Applied sciences

Gospodarka Surowcami Mineralnymi - Mineral Resources Management

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Gospodarka Surowcami Mineralnymi - Mineral Resources Management | 2012 | vol. 28 | No 4 |

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Abstract

Requirements for environmental protection, such as reducing emissions of CO2, NOx, and SO2 are the reason for growing interest in new technologies for coal utilization. One of the most promoted technologies is coal gasification. However, like any technology using coal, this process produces wastes – fly ash and slag. Due to the small number of coal gasification plants, these wastes are poorly understood. Therefore, before making decisions on the introduction of coal gasification technology, a waste utilization plan should be developed. This also applies to the slags formed in underground coal gasification technology. One of the options under consideration is to use these wastes as a component in mineral binders of a pozzolanic character. This paper compares the properties of two types of slags. The first slag (MI) comes from fuel gasification, and the second slag (BA) is from underground coal gasification. Slag MI can be classified as basic slag with a chemical composition similar to that of silica fly ash from coal combustion. Slag BA – because of its four times greater content of calcium oxide – belongs to a group of weakly basic slags. The main and only mineral component of slag MI is glassy phase. Slag BA forms – besides the glassy phase – crystalline phases such as mullite (3 Al2O3 · 2 SiO2), quartz (-SiO2), anorthite (Ca(Al2Si2O8)), gehlenit (Ca2Al[(Si,Al)2O7]), wollastonite (Ca3[Si3O9]), 2CaO · SiO2, and 4 CaO · Al2O3 · Fe2O3. The results of analyses have shown that slag BA has better pozzolanic properties (the pozzolanic activity index is 75.1% at 90 days) than slag MI (69.9% at 90 days) The preliminary studies lead to the conclusion that these slags are characterized by very low pozzolanic activity and cannot be used as a pozzolanic material.

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Authors and Affiliations

Maciej Mazurkiewicz
Ewelina Tkaczewska
Radosław Pomykała
Alicja Uliasz-Bocheńczyk
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Abstract

Fly-ash is a form of production waste produced as a result of the burning of coal for energy production. Millions of tonnes of this waste are produced worldwide every year; hence it is extremely important to dispose of it in a useful way, including through treating the initial raw material to obtain a material of higher quality. The aim of the present work is to determine the suitability of processed fly-ash from lignite for reinforcing (stabilizing) soils used in the building of road foundations and embankments. The results provide a method of recycling this waste while at the same time obtaining new materials and technologies for use in road building. This is an important issue both environmentally and in terms of the positive effect that processed fly-ash can have on the stability of road structures.

This article presents the results of experiments carried out using fly-ash produced from lignite at the P¹tnów Power Plant. This ash was first modified (activated) using a Wapeco magnetic activator, and then used to produce hydraulic binders (with the addition of cement) and soil-binder mixtures. These mixtures were made using natural soils from seven different deposits in the Lubuskie region (western Poland). They were stabilized using two hydraulic binders (strength ratings 3 MPa and 9 MPa) added in different amounts (6% and 8% relative to the mass of the soil). During the experiment, a determination was made of the increase in the strength of the analysed samples (after 14, 28, and 42 days) and the increase in the bearing ratio (immediately after consolidation and after 7 days).

Interpretation of the results of the experiment made it possible to assess the dynamics of the increase in compression strength and load-bearing capacity of various soils stabilized with hydraulic binders produced from lignite ash, and to indicate possibilities for the use of these materials.

The analysis showed that it is possible to use these binders for the stabilisation of soils, enabling soils formerly considered to have weak load-bearing capacity (clayey sand; clayey, sandy gravel; clays) to be classified as fully usable in road construction.

