(Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf)
At the end of December 2018 Germany’s last two remaining coal mines, namely Prosper-Haniel colliery in the Ruhr district and Ibbenbüren colliery further north in Münsterland, will close down forever in line with government policy. This will mark the final chapter in an industrial history dating back more than 200 years. It also provides a fitting opportunity for Mining Report Glückauf to dedicate this issue to this special occasion.
In this context we shall be looking back over the timeline of the last two active collieries and also looking ahead to what the future might hold for these mining sites. Coincidentally, the end-date for the coal industry is also the 50-year anniversary of the RAG company in Essen. Initially founded as Ruhrkohle AG at the end of 1968 the company was tasked with the restructuring of the Ruhr coal industry and was charged with continuing the legacy of the remaining coal mining undertakings in North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland – a role that it continues to play to this day. It is against this backdrop that we can review some 50 years of technical developments in coal winning and conveying at RAG. Yet the end of coal production does not mean the end of the RAG company, as it now has to set about the operational tasks associated with the eternity burdens and inherited liabilities of the mining industry.
The establishment of Ruhrkohle AG in 1968 was immediately followed by the setting-up of the Gesamtverband des deutschen Steinkohlenbergbaus (Association of the German Hard Coal Mining Industry), now the Essen-based German Coal Association (GVSt). This organisation represents the interests of its membership at a national and European level, particularly on economic and social policy matters. Our abridged version of the current Annual Report of the GVSt looks back at 50 years of developments and decision-making in the field of energy, coal, the environment and social policy.
The original Glückauf Magazine was started up 154 years ago through the efforts of the Association of Mining Interests (VbI). Soon afterwards the VbI established the Glückauf Publishing Company to run the magazine. The new company went on to publish the journal for many decades and developed it into something of a mouthpiece of the coal industry. However, decades of decline in the mining sector led to commercial problems that eventually forced the sale of the publishing house. In order to enable the magazine – now renamed Mining Report Glückauf – to develop as a sustainable and forward-looking product the GVSt, into which the VbI had been amalgamated several years earlier, took over the running of the publication itself at the end of 2014 and gave it a new set of journalistic horizons looking beyond the coal industry. As from next year the magazine will in turn take its leave of the GVSt and the team that has been responsible for its production, distribution and content – that is to say myself and the Essen-based advertising agency Together Concept. We hope, dear readers, that you will remain loyal to the brand.
With my best regards
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen