Paper deals with the new localizer GLOP2 designed for detection of the miners trapped in underground hard coal mines. The results of a field test conducted in coal mine BOBREK show that the presented localizer allows for efficient measurement of the distance between a trapped miner and the rescuer in the range of up to 15 m.
Coal mining is one of the most important sectors of the Polish industry. It can be said that the coal is a national raw material. This results in Poland being a pioneer in the European Union in terms of coal mining as well as its use in the production of electricity and heat. There are many companies in Poland which have been established and developed around the coal mining industry aimed at coal extracting. The operations of those companies depends on the condition of the mining companies and their cooperation with them: commercial, service and advisory, called referred to as “mining supporting companies”. The article focuses on the results of a survey carried out in mining supporting companies, such as mining machinery and equipment manufacturers, mining-related service companies and mining-related research and development institutions. The authors evaluated the relationship and dependence of those companies on the mining industry. It was assumed that the measure of the mining supporting companies condition is the overall quantity of public related payments contributed to the state budget and local budgets. In the article, the authors raised the problem of the size of losses for public finances, as a result of the significant limitations of financial flows from the mining companies. The surveyed companies are those associated with the Polish Mining Chamber of Industry and Commerce. As a result, the authors prepared conclusions regarding the dependence of the mining supporting companies on the situation of the mining subsector.
Volatility is one of the most characteristic features in the all market types. In the raw material market, including the bituminous coal market, volatility is visible in the supply and demand variations, in consequence in the prices fluctuations. Market actors usually having opposite interests, for example buy low, sell high, are vitally interested in identifying the causes of these fluctuations. Some of the factors causing the market fluctuations are quite common, others are more complicated because of circumstances complexity. This article attempts to examine the relationships between bituminous coal fines prices and the economic situation. Given the complexity of the issue, the research area has been narrowed down – territorially to Poland and temporarily – to the present decade. The average prices of coal fines in Poland are presented by the Industrial Development Agency (Agencję Rozwoju Przemysłu SA) in the form of two indices: PSCMI 1 and PSCMI 2. Both indices are calculated based on the prices of pattern bituminous coal, produced by domestic manufacturers and sold on domestic markets, the energy and heat market respectively. Statistical methods, because of their quantitative nature, are important in identifying the correlations between the coal fines prices and economic conditions. Therefore, the article presents examples of relatively strong linear correlations between the PSCMI 1 and/or PSCMI 2 and some indicators of the economic situation.
The national power industry is based primarily on its own energy mineral resources such as hard and brown coal. Approximately 80% of electrical energy production from these minerals gives us complete energy independence and the cost of its production from coal is the lowest in comparison to other sources. Poland has, for many decades had vast resources of these minerals, the experience of their extraction and processing, the scientific-design facilities and technical factories manufacturing machines and equipment for own needs, as well as for export. Nowadays coal is and should be an important source of electrical energy and heat for the next 25–50 years, because it is one of the most reliable and price acceptable energy sources. This policy may be disturbed over the coming decades due to the depletion of active resources of hard and brown coal. The conditions for new mines development as well as for all coal mining sector development in Poland are very complicated in terms of legislation, environment, economy and image. The authors propose a set of strategic changes in the formal conditions for acquiring mining licenses. The article gives a signal to institutions responsible for national security that without proposed changes implementation in the legal and formal process it, will probably not be possible to build next brown coal, hard coal, zinc and lead ore or other minerals new mines.
Significant quantities of coal sludge are created during the coal enrichment processes in the mechanical processing plants of hard coal mines (waste group 01). These are the smallest grain classes with a grain size below 1 mm, in which the classes below 0.035 mm constitute up to 60% of their composition and the heat of combustion is at the level of 10 MJ/kg. The high moisture of coal sludge is characteristic, which after dewatering on filter presses reaches the value of 16–28% (Wtot r) (archival paper PG SILESIA). The fine-grained nature and high moisture of the material cause great difficulties at the stage of transport, loading and unloading of the material. The paper presents the results of pelletizing (granulating) grinding of coal sludge by itself and the piling of coal sludge with additional material, which is to improve the sludge energy properties. The piling process itself is primarily intended to improve transport possibilities. Initial tests have been undertaken to show changes in parameters by preparing coal sludge mixtures (PG SILESIA) with lignite coal dusts (LEAG). The process of piling sludge and their mixtures on an AGH laboratory vibratory grinder construction was carried out. As a result of the tests, it can be concluded that all mixtures are susceptible to granulation. This process undoubtedly broadens the transport possibilities of the material. The grain composition of the obtained material after granulation is satisfactory. Up to 2 to 20 mm granules make up 90–95% of the product weight. The strength of the fresh pellets is satisfactory and comparable for all mixtures. Fresh lumps subjected to a test for discharges from a height of 700 mm can withstand from 7 to 14 discharges. The strength of the pellets after longer seasoning, from the height of 500 mm, shows different values for the analyzed samples. The values obtained for hard coal sludge and their blends with brown coal dust are at the level from 4 to 5 discharges. The strength obtained is sufficient to determine the possibility of their transport. At this stage of the work it can be stated that the addition of coal dust from lignite does not cause the deterioration of the material’s strength with respect to clean coal sludge. Therefore, there is no negative impact on the transportability of the granulated material. As a result of mixing with coal dusts, it is possible to increase their energy value (Klojzy-Karczmarczyk at al. 2018). The cost analysis of the analyzed project was not carried out.
The research of development capabilities is a fundamental of strategic issues, which has to be taken into consideration by coal mines. This is particularly difficult in the current environment, which is determined by its crisis situation. In such conditions, it is necessary to take difficult decisions, and serious, strategic challenges into account, which allow for the crisis to be overcome, for the renewal and economic effectiveness of the operation of these coal mines, which have potential to grow, and closing the coal mines, which have not potential to grow. Due to the effects of such decisions, which concern not only coal mines but also the Silesian region, it is essential to prepare information to support them and promote rational choices. This is related to the issue of research for development possibilities. The article presents considerations related to the subject of research for development possibilities of coal mines in a crisis situation. Taking the results of literature study into account, the model of research process was developed, and identified the research issues concerning the following: - the identification of external factors which determine the possibility of development of the Polish mines and drawing a schedule of their changes in the future, - the identification of internal factors which determine the possibility of development of the Polish mines, - developing a way for the assessment of the development potential of the coal mines, to show appropriate strategic options and action programmes for these options, - determining possible strategic options and corresponding schedules, appropriate for the specific nature of the mines. The proposition of their solutions, which were obtained in the process of using the specific methods and research tools, allowed the guidelines in terms of research of development capabilities of coal mines to be presented.
The role of the hard coal mining sector in ensuring energy security of the country has been presented in the paper. An analysis of its current status was made based on the results obtained by the sector in 2017. Moreover, the determinants which are the precondition for further sustainable and efficient operation in the years to come have been defined.
The purpose of the research was mapping, inventorization, and valorization of coal mining waste dumps from the mines of JSW SA company, for the needs of recovery of coal from the dump material as well as the reclamation and management of examined facilities. The valorization of post-mining waste dumps has been carried out using a methodology which considers the problems of reclamation, management, accessibility of the dumps as well as environmental hazards connected with disposing of mining and preparation wastes on the ground surface. An inventorization of 10 coal mining waste dumps coming from 6 mines of JSW SA including in their range 7 deposits: Borynia, Jastrzębie, Zofiówka, Budryk, Knurów, Szczygłowice and Pniówek was carried out. The source material within the localization of particular dumps was obtained from archival materials coming from coal mines and municipalities where the dumps are located. Verified data has been drawn on topographical map, which results in the map of coal mining waste dumps. The results of the valorization of the dumps comprise the defining of: the name of the dump, state of the dump, surface of the dump, accessibility, name of the coal mine from where the wastes come from, type of technical and biological reclamation and possibilities of coal recovery, which have been brought on the drawn map. Basing on collected and elaborated data, an attempt of defining of potential possibilities of recovery of coal from the dumps and connection of coal quality in the deposits of JSW SA and in waste material was made. The results of the research showed that in spite of preliminary information that a majority of the investigated dumps may be considered as potential facilities for coal recovery, ultimately the recovery is economically justified only in several cases (5 facilities).
