials, Future

What defines sustainability? (4)

Sustainability requires concrete help from everyone to utilise existing resources in such a way that they are also available for future generations and the world remains liveable. There are differences in the way different age groups understand and implement the concept of sustainability. One study shows that Generation Z – born between 1995 and 2009 – has a greater interest in climate and environmental protection than many older people, while another study shows that young people are calling for sustainable, intergenerationally fair politics and economics. 60 % of young people are in favour of sustainable values such as environmental protection …

Author: Dipl.-Ing. Peter von Hartlieb, Fachjournalist, Düsseldorf/Germany

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Why Is Coal Still Being Phased Out?

Energy-related CO2 emissions in Germany by energy source. Source: BMWK Energiedaten; für 2023 eigene vorläufige Hochrechnung auf Basis AGEB 2023

The phase-out of coal-fired power generation decided and pursued in Germany on the grounds of climate policy is proving to be increasingly questionable in terms of energy policy. It makes neither an internationally proportionate contribution to CO2 reduction nor an economically convincing contribution to climate-friendly electricity generation at national level. In any case, security of supply will continue to favour an energy mix with coal in the foreseeable future …

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

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The Opportunities Offered by Sustainability

Countries accounting for largest share of global supply of critical raw materials. Source: Grohol, M.; Veeh, C. (2023): Study on the Critical Raw Materials for the EU 2023. European Union.

Sustainability in the raw materials sector is no longer defined purely in ecological terms – securing the raw materials base has become an integral part of the concept of sustainability. This opens up opportunities for German companies, particularly in the area of raw material recovery and the development of processing capacities in the Global South.

Authors: Detlef Gürtler M. A., GTAI Germany Trade & Invest

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Anglo American’s Path to Sustainable Innovation

Anglo America is bringing the next generation of FutureSmart MiningTM to its Woodsmith project in the North East of England. Photo: Anglo American

The mining methods and equipment we deploy today are unlikely to be acceptable in the future. Stakeholders are rightly demanding that we must do better in the way we mine, while delivering safe, repeatable and consistent operational performance. As we strive to meet society’s demand for metals and minerals in a responsible and productive manner, we have the chance to embed the latest thinking and technologies into safe and sustainable modern mine designs …

Authors: Anglo American PLC, London/UK

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Transformation Process in Mining Using the Example of Herzogenrath

Example of successful transformation. Photo: Stadt Herzogenrath

The town of Herzogenrath/Germany, north of Aachen, has a long mining history that stretches from the 12th century to the 1970s. Since then, the town, which is close to the Dutch border and the town of Kerkrade, has undergone an interesting structural change. Modern technology centres are now located where for decades people worked underground. Mines and tailings heaps have become local recreation areas. The development of the town of Herzogenrath is a blueprint for other towns in the region and shows how the economy and infrastructure can be adapted to the post-mining era …

Authors: Dr. iur. Benjamin Fadavian, Bürgermeister der Stadt Herzogenrath, Thomas Blumenhoven, M.A., Pressereferent der Stadt Herzogen­rath, Herzogenrath/Germany

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