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Authors and Affiliations

Urszula Kołodziejczyk
Michał Ćwiąkała
Aleksander Widuch
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Abstract

Each year, mine and mill operations generate enormousamounts of two waste types – fine-grained tailings andcoarse-grained waste rocks. Fine-grained tailings are either discharged in slurry form to surface tailings dams ordelivered in cementitious form to underground mine stopes as backfilling, while coarse-grained rocks are typicallystored by depositing as a dry material in large dumps. The engineering design of surface tailings dams orunderground mine stopes is often controlled by the high compressibility and low shear strength characteristics offine-grained tailings. Cemented paste backfill CPB indicating saturated, fine-grained backfills can undergo majorconsolidation settlement during early curing stages. Thus, a better understanding of the rate and magnitude of bothdifferential and total settlement of CPB cured under stressis essential for a proper backfill geotechnical design. Theconsolidation parameters of CPB can be determined from an improved lab setup called CUAPS (curing underapplied pressure system). This setup is capable of simulating the CPB placement and curing conditions, andmeasuring the consolidation parameters of CPB cured under effective stresses ranging between 0.5 and 400 kPa.In this study, a series of one-dimensional consolidation tests were conducted on CPB samples allowing forexamination of the effects of binder type and rate as well as curing time on the compression properties (e.g.,coefficient of consolidationcv, compression indexCc, and recompression indexCr) and the final geotechnicalindex properties (e.g., void ratioef, water contentwf, and degree of saturationSf). Results showed that as the bindercontent increases, the initial resistance to consolidation increases. Thecvvalue decreases over the course of timedue to evolution of the CPB microstructure generated by the hydration process.

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Authors and Affiliations

Erol Yilmaz
Tikou Belem
Mostafa Benzaazoua
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Abstract

The application of enhanced oil recovery processes (EOR – Enhanced Oil Recovery) on oil fields increases recovery efficiency. This is especially important in depleted and mature fields. This should result in an increase in production by raising the recovery factor (the ratio of oil produced to total geological reserves). This review presents the growing trend of gas injection (particularly carbon dioxide). In Polish oil fields, conventional methods are currently used. This means that much can still be done in this area. The selection of the optimum method for a given field is a complex procedure consisting of many stages, from collecting data about the field, through more advanced data interpretation, to working out a detailed proposal for the most efficient method of extraction. The pre-selection stage involves excluding methods which, owing to their specific mechanisms, cannot be used for a particular field – e.g. thermal methods in light oil fields or nitrogen injection into shallow reservoirs. This paper analyzes the potential for the application of EOR methods in Poland using a binary technical screening method. Forty-nine, mature Polish oil fields were analyzed. Apart from the rock type, other parameters were also taken into account in the analysis as follows: oil density and viscosity, average porosity, permeability and thickness of the reservoir, and also depth of deposit. In regard to the criteria for the EOR methods applied, the subjects of analysis are oil fields with medium density and viscosity and low permeability (double porosity in carbonate rocks), which are at a relatively shallow or medium depth of deposit. The results of analysis show that gas injection methods, especially carbon dioxide or nitrogen, have the highest potential. Application of this method must be preceded by detailed research and field pilot tests. International experience cannot be applied directly to Poland because of different field characteristics as well as technological and economic conditions.

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Authors and Affiliations

Paweł Wojnarowski
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Abstract

Geothermal waters are a source of clean energy. They should be used in a rational manner especially in energyand economic terms.

Key factors that determine the conditions in which geothermal waters are used, the amount of energy obtainedand the manner in which cooled water is utilised include water salinity. Elevated salinity levels and the presence oftoxic microelements may often lead to difficulties related to the utilisation of spent waters. Only a few Polishgeothermal facilities operate in a closed system, where the water is injected back into the formation after havingbeen used. Open (with water dumped into surface waterways or sewerage systems) or mixed (only part of the wateris re-injected into the formation via absorption wells while the rest is dumped into rivers) arrangements are morefrequently used. In certain circumstances, the use of desalinated geothermal water may constitute an alternativeenabling local needs for fresh water to be met (e.g. drinking water).

The assessment of the feasibility of implementing the water desalination process on an industrial scale islargely dependent on the method and possibility of disposing of, or utilising, the concentrate. Due to environmentalconsiderations, injecting the concentrate back into the formation is the preferable solution. The energy efficiency and economic analysis conducted demonstrated that the cost effectiveness of implementing the desalinationprocess in a geothermal system on an industrial scale largely depends on the factors related to its operation,including without limitation the amount of geothermal water extracted, water salinity, the absorption parameters ofthe wells used to inject water back into the formation, the scale of problems related to the disposal of cooled water,local demand for drinking and household water, etc. The decrease in the pressure required to inject water into theformation as well as the reduction in the stream of the water injected are among the key cost-effectiveness factors.Ensuring favourable desalinated water sale terms (price/quantity) is also a very important consideration owing tothe electrical power required to conduct the desalination process

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Authors and Affiliations

Barbara Tomaszewska
Leszek Pająk
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Abstract

This article presents the results of studies assesing the significance of the most important macro- and microeconomic factors affecting investors’ propensity to invest in mining. The Polish mining industry in recent years has seen intensive restructuring processes which have considerably affected the status of fixed assets required for the exploitation of useful minerals. In order to efectively manage technological progress in mining plants, it is necessary to understand the role of individual, variable factors influencing investors’ propensity tomake specific expenditures. In the analysis, mathematical statistics and econometric modelling methods were applied to determine the nature of correlations between the values studied and their significance. This examination applied statistical data accumulated by economic entities from 2000–2010. A linear econometric model waspresented illustrating the relationship between capital expenditure in mining and such indicators as fixed assetsvalue, GDP, real interest rate, consumption levels of fixed asset components in mining, and various other factors. Structural parameters of a function specifying the level of investment expenditure can be determined based on statistical data which has been appropriately processed so that the model constructed reflects the economic process studied in relevant way.

Such a model is not free of defects typical in statistical models; however, it simultaneously enables one toobtain valuable information concerning the impact of the factors studied on the value of such expenditure, and the theoretical possibilities to exchange the specific quantity of one factor for another factor. In the final version of the model, it is often sufficient to include only these independent variables which contribute the most essential information to the independent variable. This often simplifies the final form of the model without simultaneous limiting of its importance in explaining the economic phenomenon studied and the possibilities of its practical application. In the final selection of significant variables captured in the model, the method of information capacity indicators was used.

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Authors and Affiliations

Tadeusz Franik
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Abstract

This article concerns the issues of modeling and the optimizational approach for the performance of ore comminution circuits. A typical, multi-stage comminution circuit was analyzed with the high-pressure grinding rolls unit operating at a fine crushing stage. The final product of the circuit under investigation was, at the same time, a flotation feed in which particle size distribution initially determined the effectiveness of flotation operations. In order to determine the HPGR-based comminution circuit performance, a suitable mathematical model was built wherein the target function was linked directly with the effectiveness of the flotation processes. The target function in the presented model considers the issue in terms of the flotation operation’s effectiveness. The particle size distribution of individual comminution products and resulting from the weight recoveries of individual size fractions were criteria determining the quality of the comminution product. Weight recoveries of individual size fractions, in turn, were tied with the technical operating parameters of individual comminution devices. In the first model, profit maximization was the target function, while the second variant of the model took into account maximization of the useful mineral weight recovery in the concentrate. The HPGR application into ore processing circuits also results in energy saving benefits which were presented in a comparative analysis of the energy consumption of two comminution circuits – the first based on conventional crushing devices, and the second on the HPGR unit application which replaced the rod mills. The main benefit of such a modernization was almost two times lower energy consumption by the fine crushing stage and a decrease in the ball mills’ grinding operations load through bypassing a part of the material directly for the rough flotation operations.

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Authors and Affiliations

Daniel Saramak
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Abstract

The paper concerns the accuracy of determining particle size distributions of the fine-grained materials by means of laser diffraction method. Selection of measuring method for determination of materials granulation depends on various properties of the sample, but mainly on the range of particle size in the sample. It must be taken into consideration that each of the measurement methods inherently generate different information about particle size distribution. The applied measurement method generates the main impact on the results of research because it uses various material properties, like: geometric properties, density or type of the surface (porosity).

Influence of density and particle shape on the results of measurements by laser diffraction was studied in the paper. This method becomes a standard for measuring particle size of mineral powders. Analysis of raw materials particle size distribution was performed using a laser particle-meter Analysette 22. Investigations included measurements of particle size of raw materials characterized by various densities (coal, porphyry, barite) and the shape of the particles (copper shale ore, fly ash from coal combustion). The density of raw materials was determined by helium pycnometer, while the particle shape was expressed by coefficient which was calculated on the basis of particles geometric parameters. Geometry of the grains was measured using an optical microscope with a digital record of images by means of image analysis method. The accuracy of laser granulometric analyzes was expressed by variation coefficient of narrow particle fractions contents. Results of analyzes confirmed that the laser granulometric analysis provides accurate information about the finestparticle size distribution. No significant effect of the material density on the accuracy of granulometric analysis was observed. Effect of particle shape of the tested materials caused more stable values of the variation coefficient for particles of more spherical shape what is related to the applied method of laser measurement. The accuracy of laser granulometric analyzes varies dependably on the measured particle size range of particles. The most accurate analyzed materials are these ones being the part of narrow particle fractions.

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Authors and Affiliations

Damian Krawczykowski
Aldona Krawczykowska
Kazimierz Trybalski
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Abstract

Anisotropy of variations of Polish mineral deposit parameters is rarely the subject of interest of geologists who carry on the assessment projects . However, if the anisotropy is strong its description and mathematical modeling are rational and justified as it may affect the accuracy of many calculations suitably for mining geology and mining engineering, e.g. estimation of resources and grade of particular raw-material, interpolation of deposit parameters values and construction of their contour maps, designing of optimum grade mining operations or densification of sampling grid. In geostatistics anisotropy is described with directional semivariograms which represent average variability of values of particular deposit parameter in various directions, depending on the distance between sampling sites. Convenient graphic presentation of anisotropy is map of directional semivariograms and good mathematical presentation are functions describing the anisotropy models.

The paper presents the results of geostatistical descriptions of various anisotropy types in selected examples of Polish mineral deposits. Taking into account the spherical variability model, the influence of anisotropy on the results of deposit parameters estimations has been theorized for both the interpolation point and calculation block (area). It was found that anisotropy is effective for parameters estimation if three mutually interrelated factors are considered: power of directional diversification of parameters variation, contribution of random component to total, observed variation of parameters and the range of semivariograms (autocorrelation) of parameter referred to the average sampling grid density.

The results demonstrate that anisotropy influences much more the estimations of parameters value in interpolation points than those of average values of parameters calculated for particular parts of deposit (calculation blocks). Moreover, anisotropy is unimportant when the random component of variability dominates the overall variability of analyzed parameter. Therefore, the simpler, isotropic variability model can be applied to geostatistical estimations of deposit parameters.

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Authors and Affiliations

Jacek Mucha
Monika Wasilewska-Błaszczyk
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Abstract

The quality of coal has been analyzed basing on the data from geological exploration and chemical – geological analyses of coal carried out on the samples obtained from the boreholes and mining pits. The operated coal seams indexed as 382 and 385/2 reveals the changeable morphology due to the thickness of carbon shoals and stent intergrowths. The other parameters, such as the ash content or the calorific value are strongly linked with the non-coal rock interlayers, which presence causes the decrease in the calorific value and increase in the amount of after-burning ash. These parameters are less dependable on the sedimentation environment of the coal formation material. The content of total sulfur in the analyzed seams does not show any link with the values of the parameters analyzed before. The total sulfur is made up from sulphide gathered in coal and sulphates deriving from the decomposition of plants and supplied by deposit waters in different phases of coal seam formation. The obtained results could be useful in the reconnaissance of the prospective seams lying below the currently exploited ones (e.g. 389) and the seams in the neighboring areas.

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Authors and Affiliations

Jacek Misiak
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Abstract

This article presents values of porosity and compression strength of hard coals from the area of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin. The change of the stage of carbonification, which results from conversion of coal substance in the process of coalification, is a source of many changes in the structure of coal. These changes exert influence on values of physical parameters, including the values of porosity and strength. Porosity and compression strength change with the degree of carbonification, a result of the depth of deposition. This study determined the values of effective porosity of coals and their strength considering the age chronology of coal seams and the depth of their occurrence. It examined coals of the Cracow Sandstone Series, the Mudstone Series, the Upper Silesian Sandstone Series, and the Paralic Series from depths ranging from about 350 m to 1200 m. The authors have shown that effective porosity of the Upper Silesian coals changes for particular stratigraphic groups and assumes values from a few to a dozen or so per cent, while compression strength from several to several dozen megapascals. It has been observed, from a chronostratigraphic perspective, that there is a shifting of the upper and lower limits of intervals of porosity variations towards higher values for younger coals. With the increase in compression strength, value of porosity in particular stratigraphic groups generally decreases. However, no regular changes were observed in mean, uniaxial compressive strength with the increase in the age of subsequent stratigraphic groups. On the other hand, for bright coal and semi-bright coal, a visible decrease in compression strength with the depth of deposition of strata was observed.

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Authors and Affiliations

Mirosława Bukowska
Urszula Sanetra
Mariusz Wadas

Editorial office

Editorial Board
  • Editor-in-Chief: Eugeniusz Mokrzycki
  • Deputy Editor-in-Chief: Ryszard Uberman (section: mining)
  • Editorial Secretary: Krzysztof Galos (section: mineralogy)
  • Deputy Editorial Secretary: Lidia Gawlik (section: mineral and energy economy)
  • Deputy Editorial Secretary: Beata Klojzy-Karczmarczyk (section: environmental engineering in mining)
  • Statistical Editor: Jacek Mucha
Advisory Board
  • Mattias Bäckström, Assistant Professor, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
  • Wiesław Blaschke, PhD(Eng), Professor, The Institute of Mechanised Construction and Rock Mining, Katowice, Poland
  • Jan Butra, Professor, Wroclaw University of Technology, Wrocław, Poland
  • Dennis L. Buchanan, Professor, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, United Kingdom
  • Michal Cehlár – Technical University of Košice, Slovak Republic
  • Józef Dubiński, Professor, The Central Mining Institute, Katowice, Poland
  • Jakub Jirasek, Associate Professor, The Technical University of Ostrava, Czech Republic
  • Roman Magda, Professor, The AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, Poland
  • Antonio Mateus, Professor, Universidade de Lisboa, Lizbona, Portugal
  • Jacek Motyka, Professor, The AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, Poland
  • Marek Nieć, DSc(Eng), Professor, The MEERI PAS, Kraków, Poland
  • James Otto, Professor, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, USA
  • Marian Radetzki, Professor, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden
  • Anton Sroka, Professor, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, University of Resources, Freiberg, Germany
  • Krzysztof Szamałek, Professor, The University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
  • Günter Tiess, Assistant Professor, MinPol GmbH, Dreistetten, Austria
Publishing Committee
  • Emilia Rydzewska – linguistic editor (Polish)
  • Michelle Atallah – linguistic editor (English)
  • Barbara Sudoł – technical editor

Contact

Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of
Sciences J. Wybickiego 7A, 31-261 Kraków,
Phone: (+48) 12 632 33-00, Fax: +48 12 632 35-24
Email: gsm@min-pan.krakow.pl

Additional information

The subject matter of the articles published in Mineral Resources Management covers issues related to minerals and raw materials, as well as mineral deposits, with particular emphasis on:

  • The scientific basis for mineral resources management,
  • The strategy and methodology of prospecting and exploration of mineral deposits,
  • Methods of rational management and use of deposits,
  • The rational exploitation of deposits and the reduction in the loss of raw materials,
  • Mineral resources management in processing technologies,
  • Environmental protection in the mining industry,
  • Optimization of mineral deposits and mineral resources management,
  • The rational use of mineral resources,
  • The economics of mineral resources,
  • The raw materials market,
  • Raw materials policy,
  • The use of accompanying minerals,
  • The use of secondary raw materials and waste,
  • Raw material recycling,
  • The management of waste from the mining industry.

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