The new legislative provisions, regulating the trade in solid fuels in our country, draw attention to the need to develop and improve methods and methods of managing hard coal sludge. The aim of the work was to show whether filtration parameters (mainly the permeability coefficient) of hard coal sludge are sufficient for construction of insulating layers in landfills at the stage of their closing and what is the demand for material in the case of such a procedure. The analysis was carried out for landfills for municipal waste in the Opolskie, Śląskie and Małopolskie provinces. For hard coal sludge, the permeability coefficient values are in the range of 10–8–10–11 m/s, with the average value of 3.16 × 10–9 m/s. It can be concluded that this material generally meets the criteria of tightness for horizontal and often vertical flows. When compaction, increasing load or mixing with fly ash from hard coal combustion and clays, the achieved permeability coefficient often lowers its values. Based on the analysis, it can be assumed that hard coal sludge can be used to build mineral insulating barriers. At the end of 2016, 50 municipal landfills were open in the Opolskie, Śląskie and Małopolskie Provinces. Only 36 of them have obtained the status of a regional installation, close to 1/3 of the municipal landfill are within the Major Groundwater Basin (MGB) range. The remaining storage sites will be designated for closure. Assuming the necessity to close all currently active municipal waste landfills, the demand for hard coal sludge amounts to a total of 1,779,000 m3 which, given the assumptions, gives a mass of 2,704,080 Mg. The total amount of hard coal sludge production is very high in Poland. Only two basic mining groups annually produce a total of about 1,500,000 Mg of coal sludge. The construction of insulating layers in landfills of inert, hazardous and non-hazardous and inert wastes is an interesting solution. Such an application is prospective, but it will not solve the problem related to the production and management of this waste material as a whole. It is important to look for further solutions.
Because of the value of time, investors are interested in obtaining economic benefits rather early and at a highest return. But some investing opportunities, e.g. mineral projects, require from an investor to freeze their capital for several years. In exchange for this, they expect adequate remuneration for waiting, uncertainty and possible opportunities lost. This compensation is reflected in the level of interest rate they demand. Commonly used approach of project evaluation – the discounted cash flow analysis – uses this interest rate to determine present value of future cash flows. Mining investors should worry about project’s cash flows with greater assiduousness – especially about those arising in first years of the project lifetime. Having regard to the mining industry, this technique views a mineral deposit as complete production project where the base sources of uncertainty are future levels of economic-financial and technical parameters. Some of them are more risky than others – this paper tries to split apart and weigh their importance by the example of Polish hard coal projects at the feasibility study. The work has been performed with the sensitivity analysis of the internal rate of return. Calculations were made using the ‘bare bones’ assumption (on all the equity basis, constant money, after tax, flat price and constant operating costs), which creates a good reference and starting point for comparing other investment alternatives and for future investigations. The first part introduces with the discounting issue; in the following sections the paper presents data and methods used for spinning off risk components from the feasibility-stage discount rate and, in the end, some recommendations are presented.
The Polish power generation system is based mostly on coal-fired power plants. Therefore, the coal mining sector is strongly sensitive to changes in the energy sector, of which decarbonization is the crucial one. The EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) requires power generating companies to purchase European Emission Allowances (EUAs), whose prices have recently soared. They have a direct impact on the cost efficiency of hard coal-fired power generation, hence influence the consumption of hard coal on the power sector. In this context, the objective of this paper is to estimate the hard coal consumption in various regions of Poland under selected forecasts of the EUA price. To investigate this question, two models are employed: - the PolPower_LR model that simulates the Polish power generation system, - the FSM _LR model that optimizes hard coal supplies. Three scenarios differentiated by the EUA price are designed for this study. In the first one, the average EUA price from 2014–2017 is assumed. In the second and third, the EUA prices are assumed accordingly to the NPS and the SDS scenario of the World Energy Outlook. In this study we consider only existing, modernized, under construction and announced coal-fired power generation units. The results of the study indicate that regardless of the scenario, a drop in hard coal consumption by power generation units is observed in the entire period of analysis. However, the dynamics of these changes differ. The results of this analysis prove that the volume of hard coal consumption may differ by even 136 million Mg (in total) depending on the EUA prices development scenario. The highest cumulated volume of hard coal consumption is observed in the Opolski, Radomski and Sosnowiecki region, regardless of the considered scenario.
Mining the lower seams in a sequence of shallow, closely spaced coal seams causes serious air leakage in the upper goaf; this can easily aggravate spontaneous combustion in abandoned coal. Understanding the redevelopment of fractures and the changes in permeability is of great significance for controlling coal spontaneous combustion in the upper goaf. Based on actual conditions at the 22307 working face in the Bulianta coal mine, Particle Flow Code (PFC) and a corresponding physical experiment were used to study the redevelopment of fractures and changes in permeability during lower coal seam mining. The results show that after mining the lower coal seam, the upper and lower goafs become connected and form a new composite goaf. The permeability and the number of fractures in each area of the overlying strata show a pattern of „stability-rapid increase-stability“ as the lower coal seam is mined and the working face advances. Above the central area of goaf, the permeability has changed slightly, while in the open-cut and stop line areas are significant, which formed the main air leakage passage in the composite goaf.