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Current Issue 04_2015


Andreas-Peter Sitte
(Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf)


This latest edition of Mining Report Glückauf will again seek to look beyond the horizon line of previous papers and following on from the special theme of final repository mining that appeared in the June edition will now focus on overseas mining activities.

Innovation is the buzz­word when it comes to developing the potential of Canada‘s mineral resources. Difficult conditions in the north of the country, mining depths of more than 2,500 m and tougher legislation on the environmental impact of mining operations all provide starting points for the market entry of German companies. And there are also opportunities for German suppliers in southern Africa, where there are huge reserves of mineral resources spanning the entire value-added chain. However we should not ignore the problems that may arise when seeking to establish business ventures in this region. These range from a lack of infrastructure to the tough competition that will come from established providers from other countries.

What kind of strategy should German companies adopt when operating in a mining sector that is in a worldwide slump? Australia is now inviting attention from prospective market players, who will have to be aware of country-specific and legal realities as well as market circumstances.

Before embarking on any mining venture it is essential to assess the intrinsic value of the project, and the ‚theory of constraints‘ is a good place to start.

Of course focusing on economic and legal matters does not mean having to neglect the technical side of things. Daniel Schäfer reports on a value stream analysis that he carried out at Zinkgruvan mine in Sweden as part of his final dissertation paper at RWTH Aachen University. In 2014 the VRB (Federation of Mining and Mineral Resources) awarded him the Helmuth-Burckhardt prize for his examination performance. We also wish to be quick in paying our own tribute to these award winners by publishing their work in Mining Report Glückauf.

This latest issue is rounded off with a description of developments in the field of deep-ocean mining and a review of German lignite in 2014. The report on the lignite sector, like that for the coal industry (Issue 2/2015), has been an established part of the editorial make-up of Mining Report Glückauf for many years. The ongoing debate on whether Germany should cease coal-fired electricity generation along with, or even before, the phasing-out of nuclear power only shows the short-sighted approach that has been taken when assessing the security of our energy supplies. Reports on the importance of coal will therefore continue to provide further arguments why this fuel will be indispensable for the economic development of our country for many years to come.

With my best regards

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