GUBIN LIGNITE MINE – THE BIGGEST MINING INVESTMENT IN POLAND IN 30 YEARS: CHALLENGES DURING PLANNING AND DESIGN

World Mining Congress

Wojciech Naworyta, Ph.D.

Department of Surface Mining

Faculty of Mining and Geoengineering

AGH University of Science and Technology, naworyta@agh.edu.pl

Szymon Sypniowski, M.Sc.

Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of Polish Academy of Sciences

sypniowski@meeri.pl

The development of the Gubin lignite deposit, located in western Poland is the first mining investment of this magnitude in 30 years. Gubin is the second largest prospective lignite deposit in Poland, with over one billion tonnes of indicated reserves, which would be sufficient for a 2700 MW power plant for almost 50 years.

The paper presents select problems related to the mining development of Gubin deposit. Attention has been paid to changes in legal and formal requirements for mining investments that were introduced after the change of Polish social and economic system. The significance of spatial, environmental and social conditionings has been emphasized. Typical attributes of the mine planning process have also been presented. Those include the long time horizon of the investment, uncertainty of external conditions and resulting difficulties in the project’s economic evaluation. Focus has been placed on mutual connections between particular elements of the project and time dependence during the process of their development. Iterative characteristics of the design process have been proven, together with resulting necessity of frequent verification of previous assumptions.

As a background for presenting selected problems related to future development of Gubin lignite deposit, the methods of design have been discussed – the variants method, the empirical method and the method of consecutive approximations. The tools and the possibilities of their use for solving specific problems related to mine design of an open pit have been broadly discussed.

The chapter in which the authors relate to the specific problems of Gubin deposit development constitutes the main part of the paper. It depicts the assumptions on which the annual production and the total extraction of lignite during life-of-mine period have been based. The process of mine designing has been discussed, taking into consideration environmental, geotechnical, spatial, social and mining conditions. The criteria for choosing the location of the opening cut and the external dump have been mentioned.

In the summary, the present state of mine design progress has been presented, together with some problems that will need to be solved during the next stages of the deposit’s development.
Keywords: Deposits; Lignite; Lignites; Mine; Mines; Development; Developments; mining;
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