“Safety in mines” has once again been chosen as the main theme of one of this year’s issues of Mining Report Glückauf and this latest publication will therefore be focussing on mines rescue activities.
Since the summer of 2019 a working group set up by the German Committee for Mine Rescue has continued to address a number of unresolved issues connected with the provision of equipment to those mines rescue teams that are still on active duty in the country. This issue of Mining Report Glückauf will therefore be reporting on the key findings of this working group. Over the last thirty years or more we have witnessed the closure of many large mining facilities, this being accompanied by a massive reduction in the industry’s workforce. By the same token increasing mechanisation has also had an impact on the qualification requirements and size of the labour force in many mid-sized mining companies. The implications of these developments for the work of the mines rescue brigades, and the challenges that the latter are currently having to face, are described in a paper that draws on the example of the Mines Rescue Service in Saxony.
It is the responsibility of the mining industry, and not only to its employees but to society in general, to ensure that safety is accorded the highest priority. Engineer training has to be the key to creating a safety-conscious mentality and mode of conduct among employees at every level. One of the articles in this issue therefore relates to the subject of occupational health and safety to show how this can be integrated, both thematically and conceptually, into today’s college educational curriculum.
A well-functioning ventilation system is indispensable for a safe underground working environment. Mine ventilation is provided by a series of fan installations – these comprising the mine fan and various booster fans and auxiliary fan units. All these different fans must be designed for a specific operating remit and must also be capable of coping with the kind of conditions found below ground.
Also in this issue, our regular feature on “post-mining activities” will be discussing the new research domain “Reactivation and Transition” that has been initiated by the Research Center of Post-Mining at the TH Georg Agricola University in Bochum/Germany. We shall in addition be looking at the options being considered for the permanent restoration of the Mirny diamond mine in Russia, which is still closed due to flooding, and for the resumption of mining operations at the site.
The scientific papers that make up the second issue of each year traditionally close with a review of developments in both the global and the national coal markets. We are doing the same again this time round, and in this context we would also like to mention that the Coal Importers Association (VDKi), which collates the key market trends for us, celebrates its 125th anniversary this very year. So warmest congratulations to the VDKi from our editorial team.
With my best regards
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen