Germany’s economic upturn, which has been ongoing for some time now, is dependent on having a reliable and low-cost supply of raw materials. This applies equally to metal resources and to energy sources such as coal. The latest edition of Mining Report Glückauf will therefore focus on this theme and examine it from a number of different angles.
The German Federation of International Mining and Mineral Resources (FAB) is responsible for promoting Germany’s interests in the global commodities sector and is especially active in the international mining arena. In this context the current issue includes a review of developments in the international coal and metal-resources markets.
Increasing import dependency and difficult operating conditions in the conventional, land-based mining industry have forced economies with a high demand for raw materials to seek new sources of supply. The world’s ocean floor contains huge quantities of mineral resources. The EU-funded “Blue Mining” project aims to investigate the resource potential of deep-sea manganese nodules and massive sulphide deposits, to develop suitable methods of exploration and to promote the mining technologies that are required. The article in question looks at the activities of RWTH Aachen University in connection with this project.
The German Coal Importer Association (VDKi) maintains a close watch on the international coal markets and its contribution to this edition analyses the threats emanating from political developments such as trade disputes and new climate prioritisations. The paper by the German Coal Association (GVSt) continues along the same lines by looking at the actions being recommended by Germany’s “Coal Commission” and examining their potential social and economic consequences for Germany in general and for the affected regions in particular.
While developments in the raw materials sector feature prominently in this issue technical matters have not been forgotten with the inclusion of an innovative software solution for condition monitoring of plant and equipment that takes digitisation efforts in the mining industry to a new level. The operating parameters of special bucket designs for bucket wheel excavators used in the mining of difficult to recover materials like iron clay have also been empirically tested and action recommendations have been derived as a result. The characteristics of the product obtained at the processing plant tend to vary as a function of the degree of abrasion and the individual operating conditions. System simulation is used to optimise plant performance so that the end product can be kept within the required specification limits.
The article in the ISSA Mining section shows before that it is possible to combine good safety standards with high labour productivity.
With my best regards
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen