(Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf)
Mining and the processing and refining of extracted resources is of enormous importance for our day-to-day lives and these activities will continue to offer massive potential for the prosperity and wellbeing of society. However, it must also be said that mining operations have a huge influence on both the natural and the social environment. The awareness of this and the manner in which this influence-cum-interference is managed are the factors that distinguish a responsible mining industry. Only by taking account of the ecological, economic and social requirements will it be possible, both now and no doubt increasingly in the years ahead, to arrive at a status of sustainable development. This issue of Mining Report Glückauf is therefore devoted to this topic and is headed “Responsible Mining”.
The first paper presents various thoughts and ideas on sustainable mining practice and describes ways in which concepts of this kind can be incorporated into the training of mining engineers.
The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) in London/UK is looking towards a decarbonisation of the global economy, with the mining industry playing a key role here in the future. The ICMM has therefore drawn up ten principles that are to form the core element of a general concept for sustainable development. The organisation’s members are committed to these principles.
A German research consortium, which includes the Hanover-based Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), has been contemplating standard initiatives in the raw-materials sector for the last three years and has produced a document to explain the background, objectives and differences in respect of the various sustainability initiatives being proposed, particularly where mining is concerned.
Specific examples of a responsible approach to the impact of the mining industry include contributions on coal mining from RAG Anthrazit Ibbenbüren GmbH in Ibbenbüren, on the HYPERION project for the potash industry and on ore mining in Kylylahti/Finland. And similar activities in Australia show that “responsible mining” is now high on the agenda in the major mining countries too.
Taking a responsible approach to mining naturally includes making an assessment of the potential risk that raw materials extraction poses for the mine workforce and taking the appropriate precautions. And in that context the final paper in this issue deals with the problem of fine particulates as an indication of stress changes in the strata, which could warn of a rockburst occurrence.
Our ISSA Mining section reports on two events from 2017: the Workplace Safety Conference, which was held at Sudbury in Canada, and the Occupational Health, Safety and Environment Conference and Workshop, which took place at Odense in Denmark.
With my best regards
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen