Programs Industry-4.0 and Digital Economy of the Russian Federation opportunities and horizons in the coal sector

The article analyzes four world industrial revolutions. The authors discuss the basic areas of the Industry 4.0 Program implementation. The relation is shown of the Program Digital Economy of the Russian Federation and the Industry 4.0 Global Project. It has been found that among countries proactively implementing such programs as Digital Economy and Industry 4.0 (USA, China, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Great Britain, South Korea, Sweden, etc.) Germany is a recognized leader. In many sectors of the Federal Republic of Germany the share of digital technologies is expected to account for nearly 80–90% of the total by the year 2020. The Program Digital Economy of the Russian Federation has been approved by the Government of the Russian Federation (Resolution No 1632-r of 28 July, 2017), and it determines a system of specific measures to be implemented by the year 2024. The authors have developed and presented an aggregation model of the possible implementation of the Industry 4.0 Project for the purposes of the Russian coal sector, and present in the article some specific case studies of the implementation of some elements of the Program. The article shows that Russia has accumulated good experience in the implementation of such projects as Intelligent Mine and Intelligent Open Pit. It is expected that with the implementation of the Industry 4.0 Project the Russian coal sector is set to undergo a process, which can be notionally named Restructuring 2.0. The article also contains the authors’ high-level classification of process solutions for the coal sector corresponding to the main areas of implementation of the Industry 4.0 Global Project, and allowing the formation of the process platform including the necessity of implementation of the Virtual Mine of the Future and Virtual Open Pit of the Future Projects.

Main trends of iron ore production in Russia

The authors present the analysis of the main statistics on iron-ore surface mining, supply and demand of iron ore in Russia in 1990-2016, shares of regions in iron ore and saleable products output. The article contains the main iron ore output statistics and distribution of all operating iron-ore surface mines of Russia by group depending on their iron-ore output. The estimates are provided of the main process equipment capacity at surface mines belonging to the leading mining and processing companies of the sector, and availability of surface mining equipment and machinery. A significant difference is shown between mines in terms of specific performance of the main surface mining equipment because of insufficiently intensive modernizing of their fixed assets and mining machinery. The time history is presented of mining and transport machinery fleets, and scope of mining operations by process of eight leading iron-ore mining and processing companies of Russia. The logistic structure and trends of iron-ore supply to Russian regional and foreign consumers are analyzed. The estimates and forecast of the iron-ore industry development for the nearest years are provided.

Development of mobile devices for coalmines computer networks

At hazardous production facilities, such as coalmines, there are two groups of tasks: the first - increasing the efficiency of the production process and the implementation of the plan, the second - reducing the rates of industrial injuries, ensuring the safety of work and personnel. The decisive importance for the performance of both of them is the communications. In most cases, communication systems both on the surface and on underground are implemented based on computer networks. This is, first, due to the worldwide trend in the development of the concept of multi-service networks. Research and Production Company GRANCH develops and manufactures data transmission systems and network mobile devices for the development of multiservice networks, which serve as the basis for the multifunctional safety systems of coalmines and a number of production management systems. The product line is expanding; new devices are emerging, which undoubtedly expand the capabilities of networks and operating solutions. The multiservice networks of the GRUNCH Company include both equipment used as the basic network nodes that make up the network infrastructure and portable individual devices that perform the function of the clients in the network. This article provides an overview of the new mobile devices produced by GRUNCH Company, gives recommendations on their use in coalmines.

Prospects of gas-turbine engine-based propulsion plants application with mine haulers

The article gives grounds for the opportunity of developing gas-turbine engine-based propulsion plants in the nearest future. It also contains the comparative analysis of weight and size, and economic specific parameters of piston and gas-turbine engines for mine haulers propulsion plants. The authors believe that operation of gas-turbine engines in propulsion plants of mine machinery is able to deal with such issues as maximization of the transported mined material, environmental aspects of surface mining operations and cost effectiveness due to natural gas application as a fuel.

Working environment and occupational morbidity of mine personnel

Multi-year research at mines have shown that the current working environment of mine personnel are characterized by high dust content of the mine air, intensive noise and vibration, unfavorable microclimate, which actual levels often exceed the applicable exposure standards. Extreme severity and intensity of labour are typical of the working environment of underground workers, where the human exposure to high concentrations of dust, vibration and noise, unfavorable microclimate is redoubled due to psychoemotional stresses.

Improving the mining technology in the development of the Mugun brown coal basin

The article discusses the existing coal mining and transportation technology. A detailed analysis is provided of the key advantages, constraining factors and shortcomings of the technology in operation. The authors propose a promising mining technology with the transition from railway haulage to road transport providing such opportunities as giving due account for geological conditions of coal seam occurrence, implementation of selective mining methods with the most complete and high-quality extraction of the mineral, trackwork labour intensity minimization, and features of coal product quality management. The article also presents their conclusions on the feasibility of the central coal storage facility for the elimination of coal loading dependence on particular cases of dragline operation, as well as for the formation of stocks readily available for car loading in winter season. The authors also discuss some options of the storage facility furnishing with loading equipment in case of mining operation transition from railway haulage to road transport.

Diamond producers ranking next after De Beers and ALROSA

The article deals with the second-tier diamond producers, such as Petra Diamonds Limited, Dominion Diamond Corporation, Lucara Diamond, and Mountain Province Diamonds. The authors discuss their production structure and diamond output trends of the latest years showing the most dynamically developing and efficient companies and mines. Today, their share in the world diamond output is already significant. The analysis of development trends and experience of these producers prioritizes the opportunities and areas of boosting the efficiency of diamond mining.

Design features of belt conveyors with spatial track for transporting bulk materials

Abstract: The issues associated with conditions of exploitation of belt conveyors with curved track are examined in the article. Examples of exploitation of such conveyors at mining enterprises are given in the article too. The description of the design features of idlers installed at the horizontal curved sections of a conveyor track is represented. The use of shortened average roller at the carring branch of the belt conveyor is examined too. The substantiation of the necessity of the use of intermediate drives is given.

Role of the State in Mining Industry

The trend toward more state engagement in the mining industry has continued on the new forms of state control which are found in Africa and also in Russia, China, India, and other emerging economies. The level of state control is surprisingly high in many metals irrespective of privatizations during the late 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s. State control has increased mostly due to growth of Chinese state controlled mining in China and gradually also abroad. State control of refining is higher than in mining. This is probably due to the higher value added in this sector. There seems to be an increasing understanding of the long-term nature of mining and the need to establish stable policies to benefit optimally from mineral resources.