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Current issue 2/2024

Andreas-Peter Sitte
(Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf)


“Sustainability” is an ongoing theme in the mining industry and the sector is always being asked whether the extraction of mineral resources can ever truly be a sustainable process. Mining, no matter where it is practised, always has a lasting impact on nature and the environment. Responsibility in dealing with natural resources therefore means having an efficient and accountable mining industry in the producer country and setting up responsible supply chains. This edition of Mining Report Glückauf is therefore dedicated to sustainability in mining and so is in step with the 17th Mining­Forum that takes place on 6th and 7th June of this year and which also focuses on this same topic under the headline “For a sustainable future”.

It also took centre stage last September at the WISSYM 2023 symposium where delegates were able to discuss a range of topics, including innovation, technology development, resource efficiency and the public perception and acceptance of mining within society.

Public acceptance is a factor that deserves our fullest attention and associations such as the Association of Mining, Geology and the Environment (VBGU) play an active role here, as does the comprehensive and transparent ESG certification for mineral resources for which the TÜV NORD Group has launched a certification concept.

Sustainability also requires specific support from the policy makers. Eight years ago the UN adopted the Agenda 2030 package with its 17 sustainability goals and it is now seeking ways to drive these targets forward. Germany recently updated its national sustainability strategy in 2021 by introducing six major transformation areas where major efforts are required, including the energy transition, climate protection and the circular economy. From the current standpoint the decision to phase-out coal could at the very least be regarded as questionable. Moreover, Germany now requires mineral resources from more than 160 countries to secure its raw materials base. All this brings new opportunities for German companies in areas such as raw material recycling and the development of processing capacity.

Practical examples of sustainability in mining can be seen at international level in the efforts being made by Anglo American and more locally in the transformation project under way at a production facility in Herzogenrath.

The “Post-Mining” section also follows the main theme of this edition and includes papers on change management in the mining lifecycle and on the geomechanical issues associated with the proposed opencast mining lakes in the Rhenisch lignite mining area.

A paper in the “ISSA Mining” section has had to be omitted from this issue for editorial reasons.

With my best regards

Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen