World Mining Congress

Dr.-Ing. Martin Junker:


RAG Mining Solutions GmbH

Shamrockring 1

44623 Herne, Germany

(*Corresponding author:

This Notwithstanding all the debates on climate change and renewable energy, coal remains the world's no.1 primary energy source even in the 21st century. In 2011 alone, total output rose from 420 million t to around 6.6 billion t. Similar growth rates are also expected for the next few years. In order to meet demand, new seams are being tapped and others mined far more extensively. In most cases, this means a move from open-cast to deep mining, and extracting coal from ever greater depths. At the same time, extraction processes such as the room and pillar method are being replaced by longwall mining, which significantly increases seam yield and therefore output.

The depth of extraction with new, modified mining methods is increasing rapidly around the world - in most countries, much more rapidly than the corresponding expertise. A trade in mining expertise has therefore developed alongside the coal trade proper. Germany relies on coal imports, but can export mining industry services and advanced mining equipment.

Geological conditions in the Ruhr and Saar coalfields forced Germany to drive forward development of deep working for hard coal years ago. For 30 years now, Germany has been mining hard coal at depths of over 1,000 m, and excavation is now at depths up to 1,600 m.

Deeper extraction and more extensive excavation posed new challenges for both miners and equipment. Intelligent logistics, modern roadway development methods and longwall mining with ploughs or shearers combined with optimised process coordination offered pioneering solutions - solutions to enable costeffective coal extraction in the long term without compromising safety.

Countries such as Russia, the Ukraine, China and the Czech Republic, where extraction is now reaching similar depths, can now benefit from this experience: they do not need to go through the same process of trial and development, but can draw on Germany's findings and ultimately save on costs.

Now, Germany is offering this knowledge and experience on the international market on a client- and deposit-specific basis to continue providing mining countries with safe and cost-effective coal mining solutions and secure the energy supply.

The presentation gives a number of examples of how international mining companies have used expertise from Germany to better meet the challenges of deep mining.
Keywords: mining; Coal; Controls; Control; Mine; Mines; Development;
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