The 9th Regional Meeting of the Society of Mining Professors (SOMP), which was held in Bochum from 17th to 20th October 2018, was hosted by the TH Georg Agricola University (THGA). The event was opened jointly by the President of the THGA, Prof. Jürgen Kretschmann, and Peter Schrimpf, Chief Executive Officer at RAG. Under the chosen theme “Technological Footprints of German Hard Coal Mining” 105 international experts from ten countries took part in an exchange of views on the important role that the German coal industry and RAG has played in global development. The papers that make up the current edition of Mining Report Glückauf capture the essence of the Bochum meeting.
Since its formation 50 years ago RAG has made a massive contribution, in conjunction with the mining suppliers, to technical development in the German coal industry. The closure of this branch of the German mining industry was the inspiration behind the project to secure for the long term the know-how that the industry has built up over the years in the form of a series of publications entitled “Documentation of Technical Developments at RAG”. This would make this body of knowledge available to professional readers and help disseminate it to a wider international audience.
Of course it would not have been within the scope of either the regional meeting or the aforementioned book series, let alone this edition of Mining Report Glückauf, to cover all the relevant themes in their entirety with all their specific development aspects or to incorporate all the subject matter that merited inclusion. The papers that have been selected therefore focus exclusively on technical developments at RAG in the field of longwall coal winning, mine supports and underground logistics. Research and development activities at RAG have also been featured along with the main success factors that have done so much to improve mine safety performance and occupational safety and health protection in general. The two safety and health papers have been assigned to our ISSA Mining section which, for editorial purposes, appears after the technical papers.
The articles on the regional meeting are, for reasons of topicality, preceded by a paper on Underground Farming, which is an interesting post-utilisation concept for underground cavities.
Prof. Kretschmann was appointed President of the SOMP in June 2018 and therefore heads the leading global academic community for mining sciences. His acceptance of the SOMP presidency means that the THGA is now responsible for hosting two important mining conferences: the Regional Meeting, which is covered in the current issue, and the 2019 Annual Conference. The latter will be dedicated to the future of the mining industry and the post-mining theme. Mining Report Glückauf will be reporting in due course on the scientific content of the SOMP Annual Conference.
With my best regards
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen