Regulations aimed at protecting the environment and enforcing respect for human rights and the rights of children along the global supply chains now mean increasing liability obligations for the industrial sector, while raw material producers are also required to commit to sustainable mining practices both at home and abroad. The previous edition of Mining Report Glückauf picked up on this theme with a review of the impact that a sustainable raw materials policy is having on the mining industry. We also signalled that this topic would again be addressed in the current issue, when we would be focusing on technological solutions aimed at achieving a sustainable mining sector.
Hyperspectral sensors, e. g., are now being used in all kinds of areas, from the exploration of deposits through to post-mining applications. Our section on Post-Mining includes a paper on the use of hyperspectral methods for monitoring acid mine drainage, a problem that can have long-term consequences for ecosystems and human health.
“Smart mining” is one of the developments that is playing a major role in the mining supplier industry. This refers in particular to technology designed to reduce CO2 emissions from mining vehicles, including, e. g., new drive concepts. The German mining supplies industry is well on track in this area and its representatives now sit on numerous national and international standardisation committees. Having good data availability within a supportive legislative, political and economic environment is key to determining the success of a national economy in developing its mining industry. Artificial intelligence solutions, such as the application of advangeo® software products, are very useful for gathering, storing, processing and disseminating geoscientific data. The binding of CO2 from the atmosphere and its subsequent storage could help to transform the debate about the harmful environmental effects of the mining industry into a discussion of its environmental benefits. Finally, cutter mining systems are not only effective at performing specialist underground engineering work but can also be used successfully for taking targeted samples and extracting selected mineral resources in the wider field of exploration and mining.
As well as demonstrating many things Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has again reminded us of just how vital it is for our society to have secure and sustainable supplies of raw materials. That is one of the main reasons why this theme has been included once again this time.
The expert papers appearing in this the second issue of the year are rounded off in customary fashion with a review of developments in the global and national coal markets over the previous year.
With my best regards
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen