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Current issue 3/2024

Andreas-Peter Sitte
(Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf)

Editorial

This latest edition of Mining Report Glückauf focusses on the topic „Trends in Mining“. This includes strategic decision making not only where engineering technology is concerned but also where operations interact with social and environmental issues.

Sustainability is certainly nothing new in the mining sector and this topic has clearly been gathering momentum over the last five decades. This increasingly means extracting and using raw materials in ways that are efficient, have respect for the environment and are in accord with social requirements. Companies such as Siemens are realigning themselves for this purpose and the creation and exploitation of industry networks of the kind provided by the Freiberg Geo-competence Center, e. g., has a valuable role to play here.

The growing demand for raw materials compels the development of new deposits and this will generally create the need for extremely deep underground mines. The use of all-automatic machines can help exploit poorly accessible mineral zones and even re-open old mine workings. The “H2020 Resilient Bio-inspired Modular Robotic Miners” project has now completed initial basic studies of future robot-supported mining machines designed for such scenarios. Deep-sea mining is another way in which future raw material needs can be met. The research project “Deep Sea Sampling” aims to test a trench cutter adapted for extracting massive subsea sulphide ore deposits, with the cupriferous ore then being transported to the surface in containers. A semi-autonomous solution is being sought to the problem of tool wear so that fast and reliable tool changeover can be achieved in the demanding deep-sea environment.

Surface blast vibrations are some of the mining side effects that are especially unwelcome to those living in the affected areas. Heilbronn rock salt mine has been conducting tests aimed at reducing the impact of blast shocks at ground level. However, further geophysical investigations are needed in order to clarify the phenomena involved and ultimately to achieve a better predictive capability.

Fire hoses are a crucial part of firefighting activities and in the mining industry too this vital equipment can be affected by pressure losses in operation. The existing pressure-drop tables are outdated and are in need of revision.

This edition’s contribution to the current “ISSA Mining” section examines the challenges facing management when it comes to enhancing the performance of their teams and at the same time promoting the health and productivity of their employees long term, while the “Post-Mining“ section comprises a paper on the new arrangements for the mine water management regime at the former Haus Aden colliery.

With my best regards

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