(Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf)
Each year the Clausthal University of Technology opens the conference season with the first in a series of internationally acclaimed events organised by Germany‘s mining universities. This year‘s programme started with the Drilling and Blasting Colloquium on 23 and 24 January. I have selected two papers from the conference for publication in the current edition of Mining Report Glückauf, whose special theme this time is ‚drilling and shotfiring‘. The first paper presents the latest developments and future trends in small-bore drilling for shotholes and rockbolting, while the second deals with the drivage of a deep-level face start-up road at the RAG-operated Prosper-Haniel colliery. The same theme is also taken up in a paper on the construction of two high-pressure water barriers at Ibbenbüren mine (RAG Anthrazit Ibbenbüren GmbH).
The 19th Drilling and Blasting Colloquium was special in other respects in that it marked the last occasion when the co-founder, Prof. Dr Heinz Walter Wild, would be making a presentation at the event. At this point it should also be mentioned that Prof. Wild lectured in ‚blasting techniques‘ at the Clausthal University of Technology Mining Department from 1974 to 1995 and so was probably responsible for helping more than a few of our readers start their professional career.
As well as presenting the latest developments in mining technology Mining Report Glückauf will in the future also be reporting on subjects that are not directly associated with the mining industry but do have close links with it. One such topic is the use of coal for electricity generation and the balanced approach to industry-related CO2 emissions. Although the EU has specified a minimum 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, fossil fuels will still be needed for energy production in Europe, and for other industrial processes, for many years to come. And Carbon Capture and Storage/Carbon Capture and Utilisation technology (CCS/CCU) could well prove hugely important in this area. The European Commission‘s latest proposal, which is entitled ‚Horizon 2020‘, supports developments aimed at disposing of CO2 emissions via the methanol path. The current edition contains three papers that deal with this theme: the first presents the activities of the Government of North Rhine-Westphalia in this area, the second examines CCS/CCU technology from a German and European perspective and the third discusses the efforts that are being made in China, the world‘s largest coal producer, towards more efficient coal utilisation.
The technical papers in the April edition of Mining Report Glückauf traditionally round off with a report on developments in the German coal market over the previous year. I am pleased to say that this is one tradition we intend to keep.
With my best regards
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Herne