(Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf)
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. The first paper presents the development of a telescopic boom previously not available on the market. Innovative technical ideas were applied and evaluated in the design of the new system, with the first load tests having been carried out at a mine in Russia.
Increases in the service life of plant and machinery have been accompanied by a rise in maintenance and servicing costs as a result of the greater levels of wear and tear being recorded. Machine parts increasingly have to be replaced or repaired, while at the same time the value of the equipment falls as its operating life is extended. This begs the question of whether it makes more economic sense to carry out a complete overhaul or simply purchase a new machine. A dedicated machine audit is now available to support operators in this decision making process.
Developments in mining chain technology have now been practically taken as far as they can in terms of what is possible with the available materials and the geometrical shape of the chain links. Further improvements and increases in performance do however appear to be feasible with the help of a near-realtime system for monitoring the forces and conditions present in the chain. One promising step in this direction is to use instrumented links with sensors that are fed by their own power supply.
In developing the new Uvalnaya coking coal mine in Russia the operators JSC have opted to use innovative German-made technology for the underground ventilation system. The core focus of this operation involved the design and installation of a new type of large-capacity mine fan.
Mining is subject to a number of operational constraints, especially in connection with its environmental impact. The resulting effects on profitability have compelled the industry to introduce a series of new technologies and processes. The PLCC project offers a solution that could help deal with the problem of contaminated concentrates from the Chilean copper mining industry.
China has become a major player on the global commodities markets. While striving to meet its own raw-materials needs the country is also aiming for market dominance in a number of key technology fields. This is being done through investments and holdings in foreign companies, with Germany one of the countries on the target list.
With my best regards
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen