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Germany’s coal mining industry may be nearing its politically determined end date, yet it still has the potential to deliver technically interesting developments. An example of this is the new safety concept that was devised for working the Zollverein seam at Prosper-Haniel colliery in Bottrop, which is prone to spontaneous combustion and exhibits high levels of desorbable gas. The latest issue of our Mining Report Glückauf presents this development along with the software system that is now available to simulate the success of a preliminary gas drainage operation.

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

ISSUE 02/2017

Working the Zollverein 1/2 Seam at Prosper-Haniel Colliery Using Dedicated Fire and Explosion Protection Measuresg

This paper builds the bridge in mining developments from the 1980s to the presence and to what will happen in the future. It not only includes technical developments but especially social ones. The article is the conclusion of the author´s presentation, given at the “Forum Bergbau 4.0” conference of the RWTH Aachen University on 1st December 2015.

Authors: Dipl.-Ing. Jörg Ritter, Hauptstelle Grubenrettungswesen, Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Rotert, Wetteringenieur Bergwerk Prosper-Haniel, RAG Aktiengesellschaft, Herne

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Simulation of Pre-Drainage in Hard Coal Mining by Application of the Software SimedWin

An operation as economically advantageous as possible by guaranteeing occupational safety in the underground is of great importance in the field of mining. Furthermore, safe working conditions should be provided until the end of the subsidized hard coal mining in Germany at the end of 2018. Pre-drainage of methane, an application of which the gas content of a coal seam is reduced before coal extraction at Prosper-Haniel colliery, contributes significantly to this. Hard coal collieries worldwide tend to operate at greater depths as well as must handle higher gas contents, which can also only guarantee safe conditions if pre-drainage is conducted. It is possible to quantify and estimate the probable drained gas volume as well as the reduction of the gas content previously by applying an adequate software. This forms the basis for dimensioning the borehole diameters and lengths, the distances between the boreholes, the drilling level and their service life. The software SimedWin is available to pre-calculate the pre-drainage at DMT GmbH & Co. KG, Essen/Germany, for this purpose.

Author: Dipl.-Ing. Stephan Szigeti, Nachwuchsingenieur Mining, K+S Aktiengesellschaft, Kassel

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Efficient Mining of High Seams with Automated LTCC Operations

Fig. 1. Multilevel Longwall Top Coal Caving (LTCC). // Bild 1. Strebbruchbau auf mehreren Ebenen. Source/Quelle: Caterpillar

Longwall mining is an expensive undertaking – from the preparation of the site to capital investment in the equipment. That is why longwall owners have high performance expectations, especially in tough economic times when commodity prices are low. One of the ways longwall mines achieve or exceed their owners’ expectations is through the use of high efficient Longwall Top Coal Caving (LTCC) technology production, in combination with the extensive use of automation. LTCC remains a seldom used method for mining high seams efficiently and ecologically with sustainable use of deposits. If this mining methodology is used in combination with the advantages of automated longwalls, these technologies enable longwall mines to use the deposits in the most efficient and sustainable way possible, which reduces operational costs, improves profitability and boosts efficiency.

Authors: Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Mundry, Dipl.-Ing. Christoph Sandgathe, Caterpillar Global Mining Europe GmbH, Lünen

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Innovative Hydraulic Roof Support for Low Seams

One of the basic problems of Polish underground mining is low seams extraction. The main impediment in this case are extremely harsh exploitation and operation conditions of long-wall complex machines, which in most cases result from mining conditions and the characteristics of powered hydraulic roof supports. According to this, in the Department of Mining, Dressing and Transport Machines at the AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow/Poland, the research was undertaken in the scope of development of principles and guidelines for the design of innovative hydraulic roof support for low seams, based on model and experimental studies.

Authors: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Krzysztof Krauze, Dr.-Ing. Waldemar Rączka, Dr.-Ing. Grzegorz Stopka, AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow/Poland

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Cabling for Energy and Control Technology in Deep Mining

In the harsh conditions of raw materials extraction underground, people and machines alike are pushed to their absolute limits. Every single component matters. If just one of the “cogs” fails in a mining operation, the cost of repair and reinstatement is many times that in other branches of industry or production. One of those cogs is the cable required for supplying energy to the individual machines underground. Explosion-proof, wear-resistant, flexible and durable – these are the fundamental requirements for cable and wiring in this sector. Equally subject to these requirements are data and communication cables, which are gaining increasing importance in mining. More and more technical solutions are also demanding additional monitoring of energy and communication. So the need for space for such wiring systems is increasing.

Authors: Robert Jesumann, Sales Director Export, Michael Eichhorn, Specialties & OEM, Sales Division Mining, Prysmian Group, Neustadt b. Coburg

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System Solutions for Drill and Blast Drivages in Small-Profile Roadways

The MINING Division of HAZEMAG & EPR GmbH, Dülmen/Germany, which is one of the partners in the SK Mining Alliance, specialises in client-specific machines for drill and blast drivage operations in the mining and tunnelling industries. These system solutions are employed for drivage and rebuilding of roadways and as well as using suitable machine technology are also designed to help improve the process cycle. Multifunction machines such as the HBL 800 drill-loader, along with innovative developments like the HRE 300 roadhead excavator, have proved their effectiveness and have as a result become part of the user’s operations planning process. The HRE 300 in particular represents a very interesting solution for high-performance drill and blast drivage operations in small-section roadways of 9 m2 and above.

Authors: Dr.-Ing. Frank Bauer, Vice President MINING, Siegfried Harhoff, Director Sales, Sven Heuer, Director Sales, Christoph Kuchinke, Process Engineering, HAZEMAG & EPR GmbH, Dülmen

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Electro-Mobility in Underground Mining

The market for machines and equipment in underground mining will experience significant growth in the coming years. Siemens AG in Nuremberg/Germany has spent years cultivating long-term and successful business relationships with a number of major vehicle manufacturers in the field of mobile mining technology. These relationships are the foundation for expansion of the company´s portfolio to include diesel-electrical drive systems for underground mining vehicles. The conversion from diesel-mechanical to diesel-electrical drive technology represents an important step toward reducing the overall costs of mining activities, complying with increased requirements for environmental standards, and improving work conditions. This development is part of a general trend of electrification, automation, and digitalization that has been emerging for some time in other sectors of industry.

Author: Dr.-Ing. Roland Grafe, Senior Sales Manager Mobile Mining, Siemens AG, Nuremberg/Germany

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Simulation of Pressure- and Time-Dependent Behavior of Backfill Material in Numerical Calculations

Fig. 1. Sinkhole near Berezniki in Perm region, Russia (2). // Bild 1. Tagesbruch bei Berezniki in der Perm Region, Russland (2).

The influence of underground openings due to mining activities on ground subsidence and sinkholes can be minimized by the use of backfill material. Mechanical properties of the backfill material, e. g. material stiffness, are depending on the pressure, and if binders are used, are also developing with time. Numerical simulations are an efficient tool to help estimating the influence of the backfill material on the deformation behavior and the stress distribution.

Authors: Ivan Akinshin, M.Eng., Dipl.-Ing. Christian Missal, Dr. Lothar te Kamp, Itasca Consultants GmbH, Gelsenkirchen

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Coal & Co. – China’s Raw Materials Sector at the Turn of the Year

China, the world’s largest coal market, is also showing signs of increasing sensitivity in the face of environmental and social issues. The Chinese Government has reacted to this and the coal industry – which admittedly is also suffering from over-capacity and a high level of debt – has as a result been obliged to adopt with a wide range of measures. In addition, investment has been stepped-up in renewable energies – particularly solar power. It should not be forgotten that China is in fact the world’s main producer of the rare earth minerals that are vital for high-tech technologies such as renewable energies. With coal prices rising again the pressure is beginning to lift somewhat from coal mining companies in China and it can therefore be assumed that the country is still a long way from the decarbonisation efforts now underway in the Western economies.

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

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Coal Market 2016

World coal consumption and production declined through 2016, though there were significant regional differences. The global downturn in consumption was mainly a result of significant reductions in China and the USA. While in Europe coal has been in retreat for many years, it has been making further gains in parts of Asia, and especially in India and in the south-east. In Germany coal consumption again showed a substantial downturn during the course of the year, especially in the power generation market. National coal production will cease as planned at the end of 2018 and the industry continued to downsize accordingly through 2016. At the same time the Herne-based RAG company, which has overall responsibility for coal mining operations, has been making strategic preparations for the post-mining era. Coal prices rallied strongly in mid-2016, this benefiting steam coal as well as coking coal and coke.

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

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PREVIEW Issue 3 / 2017

Energy source uranium – resources, production and adequacy

Author: Dr.-Ing. Michael Lersow, Breitenbrunn/Germany

Read the full article in Mining Report Glückauf Issue 3 / 2017

A holistic view on the availability of the energy source uranium should include – in addition to the resources which are far from fully known – the different factors of the energy yield in nuclear reactors, taking into account future technological possibilities. A static viewpoint based on currently secured resource data and today’s uranium consumption (in nuclear reactors with second generation reactors) possibly leads to an underestimation of the range. The further exploration of resources, the advance in nuclear technology as well as the consideration of economic criteria, which could also justify uranium mining from deposits with low concentration and/or difficult degradation conditions (up to the extraction of seawater), correct a simplified estimate of the extent of reach (12), clearly upwards.

Author: Dr.-Ing. Michael Lersow, Breitenbrunn/Germany

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