As in 2019, high-performance mining will once again be one of the keynotes featured in this year’s series of Mining Report Glückauf (MRG) publications. Like other sectors, such as the automotive, chemicals and energy supply industries, mining has been going through the fourth industrial revolution in recent years. Here the theme of “sustainability” is set to play a major role alongside other issues associated with the ongoing development of engineering expertise and technologies. High-performance mining focuses on man and the environment and examines how these two factors interact with engineering know-how. The mining industry has of course also set itself the aim of giving companies a clear direction as to how they can prepare for the future and effectively counteract external influences.
Neither should it be forgotten that political developments can also influence the direction taken by industrial companies. Indigenous raw-materials production requires support to maintain a reliable, responsible and sustainable supply of key resources. Against the backdrop of the forthcoming federal elections in September the Association of Raw Materials and Mining (VRB), which is the umbrella organi-sation of the German raw-materials industry, has now set out its position and drawn up a number of demands. The post-mining situation also has to be included in any responsible and sustainable raw-materials policy. In this current issue we shall therefore be discussing the existing deficiencies in raw-materials policymaking both at national and at European level.
The process of transitioning from mechanised mining to automated raw-materials extraction is now under way around the globe. Some industry players are already profiting from the potential that digitisation and automation has to offer the mining sector, not only in terms of the technical efficiency of their operations – beginning with exploration and the actual mining phase through to the mineral processing stage – but also as regards the efforts made to reduce the ecological footprint. In all of this, the chemistry of the minerals to be extracted also plays an important role.
As is customary, this mid-year edition again looks back at developments in the German lignite industry over the course of the previous twelve months. Against the background of the politically agreed cessation of coal fired electricity generation by 2038, which will spell the absolute end of lignite mining in Germany, this report underlines, among other things, that such a process will not only affect the current high status of research and technology in this branch of industry but will also impinge on the existing social and communal structures.
With my best regards
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen