Restructuring of mines: technological and economical aspects
Keywords:mine, 'stable', 'productive', 'changeable' technology, coal, mining
The present paper covers technological changes in the coal mining process. Coal is the main domestic energy resource in Ukraine. In this context such issues as upgrading of conventional technologies and introduction of innovative developments need early solution. Technology is a driving force of strategic development of enterprises in all industries, including the mining.
Technological aspects and their interrelation with competitiveness were explored and substantiated by I. Ansoff, who also identified three possible variability levels of technology: 'stable', 'productive' and 'changeable'.
'Stable' technology is virtually unchangeable throughout the life cycle of demand. It is intrinsic to coal production as coal has been mined for centuries and in spite of changes in mining techniques, the demand for it is high enough. This technology originated approximately in the late 18th century when the first mines appeared in the Donets Basin.
'Productive' technology means the traditional one within which various innovations are introduced. In the early development period of the mining industry only pillar mining was used. Two new directions were subsequently developed: shortwall and longwall mining. Winning mechanization in European countries was achieved through development of longwall machines. The USA preferred shortwall mining of coal seams.
The above mining alternatives were examined at Donbas mines, the results compared by such parameters as the number of workers and their labor capacity.
The necessity of introduction and further improvement of 'manless' mining flow diagrams was substantiated. Some methods for roadway maintenance without repairs were described. The measures required for roadway maintenance without repairs under different conditions can be divided into a number of groups: ways of roadway protection, use of supports with improved yielding, an increased cross-sectional area and longitudinal section of workings during driving, reinforcement of seam bearing rock, application of mine overhead carriers.'Changeable' technology comprises such unconventional techniques as underground gasification, hydrogenization and hydraulic coal mining by boreholes as well as ancillary recovery of methane gas.
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