Coal reserves in the Czech Republic are estimated to be 10 billion tons – hard coal about 37%, brown coal about 60% and lignite 3%. Hard coal is produced in Northern Moravia. In 2017 the production of hard coal was 5.5 million tons. Brown coal is mined in North-Western Bohemia − the production of brown coal in 2017 was 38.1 million tons. Significant quantities of hard coal are exported to: Slovakia, Austria, Germany and Hungary. In accordance with the National Energy Policy, coal will remain the main source of energy in the country in the future, despite the increased use of nuclear energy and natural gas. The government expects that in 2030 energy from coal will account for 30.5% of energy produced. There are five coal companies in the Czech Republic: OKD, a.s., the only hard coal producer and four brown coal mining companies: Severočeské Doly a.s., owned by ČEZ, the largest producer of brown coal, Vršanská uhelná a.s., with coal resources until 2055, Severní energetická a.s. with the largest brown coal reserves in the Czech Republic and Sokolovska uhelná a.s., the smallest mining company extracting lignite. OKD operates coal in two mines Kopalnia Důlní závod 1 – (consists of three mines: ČSA Mine, Lazy Mine, Darkov Mine) and Mine Důlní závod 2 (ttwo mines Sever, Jih). The article also presents a pro-ecological solution for the management of waste heaps after coal enrichment – a plant for the enrichment of coal waste from the Hermanice heap.
Coal combustion processes are the main source of mercury emission to the environment in Poland. Mercury is emitted by both power and heating plants using hard and brown coals as well as in households. With an annual mercury emission in Poland at the level of 10 Mg, the households emit 0.6 Mg. In the paper, studies on the mercury release in the coal and biomass combustion process in household boilers were conducted. The mercury release factors were determined for that purpose. For the analyzed samples the mercury release factors ranged from 98.3 to 99.1% for hard coal and from 99.5% to 99.9% for biomass, respectively. Due to the high values of the determined factors, the amount of mercury released into the environment mainly depends on the mercury content in the combusted fuel. In light of the obtained results, the mercury content in the examined hard coals was 6 times higher than in the biomass (dry basis). Taking the calorific value of fuels into account, the difference in mercury content between coal and biomass decreased, but its content in coal was still 4 times higher. The mercury content determined in that way ranged from 0.7 to 1.7 μg/MJ for hard coal and from 0.1 to 0.5 μg/MJ for biomass, respectively. The main opportunity to decrease the mercury emissions from households is offered by the use of fuels with a mercury content that is as low as possible, as well as by a reduction of fuel consumption. The latter could be obtained by the use of modern boilers as well as by the thermo-modernization of buildings. It is also possible to partially reduce mercury emissions by using dust removal devices.
The aim of this study was to determine to what extent the ions present in hard water (125 mg/L of MgCl2 and 500 mg/L of CaCl2) may intensify the feed-induced decrease in oxytetracycline (OTC) absorption rate in broiler chickens after single oral administration at a dose of 15 mg/kg. Drug concentrations in plasma were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and combined, compartmental and non-compartmental approach was used to assess OTC pharmacokinetics. The administration of feed decreased the absolute bioavailability (F) of OTC from 12.70%±4.01 to 6.40%±1.08, and this effect was more pronounced after the combined administration of OTC with feed and hard water (5.31%±0.90). A decrease in the area under the concentration- time curve (AUC0-t), (from 10.18±3.24 μg·h/ml in control to 5.13 μg·h/ml±1.26 for feed and 4.26 μg·h/ml±1.10 for feed and hard water) and the maximum plasma concentration of OTC (Cmax) (from 1.22±0.18 μg/ml in control, to 1.01 μg/ml ±0.10 for hard water, 0.68 μg/ml±0.10 for feed and 0.61 μg/ml±0.10 for feed and hard water) was observed. The results of this study indicate that feed strongly decreases F, AUC0-t and Cmax of orally administered OTC. The ions present in hard water increase this inhibitory effect, which suggests that, therapy with OTC may require taking into account local water quality and dose modification, particularly when dealing with outbreaks caused by less sensitive microorganisms.
The objective of the submitted paper is to analyze the influence of the load on the calibration of micro-hardness and hardness testers. The results were validated by Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA), Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Z-score. The relationship between the load and micro-hardness in calibration of micro-hardness testers cannot be explained by Kick's Law (Meyer's index "n" is different from 2). The conditions of Kick's Law are satisfied at macro-hardness calibration, the values of "n" are close to 2, regardless of the applied load. The apparent micro-hardness increases with the increase of the load up to 30 g; the reverse indentation size effect (ISE) behavior is typical for this interval of the loads. The influence of the load on the measured micro-hardness is statistically significant for majority of calibrations.
The coal fed to gravity enrichment consists of coals coming from different deposits and exploitation fronts. These coals differ in quality parameters, especially the amount of gangue (stone) changing over time. This results in the instability of work, especially jiggers, which have a relatively low accuracy assessed by probable scattering or imperfection rates. This deteriorates the quality of the concentrate obtained, the quality parameters of which change over time. The improvement of jiggers work would be possible by averaging the feed. This process is practically impossible due to the failure to design such a node during plant construction, which are, in most cases, directly related to the shaft. In the article, the authors propose to solve the process of averaging the feed before directing it to the enrichment process in jiggers by introducing its deshaling in vibratory- air separators of the FGX type.
The implementation of EU environmental regulations in the energy sector is challenging for the power industry of its member states. The main role is played by documents such as the Winter Package and, especially, the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the emission limits of certain pollutants and the implementation of BAT conclusions in order to achieve the EU’s decarbonization objectives. These regulations impose a greater need to control harmful substances emitted to the atmosphere while using fossil fuels, including hard coal, which is the main fuel for domestic units. At the same time, the decline in domestic fossil fuel production and decrease in the quality of parameters of the hard coal makes it difficult to purchase the proper fuel for power plants. As a consequence, the costs of hard coal increase. The article presents the concept of a mathematical model that can be applied for the optimization of coal supplies. The employment of this model allows one to achieve cost reductions. One of the advantages of the proposed tool, in addition to minimizing the cost of purchase and use of hard coal, is its rational management, especially for companies producing and using hard coal.
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.
In the processes of coal mining, preparation and combustion, the rejects and by-products are generated. These are, among others, the rejects from the coal washing and dry deshaling processes as well as the coal combustion by-products (fly ash and slag). Current legal and industry regulations recommend determining the content of mercury in them. The regulations also define the acceptable content of mercury. The aim of the paper was to determine the mercury content in the rejects derived from the coal cleaning processes as well as in the combustion by-products in respect of their utilization. The mercury content in the representative samples of the rejects derived from the coal washing and dry deshaling processes as well as in the coal combustion by products derived from 8 coal-fired boilers was determined. The mercury content in the rejects from the coal washing process varied from 54 to 245 μg/kg, (the average of 98 μg/kg) and in the rejects from the dry deshaling process it varied from 76 to 310 μg/kg (the average of 148 μg/kg). The mercury content in the fly ash varied from 70 to 1420 μg/kg, (the average of 567 μg/kg) and in the slag it varied from 8 to 58 μg/kg (the average of 21 μg/kg). At the moment, in light of the regulations from the point of view of mercury content in the rejects from the coal preparation processes and in the coal combustion by-products, there are no significant barriers determining the way of their utilization. Nevertheless, in the future, regulations limiting the maximum content of mercury as well as the acceptable amount of leachable mercury may be introduced. Therefore, preparing for this situation by developing other alternative methods of using the rejects and by-products is recommended.
The paper presents selected issues related to the development of international coal markets. World consumption of coal dropped for the second year in a row in 2016, primarily due to lower demand from China and the U S. The share of coal in global primary energy consumption decreased to 28%. World coal production accounted to 3.66 billion toe and it was lower by 6.2% when compared to the previous year. More than 60% of this decline took place in China. The decline in global production was more than four times higher than the decrease in consumption. The sufficiency of world resources of coal are estimated at 153 years – that is three times more than the sufficiency of oil and gas resources. After several years of decline, coal prices increased by 77% in 2016. The current spot prices are at the level of $80/t and are close to the 2014 prices. In the European market, after the first half of the year, coal prices reached the level of around 66% higher than in the same period of the last year. The average price in the first half amounted to PLN 12.6/GJ, which is close to the 2012 prices. The share of spot trade in the total purchase amount accounted to approx. 20%. Prices in futures contracts can be estimated on the basis of the Japan-Australia contracts prices and prices in supplies to power plants located in Germany. On average, the prices in supplies to these power plants were higher by approximately 9% in the years 2010–2016 and prices in Australia – Japan contracts were 12% higher than CIF ARA prices in 2017. Global energy coal trade reached about 1.012 billion tonnes in 2016. In 2019, a decline by 4.8% is expected primarily due to the expected reduction in the demand in major importing countries in Asia.
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 welding technologies are widely used for design of protection layer against wear and corrosion. Hardfacing, which is destined for obtaining coatings with high hardness, takes special place in these technologies. One of the most effective way of hardfacing is using self shielded flux cored arc welding (FCAW-S). Chemical composition obtained in flux cored wire is much more rich in comparison to this obtained in solid wire. The filling in flux cored wires can be enriched for example with the mixture of hard particles or phases with specified ratio, which is not possible for solid wires. This is the reason why flux cored wires give various possibilities of application of this kind of filler material for improving surface in mining industry, processing of minerals, energetic etc. In the present paper the high chromium and niobium flux cored wire was used for hardfacing process with similar heat input. The work presents studies of microstructures of obtained coatings and hardness and geometric properties of them. The structural studies were made with using optical microscopy and X- ray diffraction that allowed for identification of carbides and other phases obtained in the structures of deposited materials. Investigated samples exhibit differences in coating structures made with the same heat input 4,08 kJ/mm. There are differences in size, shape and distribution of primary and eutectic carbides in structure. These differences cause significant changes in hardness of investigated coatings.
Improvement of Al-Si alloys properties in scope of classic method is connected with change of Si precipitations morphology through: using modification of the alloy, maintaining suitable temperature of overheating and pouring process, as well as perfection of heat treatment methods. Growing requirements of the market make it necessary to search after such procedures, which would quickly deliver positive results with simultaneous consideration of economic aspects. Presented in the paper shortened heat treatment with soaking of the alloy at temperature near temperature of solidus could be assumed as the method in the above mentioned understanding of the problem. Such treatment consists in soaking of the alloy to temperature of solutioning, keeping in such temperature, and next, quick quenching in water (20 0 C) followed by artificial ageing. Temperature ranges of solutioning and ageing treatments implemented in the adopted testing plan were based on analysis of recorded curves from the ATD method. Obtained results relate to dependencies and spatial diagrams describing effect of parameters of the solutioning and ageing treatments on HB hardness of the investigated alloy and change of its microstructure. Performed shortened heat treatment results in precipitation hardening of the investigated 320.0 alloy, what according to expectations produces increased hardness of the material.
Mechanical properties and residual stresses of friction stir welded and autogenous tungsten inert gas welded structural steel butt welds have been studied. Friction stir welding (FSW) of structural steel butt joints has been carried out by in-house prepared tungsten carbide tool with 20 mm/ min welding speed and 931 rpm tool rotation. Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding of the butt joints was carried out with welding current, arc voltage and the welding speed of 140 amp, 12 V and 90 mm/min respectively. Residual stress measurement in the butt welds has been carried out in weld fusion zone and heat affected zone (HAZ) by using blind hole drilling method. The magnitude of longitudinal residual stress along the weld line of TIG welded joints were observed to be higher than friction stir welded joint. In both TIG and FSW joints, the nature of longitudinal stress in the base metal was observed to be compressive whereas in HAZ was observed to be tensile. It can be stated that butt welds produced with FSW process had residual stress much lower than the autogenous TIG welds.
The work presents the test result of the influence of cooling rate on the microstructure of AZ91 alloy, Vickers micro-hardness and Brinell hardness. Studies cooling and crystallization of AZ91 alloy was cast into the ceramic shells pre-heated to 180 ° C and then air-cooled at ambient temperature or intensively super cooled in the liquid coolant. The TDA method was applied to record and characterize the thermal effect resulting from the phase transformations occurring during the crystallization of AZ91 alloy. The kinetics and dynamics of the thermal processes of crystallization of AZ91 alloy in the ceramic shells were determined. Metallographic tests were performed with the use of an optical microscope. A comparison of these test results with the thermal effect recorded by way of the TDA method was made. Influence of cooling rate of AZ91 on HV0, 01 micro-hardness and Brinell hardness alloy was examined.
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.
The paper presents selected issues related to the development of international coal markets. World consumption of coal dropped for the second year in a row in 2016, primarily due to the lower demand from China and the US. The share of coal in global primary energy consumption decreased to 28%. World coal production accounted to 3.66 billion toe and it was lower by 6.2% when compared to the previous year. More than 60% of this decline took place in China. The decline in global production was more than four times higher than the decrease in consumption. The sufficiency of the world resources of coal are estimated at 153 years – that is three times more than the sufficiency of oil and gas resources. After several years of decline, coal prices increased by 77% in 2016. The current spot prices are at the level of $80/ton and are close to the 2014 prices. In the European market, after the first half of the year, coal prices reached the level of around 66% higher than in the same period of the last year. The average price in the first half amounted to PLN 12.6/GJ, which is close to the 2012 prices. The share of spot trade in the total purchase amount accounted to approx. 20%. Prices in futures contracts can be estimated on the basis of the Japan-Australia contracts prices and prices in supplies to power plants located in Germany. On average, the prices in supplies to these power plants were higher by approximately 9% in the years 2010 – 2016 and prices in Australia – Japan contracts were 12% higher than CIF ARA prices in 2017. Global energy coal trade reached about 1.012 billion tons in 2016. A decline by 4.8% is expected in 2019 primarily due to the expected reduction in demand in major importing countries in Asia.
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 article compares the management of energy resources in Poland and Ukraine over the period 2000–2017. The analysis took changes in the volume of coal, oil and natural gas resources into consideration. The indicators of supplies of these fuels for Poland and Ukraine have additionally been compared with selected EU countries. In order to assess energy security of Poland and Ukraine, the changes in the primary energy consumption have been analyzed in general in first order, then the possibilities of meeting the demand for natural gas, coal and oil have been determined based on the domestic extraction of individual energy resources. Such a comparison indicates the dominant role of coal in Poland while the extraction of oil and natural gas meets the domestic demand to a greater extent in Ukraine. Over the period 2000-2017, trends in primary energy consumption were different; a 17% increase was noted in Poland, while a nearly 40% decline was noted in Ukraine. The main factors responsible for radical changes in fuel and energy management in Ukraine have been identified: military operations in the east of the country and the annexation of Crimea, demographic changes. These events had a negative impact especially on the volume of hard coal mining in Ukraine; the significant increase in imports from 5.36 to 19.14 million tons in 2011-2017 was necessary for balancing. The balance of foreign exchange for electricity was also compared. Over the past years, this comparison has been favorable for Ukraine, where the dominance of electricity exports over imports is noticeable, which generated revenues of over USD 200 million in 2017.
Work is being carried out on possibilities of limiting the content of mercury in hard coal products by gravity concentration of run-of-mine coal in the Branch of the Institute of Mechanized Construction and Rock Mining in Katowice and on the Faculty of Energy and Fuels of the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow. Under domestic industrial conditions, gravity concentration is carried out with heavy medium liquids and in jigs. Preliminary - pilot studies have shown the possibility of mercury removal also by using the dry deshaling method involving vibratory air separators. Mercury is mainly found in the pyrite and the rubble formed by the mineral carbon, but also in the organic carbon. Some of it is located in layers of coal roof fields, which in the course of their exploitation go to coal. The mercury removal efficiency during the gravity concentration process will depend on the decomposition of the listed components in the density fractions. The paper presents the results of investigations of total mercury and total sulphur content in the separated coal fractions from four mines. These contents were determined in fractions: –1.5 g/cm3 (conventionally clean coal – concentrate), 1.5–1.8 g/cm3 (conventionally middlings) and +1.8 g/cm3 (conventionally rock – waste). The results are summarized in Tables 3–5 and in Charts 1–4. Conversely, graphs 5-8 show the relationship between mercury content and total sulphur content in the tested coal samples. The study, which can be called a preliminary analysis of the susceptibility of the coals to gravity concentration, showed that the dry deshaling method on the vibratory air separators would allow significant amounts of mercury accumulated in the middlings and waste fractions to be removed.
Nowadays, actions allowing for a reduction of anthropogenic mercury emission are taken worldwide. Great emphasis is placed on reducing mercury emission from the processes of energochemical coal conversion, mainly from the coal combustion processes. One of the methods which enable a reduction of anthropogenic mercury emission is the removal of mercury from coal before its conversion. It should be pointed out that mercury in hard coal may occur both in the organic and mineral matter. Therefore, a universal method should allow for the removal of mercury, combined in both ways, from coal. In the paper, a concept of the hybrid mercury removal process from hard coal was presented. The idea of the process is based on the combination of the coal cleaning process using wet or dry methods (first stage) and the thermal pretreatment process at a temperature in the range from 200 to 400 °C (second stage). In the first stage, a part of mercury occurring in the mineral matter is removed. In the second stage, a part of mercury occurring in the organic matter as well as in some inorganic constituents characterized by a relatively low temperature of mercury release is removed. Based on the results of the preliminary research, the effectiveness of the decrease in mercury content in coal in the hybrid process was estimated in the range from 36 to 75% with the average at the level of 58%. The effect of the decrease in mercury content in coal is much more significant when mercury content is referred to a low heating value of coal. So determined, the effectiveness was estimated in the range from 36 to 75% with the average at the level of 58%.
In the process of extraction and enrichment of coal waste, considerable quantities of waste material are produced, mainly the gangue and coal sludge, considered as waste or raw material. The main directions of the management development of the waste rock are the production of aggregates, the production of energy products and the liquidation works in hard coal mines and the filling of excavations. The paper proposes the extension of these activities to the use of waste material. The possibility of using aggregates or extractive waste to fill open-pit excavations has been proposed, also in areas within the reach of groundwater and the possibility of building insulation layers of waste material and the production of mixtures of hard coal sludge and sewage sludge to produce material with good energy properties. The analysis was based on the author’s own research and literature data related to selected parameters of waste material. This paper presents our own preliminary studies on the amount of combustion heat and the calorific value of coal sludge combined with other wastes such as sewage sludge. The proposed methods and actions are part of the current directions of development, but they allow the extension of the scope of use of both extractive waste and products produced on the basis of gangue or coal sludge. Due to the frequent lack of the stable composition of these materials, their current properties should be assessed each time before attempting to use them. The fact that it is important to continue research to promote existing economic use and to seek new activities or methods has been concluded.
In the extra-thick coal seams and multi-layered hard roofs, the longwall hydraulic support yielding, coal face spalling, strong deformations of goaf-side entry, and severe ground pressure dynamic events typically occur at the longwall top coal caving longwall faces. Based on the Key strata theory an overburden caving model is proposed here to predict the multilayered hard strata behaviour. The proposed model together with the measured stress changes in coal seam and underground observations in Tongxin coal mine provides a new idea to analyse stress changes in coal and help to minimise rock bursts in the multi-layered hard rock ground. Using the proposed primary Key and the sub-Key strata units the model predicts the formation and instability of the overlying strata that leads to abrupt dynamic changes to the surrounding rock stress. The data obtained from the vertical stress monitoring in the 38 m wide coal pillar located adjacent to the longwall face indicates that the Key strata layers have a significant influence on ground behaviour. Sudden dynamically driven unloading of strata was caused by the first caving of the sub-Key strata while reloading of the vertical stress occurred when the goaf overhang of the sub-Key strata failed. Based on this findings several measures were recommended to minimise the undesirable dynamic occurrences including pre-split of the hard Key strata by blasting and using the energy consumption yielding reinforcement to support the damage prone gate road areas. Use of the numerical modelling simulations was suggested to improve the key theory accuracy.
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.