(Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf)
Readers looking at the title photo of this issue of Mining Report Glückauf may wonder whether this is really the mining journal they have become accustomed to. And the answer is of course “yes”. Renewable energies and mining are not mutually incompatible. Each can benefit from the other and help the other, as demonstrated at Raglan copper and nickel complex in northern Canada, where a set of wind turbines is helping to meet the mine’s electricity needs.
The use of renewable energy by the mining industry is still a relatively new concept. Nevertheless, a growing number of projects of this kind are already up and running on every continent, apart from Europe. This edition of Mining Report Glückauf seeks to examine the prevailing conditions under which renewables can make a valuable contribution to a mine’s existing energy supply. As well as taking account of the weather, climate and local infrastructure conditions – such as the existing power networks and roads for transporting diesel fuel to supply the generators – projects of this kind also have to weigh-up the economic aspects of the situation, which may include factors such as the high up-front investments needed for the proposed renewable-energy plant and the anticipated operating life of the mine. Selected examples from Canada, Australia, South Africa and Chile are used to portray the particular challenges that can arise in the different countries and climate zones.
Ahead of this, our report from the ISSA Mining section covers the very first VIZE Europe Conference that took place in Bochum/Germany in early September. Promoting an exchange of views between health and safety experts across national boundaries is an important step towards the successful implementation of VISION ZERO, namely the path to an accident-free mining industry. As the conference more than lived up to expectations it was decided that the next event would also be held in Europe in two years time.
The final paper in this issue presents the 2016 Annual Report of the German Coal Association (GVSt). Its title – “Still dependable in a changing world” – reflects not only adherence to existing commitments but also the fact that dependability is the defining theme for the end of the mining industry in general and for the future tasks and responsibilities it will leave behind. This year’s GVSt Report also examines the current situation of the German coal industry and the national and international environment it is operating in, including the latest labour and social policy regulations and collective bargaining laws. It concludes with a review of the international commodities markets and the latest developments in energy and climate policy.
With my best regards
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Herne